Monday, August 28, 2006

    Music to their Ears

    Eric Elnes, pastor and founder of CrossWalk America (a progressive Christian movement literally sweeping across the country this summer) has some interesting insights into how we might use music to engage youth in exploring the Bible more thoughtfully. Eric's "The World's Most Dangerous Bible Studies" pair biblical exploration with contemporary music that speaks to the hearts and heads of teenagers. I tried his approach and have had some success. The challenge is that it works best with teenagers who already have a pretty good handle on the basics of the Christian faith. If they do not have this foundation, you end up with a Bible study focused more on Justin Timberlake as an artist than on the biblical passage you are studying (Note: Timberlake's new single, "Sexy Back," is at the top of the charts and our youth are listening to it. He's not quite the innocent boyband-er anymore). The linked article above also includes Elnes' interesting thoughts on the use of popular contemporary music in worship (this does not include "Kum Ba Yah"!) as a way to draw in not only youth but all of us who spend more time listening to rock music on our car radios than organ interludes!

    On a related note, check out
    Pandora, a sort of on-line dj (and an outgrowth of the Music Genome Project). This "smart" website invites you to suggest a song or group that you enjoy and then it streams music from a variety of artists that are similar in musical style. The more feedback you provide the site, the better it is able to tailor your music stream. I find it very helpful for discovering new songs and groups that play the kind of music I'm seeking.


    Tim of Suburbia said...

    If you like Pandora, come check out

    where people are sharing their Pandora stations.