What Are Christian Musicians?

Alicia Sparks

Christian musicians are musicians who perform music written to express some element of the Christian religion. Generally, this music includes songs about faith in Jesus Christ and various other aspects of the Christian lifestyle such as connecting with fellow believers, personal relationships with Christ, and even overcoming doubt. These days, Christian musicians focus on a wide variety of song types and musical genres including folk, pop, heavy metal, dance, and rap and hip-hop. Regardless of the genre they choose, all Christian musicians perform some type of religious music. The market for Christian musicians is similar to that of other kinds of musicians.

Gospel music originated when African Americans began to fuse traditional African sounds with Christian lyrics.
Gospel music originated when African Americans began to fuse traditional African sounds with Christian lyrics.

From traditional and contemporary gospel music to country and alternative rock tunes, Christian music spans nearly every genre of music. The different genres of Christian music often are similar to the same kinds of genres to which other types of music belong. For example, gospel songs with lots of bass and fast-spoken rhyming lyrics might be considered rap songs. At the same time, those that feature instruments like acoustic guitars and banjos might be considered part of the bluegrass, country, or folk music genres. No matter what genre the song fits into, the overall theme is one that relates to the Christian faith and lifestyle.

Christian country music is a subgenre of gospel music.
Christian country music is a subgenre of gospel music.

Since there are so many types of Christian music, it is easy for a Christian musician to find his niche. Singers and musicians who play guitars, drums, keyboards, tambourines, and all other types of instruments can find a genre of religious music with which they are comfortable. This diversity also means it is easy for listeners to find the kinds of songs they enjoy the most. For Christian musicians, this diversity means they can reach more listeners, gain more fans, and have a more lucrative career than they would if they sang or played only traditional church music.

Often, Christian singers and Christian bands record albums, hold concerts, and appear on television and the radio. Just like other kinds of musicians, many Christian musicians travel to perform. They might travel to perform concerts held in typical venues, or they might tour the church circuit, performing for different churches throughout a region. Some Christian musicians are only interested in performing as a pastime, and limit their performances to church gatherings such as regular worship meetings, revivals, and summer Bible school events. Usually, these musicians are members of the church at which they perform, though some musicians might perform at different churches within one community or area.

Christian bands record albums, hold concerts, and appear on television and the radio.
Christian bands record albums, hold concerts, and appear on television and the radio.

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Discussion Comments


@miriam98 - There's nothing with the genres. Worship music is a genre in its own right. The other genres, which you call "feel good" music, have their place.

At their best, they help people transition from secular music to Christian music. So if you used to listen to country music before, you can now listen to Christian country music. I think there's nothing wrong with that.


@Mammmood - Personally, I prefer contemporary Christian worship songs rather than Christian music modeled after secular genres like pop, rap or country.

Somehow those genres don’t “feel” right to me. When you’re listening to the worship songs, you’re worshiping, which in my opinion should be the goal of Christian music, not simply to create some feel good inspiration music. I’m not a worship leader but that’s just my opinion.


I had a chance to meet Steven Curtis Chapman once, one of the most famous Christian artists of all time in my opinion. I really like his music. I think he writes catchy tunes and lyrics that stay with you for awhile.

Sadly, I think a lot of other Christian music sounds the same. It sounds like everyone is trying to imitate the U2 band or something like that.

Christian musicians who can really write songs that say something are tops on my list. I think that Christian musicians should realize that just because they have a captive, niche community in their audience, doesn’t mean that they should be sloppy in their work.

In other words, they should ask themselves, is this song good enough for a secular audience? Amy Grant became a “cross over” artist because she met that threshold. I’m not saying everyone should do that, just that they should strive to be the best.


I think it's great that Christian music comes in all forms. I know guys who only listen to rap, and they can now listen to Christian music instead of the kind with offensive lyrics. This helps them in their faith, because they love their music, and they don't have to switch to a different type of genre.

I also have guy friends who love heavy metal music. They made the transition to Christian metal, and they didn't have to give up listening to their favorite style of music.

Quitting old habits can be hard, and with a wide variety of Christian music, those habits don't even need to be altered much. Positive lyrics can be sung over driving beats and wailing guitars just as easily as over harp and piano music.


I love contemporary Christian songs with deep or heartfelt lyrics. These are the kind that touch my heart and make me cry, because I am a Christian, and I have the same feelings.

I don't like Christian songs that repeat the same lines over and over again, just to try and drum up emotion in a group of people. I have been to a couple of churches where the band leads the congregation in fifteen repetitions of the same chorus, and to me, it sucks the feeling out.

I actually prefer the old hymns to the new repetitive choruses. At least they have different verses.

When I listen to Christian music at home or in my car, I listen to CDs that I have bought by artists I know that I love. I listen to a little bit of Christian radio to discover new artists, but I mostly stick to what moves me.


@wavy58 – I agree with you. I have heard the same stories of famous Christian musicians being bashed for producing a variety of music, but usually, they come out on top.

Once the public hears that they are being persecuted like this by members of their own faith, they tend to support them even more. Their pop songs become increasingly popular, and Christians who disagree with the banishment go out and buy their Christian albums just to show their support.

A couple of my favorite Christian music artists have had this happen to them, and they both still have very lucrative careers and a spot in the public's knowledge. I stand behind them 100%.


Sadly, after a Christian musician who has gained popularity decides to record a secular album, they are often disowned by the Christian community. I think this is wrong. I love Christian music, but I also love pop, and I have no problem with a Christian musician releasing an album of love songs.

I heard that some Christian radio stations ban musicians who cross over to the pop side. This has to be so hurtful to them. It's not like their songs are lewd or shameful. They are sweet little love songs, and they are condemned.

Often, Christian musicians who release pop albums either go back to releasing Christian albums or mix both types of songs on their following albums. I think that they should be who they are without fear or shame, and if they want to sing about their love for their spouse on the same album as they sing about their love for Jesus, I see nothing wrong with that.

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