Christian music these days is pushing across the boundaries of what many churches and denominations used to regard as acceptable. The introduction of new styles of music in worship—often styles associated with secular popular culture—symbolizes the extent of a given church’s cultural relevance and outreach. For that reason, it’s increasingly important for churches to become not only more inclusive and diverse, but also more discerning and discriminating in their musical offerings.
The cover of the August 1996 Atlantic Monthly announced a Christian cultural revolution: “Giant ‘full-service’ churches are winning millions of ‘customers’ with [their] pop-culture packaging. They may also be building an important new form of community.” Author Charles Trueheart described what he calls the “Next Church”: No spires. No crosses. No robes. No clerical collars.