Ask any unchurched kids about christian music artists, and most won't know three names. But ask any Sunday school kid who their favorite singer is, and they'll mention such idols as Beyonce, Britney, 50 Cent, R. Kelly, Justin, or Outkast. They'll quote lyrics too.
I worked with youth at the Salvation Army's New Rochelle, N.Y., Corps for three years. They wanted to hear their usual music, but I introduced them to the sweetest music on earth.
In the beginning, they had difficulty listening to Christian music. But by the time I left, they loved it. As soon as they entered the van, they wanted to hear Kirk Franklin, Darlene Scheck, Papa Sun, or Yolanda Adams.
Today, in addition to Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, and Reggae, they also appreciate contemporary Gospel music.
Today's media is as enticing as the serpent was in the Garden of Eden. And exposure to his shocking and explicit language—even in song lyrics—still has dire consequences.
Paul, writing to the Corinthians, encourages us not to compromise our faith to suit the world. As Christians, we may be the only bible our friends, family, and neighbors will read. I pray God will continue to reveal His truth to us.
Leave a legacy: help shape your children's future
- Go back to Christian basics and become radical about your faith.
- Listen to Christian radio and TV stations. Encourage these stations to produce more youth-centered programming.
- Supervise your kid's DVD, CD, TV, and video program selections.
- Teach kids to use advanced technology wisely (computers, home entertainment centers).
—Chaka Watch is a Salvationist from Zimbabwe, Africa, where he worked as a national radio station DJ. He is currently a youth minister at the Harlem (Temple), N.Y., Corps.