Since the late 1970s, Christian pop artists have been rising in popularity. People love Christian music because it inspires hope and faith in a world that needs it. But Christian pop artists haven’t always enjoyed the fame and notoriety that they do now.
In fact, at one time, Christian music was considered heretical. And if Christian pop artists had been around them, they wouldn’t have been accepted.
The History of Christian Music
You can find worship music in the Bible dating back to the book of Genesis in verse 4:21. It talks about Lamech’s three sons, one of which was Jubal. “His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes.”
That’s all we know about Jubal, but according to the Word of God, he was the father of those who played musical instruments.
Moving on through the Bible, we see Moses’ sister, Miriam, playing the tambourine, and King David dancing to music in celebration of the Ark of the Covenant entering Jerusalem. And when the Israelites marched against Jericho and watched as its walls fell down? The marchers were led by musicians who blew horns as a form of musical worship.
In other words, the Bible talks a lot about music and doesn’t condemn it even once.
However, the religious leaders of the middle ages didn’t agree. During that period, the church frowned on music associated with God and religion. The leaders even called the pipe organ the devil’s bagpipe, and people destroyed nearly all of them by the fifteenth century.
But then came along Martin Luther. He used music to restore people’s love for God. After him, William Booth began to use the tunes of popular music and rewrite the words for Christian listeners.
And it was this change in the attitude toward worship music that led to the acceptance of Christian pop artists.
What Is Christian Music?
Lyrics are the basis for all Christian music. Unlike some other music styles, such as classical or opera, Christian pop artists rely on the words to get across their message. The lyrics increase faith, comfort those in distress, or give a much-needed word at just the right time.
Christian pop artists sing Christian music for a couple of reasons. But each of these reasons has one thing in common: glorifying God.
Here are some of the reasons Christian pop artists do what they do.
Reach the lost
As Christians, we are commanded by Jesus to spread the word of his gospel, and Christian pop artists carry out that command with their music. This is true with the older hymns as well as the newer songs by Christian pop artists. For instance, “The Old Rugged Cross,” by Alan Jackson, tells the beautiful story of the cross and the salvation it offers mankind. Yet newer Christian pop artists also offer words of salvation in their songs.
For instance. Ryan Stevenson’s song called The Gospel portrays the gospel in a faith-inspiring song. Here’s the video:
Share the hope
As Christians, we sometimes need to remember that God loves us and cares for us. And Christian pop artists provide this reminder with their music. Countless people have given testimonies of times in their life when they thought it was hopeless.
Worship is the way
Finally, Christian pop artists share their music to provide Christians as a way to worship God. We can worship Him in prayer, by living our lives in a way that pleases Him, or with song. And Christian pop artists provide beautiful music that inspires us to worship Him.
If you’ve never been brought to your knees when worshiping with Christian pop artists, check out this live version of Call Upon the Name of the Lord by Hillsong:
Five Christian Pop Artists with Inspirational Messages
Now that you understand the enormous role Christian pop artists have in both believers and non-believer’s lives, it’s time to take a look at some Christian pop artists and their messages.
Here are five Christian pop artists we love.
1. Lauren Daigle
If you’re looking for a cross between a hippie, Jesus lover, and talent, Lauren Daigle is one of the Christian pop artists you should listen to. Her music was nominated for two Grammy awards and her popular song "You Say" spent 13 weeks on the Billboard’s Hot 100 list.
Watch this video, and you’ll see why:
Daigle said she’s dreamed of singing professionally since her childhood. And even though she’s practiced Christianity her entire life, she told God she didn’t want to sing Christian music. Daigle says she always thought Christian music was cheesy and didn’t want to spend her time singing it.
Then something happened. When she was 15, Daigle contracted an autoimmune disease. She had to stay bedridden for two years. During that time, her relationship with God deepened, and she came out of it knowing that becoming a Christian pop artist was her path.
The message? We don’t always know God’s path for our lives, but one thing is certain: It’s better than the one we envision.
Hillsong is the worship arm of Hillsong Church, and it’s one of the most popular worship Christian pop artists in the world. Some estimate that 50 million people sing their songs in church every Sunday. People love the worship group for their spirit-filled concerts that bring people closer to the Lord through worship.
Recently, the group sang on Good Morning America and said that their current studio album, called "People," is meant to bring people of all kinds together. The core message of their worship music is that Jesus is the way to God, and He loves you. Worshiping the Lord is a huge part of who this group is, and people all over the world love to worship with them.
You can listen to their new album on YouTube:
3. Matt Maher
Another one of the popular Christian pop artists who have a distinct message is Matt Maher. His latest album, "Saints and Sinners," talks about the struggle between living in the world and trying to become more Christ-like.
He went through a dark time in his life and decided to go back and read the works of greats influencers like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. He said he walked away from the experience with the realization that Christians can easily forget who they were before Christ saved them and changed them. And that’s the basis for his new album. He says we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and his mission is to do that with his music.
You can hear Saints and Sinners on this video:
4. Scott Stapp
Scott Stapp used to be the frontman of Creed, a group that released a song called "Arms Wide Open." At the time, many Christians believed that the song spoke about God, and it quickly spread throughout the world of church-goers. However, Stapp quickly put an end to that rumor by saying that the group was not a follower of Jesus and questioned who people are to say there is only one way to Heaven.
Fast forward a decade and Stapp released Proof of Life, an album dedicated to showing people that they can make it through anything with Jesus by their side. (Isn’t God great??)
Strap says that his own ego led him in life before meeting Christ, and that ego led him down a lot of wrong paths. He says that his message on the album is that God can take any mess and turn it into something beautiful if we would only let him.
He also says that his parents raised him to believe that God and rock and roll didn’t mix, which was difficult for him because it is the music of his choice. But he has come to terms with that and now sings songs that glorify God in his own way.
Here is a song from his album, Proof of Life called What Would You Do?
Even if you don’t listen to a lot of Christian pop artists, you’ve probably heard about Plumb. Her biggest hit, "I Need You Now," was nominated for several awards and had some hit singles. Yet what fans may not realize is that the singer and her husband separated shortly before the album’s release and that almost prevented it from coming out.
However, the two reconciled, and Plumb says that experience taught her a lot about God’s grace and redemption.
In her newest album, Exhale, she sings about that. She says the music teaches people that we are not here to serve ourselves. Instead, we should show the world God’s grace and love. Our job is to show what He has done and who God is.
You can hear the title song of Exhale in this video:
Which Christian Pop Artists Do You Love?
Everyone has different musical tastes, and that’s why there are so many Christian pop artists. One person may feel the need to worship God with music. Another may need to hear lyrics that help them move a mountain or get past a dark place in their life. We hope the Christian pop artists on this list help you find what you are looking for.
Did we leave out any Christian pop artists that you would like to tell us about? If so, please tell us their names and the song they sing in the comments below!