Whats on mission music? Music
with the edge to keep Christians focused on their part in sharing Christ. God
has inspired musicians and lyricists across the centuries to create sounds and
pen words that encourage and enable others to be on mission. The unique style each Christian
has to share Jesus is mirrored in the sounds of faith.
Sara Paulsons Christian music career is just getting off the ground, but
already she has firmly established her lifes mission: taking Christ to the
God so loved that He gave His Son
Take the Word to the world
His is the way, the only One, so
God has a special way of using each of us, she told On mission. If were faithful to seek His
heart, He takes us in directions we never even dreamed of.
Originally, the 27-year-old singer had aimed her music ministry at church
folk, but when she won the Miss Oregon contest in 1992, she recognized broader
opportunities for evangelism.
All of a sudden I was speaking in public schools and inner-city settings. I
decided I was going to talk about my life, including my relationship with God,
Paulson says. Her passion for creating and taking advantage of opportunities to
share Christ is reflected in the title song of Paulsons new CD Word to the
Paulsons reminder of our responsibility to share Christ is part of a long
tradition in Christian music.
Singing and listening to such songswhether during a church service or on the
morning commutecan help Christians stay focused on the need to always be ready
and on the lookout for opportunities to share Christ.
On mission magazine has
compiled a brief sampling of music with on mission lyrics that can help us stay
focused on sharing Christ in our everyday lives.
On mission music has been
around for hundreds of years. In 1869, Fanny J. Crosby penned Rescue the
Perishing, which features these compelling lyrics:
Tho they are slighting Him,
Still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly,
Plead with them gently,
He will forgive if they only believe.
Crosbys lyrics convey the urgency associated with pleading as well as the
need for sensitivity and gentleness as we take Christ to those who need
Other hymns follow in the same tradition. I Love to Tell the Story, wrote A.
Katherine Hankey in the mid-1800s. Let Others See Jesus in You, B.B. McKinney
implored in 1924. More recent Christian music writers have continued to
encourage evangelistic efforts through on mission lyrics.
Twenty years ago Keith Greenthe sold-out singer/evangelist who died in a
1982 plane crashwas unrivaled in his ability to lay it all on the line about
our need to share Christ. Asleep in the Light confronted our tendency to ignore
the needs of those who dont know:
Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Dont you care, dont you care
Are you going to let them drown
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the jobs done
In 1989 Christian singer Steve Green (no relation to Keith) recorded The
Mission, a song that became an anthem played as a soundtrack to (no doubt)
hundreds of church mission-trip slide shows. Inspired by the Greatest
Commandment recorded in Matthew 22:36-38, Green, himself the son of
missionaries, reminds us that our desire to reach others must flow from our
total devotion to God:
The spring from which
our service overflows
Across the street
Or around the world
The missions still the same
Proclaim the Truth
In Jesus name!
One of the dangers of a privatized Christianity is to become ingrown and
self-serving, Green recently wrote. The Lord constantly calls me to lift up my
eyes and look at those around me. The evidence of my faith and love for Christ
will be revealed in my care of others.
Jaci Velasquez, 18, is one of the top artists in Christian music
today. She won a Dove Award for 1997 New Artist of the Year and her debut
album, A Heavenly Place, scored several number one hits. One of them,
We Can Make a Difference, encourages believers to come together and share the
love of Jesus Christ.
We can make a difference
We can make a change
We can make the world a better place
We can make the sun shine through the rain
In his latest projectentitled Mission 3:16veteran Christian music
artist Carman focuses squarely on our primary responsibility. Our mission as
believers is to share the message of salvation with others as fast as we can,
Carman says. Thats what the title song is all about.
He adds: Not everyone can do what I do, and I cant do what other people do.
Thats the beauty of all of us being different yet alike, spiritually we can
relate to others on an individual basis. Sometimes everyone needs the courage
to continue ... or start. If this album inspires them to go out to the highways
and byways and actually be a part of saving someone destined for destruction,
then Ive fulfilled my goal.
Carman hopes lyrics such as these will inspire other Christians to make
reaching others a high priority.
Were on a mission
And well go
Where the brave
Dare to fly
And we know its a race do or die
To know Him and make
Him known is our creed
Letting the fire be freed
In her 1994 debut album Rebecca St. James Here I Am reminds listeners of the
need to be willing to go where God sends.
Jesus commanded us, Go and tell the good
For the harvest is many, but the workers are so few.
All that He wants is a head believing, serving, and loving Him.
Here I am, I surrender my life to the use of Your plan.
Here I am, I will do as You say. I will go where You send.
Here I am.
Rebecca St. James
Christian trio Phillips, Craig and Dean knows plenty about encouraging
Christians to be faithful in sharing the good news each member of the group is
a full-time pastor. As their music career has taken off, the group hasnt
forgotten the basic need to help listeners know God and make Him known. In
their song You Dont Have the Right, the group reminds Christians of how much
God has done for us and the obligation we have to share Him with others.
You dont have the right to remain silent
If youve been arrested by Gods grace
Youve got to take the stand to tell the story
Of how your guilty stains have been replaced
Everything youve done has been erased
By the evidence of love
So you dont have the right
No, you dont have the right
Phillips, Craig and Dean
In 1996 Bob Carlisles Butterfly Kisses introduced him to millions of music
listeners. But in 1993s We Are the People Carlisle reminded us of the important
task of introducing people to Christ.
We are the people
God has put us in this hour
To be the shining light
Throughout the darkest night
And the way we make a change
Is only by the way
We live our lives
We are the people of the light.
What are your favorite on
mission songs? Send them to us at: On mission, 4200 North Point Parkway,
Alpharetta, GA 30022-4176 or fax us at 770-410-6006. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
All songs used by permission of Pamplin Music, Sparrow Records, Benson Music
Group, Forefront Records and StarSong Records.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC