General Ministry
Josh Griffin

Have you ever heard a student say, “I don’t care about the lyrics, I just like it for the beat.”  I know I have.  It’s a problem this generation is so prone to.  We hear all about all the false teachers in the Bible, Peter warns against them, the book of Jude warns against them, Timothy warns against them.  Where is our warning?

One of the greatest of all false teachers these days is music. While our students like it for the beat, they aren’t immune to the lyrics.  With hardly anything in their minds fixed in stone, the influence of music is hard to deny.  According to Pediatrics, Official Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, there is significant research showing negative effects of degrading lyrics in youth.  There is significant data that exposure to music promoting sexual exploits, drug use, or other harmful behaviors cause an increase in the related behavior.  With the data backing up the fact that lyrics affect behavior, how much behavior is being influence by the “popular” artists of the day?

I heard a Ke$ha song on the radio the other day and the lyrics went like this, “I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums, Oh what a, shame that you came here with someone, So while you’re here in my arms, Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young.” In short, she’s saying it doesn’t matter that you have someone you’re committed to, what matters is you get to have some fun before you die.  I was in a restaurant one day and as I was walking into the bathroom a little girl and her mom were walking out of the adjacent restroom; I heard the little girl, who couldn’t have been older than 7, singing Rhianna’s song S&M, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me.” At what point do we need to step in and tell a mother she shouldn’t let he child sing that song?  It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t understand the song; it still has an impact on her.  I don’t have kids of my own, but I have ones at youth group who are old enough to realize what the lyrics mean and I pray so hard that they would realize the affect it has on them.

A challenge I have recently taken up was put out by K-Love.  It’s the 30-day Christian music only challenge (http://www.klove.com/ministry/30-day.aspx). What influence do we want to have on our students?  Is your music library a positive motivator for the Kingdom?  How can we convince our youth, that what they listen to affects how they act?

Invite teenagers into an epic adventure with Jesus. Check out Pierced: The New Testament today!

I’m asking that you take the 30-day challenge and watch it have an impact on your life.

Travis Lodes is the Student Ministries Intern at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, CO. Feel free to leave comments or email him at tlodes@gmail.com.

How service-minded are your teenagers? Take this short quiz to find out!


  • Henry says:

    This is an outstanding blog post. Very inspirational. Have you checked out


    Awesome (and one of the biggest) Christian communities for the faithful to talk about Christianity.

  • I agree we should not fill our minds with a lot of the negative found in music out there. However is listening to only “Christian” music the way to do that? Is there not a lot of great, positive music out there that doesn’t make it onto the “Christian” radio stations?

  • Ben says:

    I have often rolled my eyes at K-LOVE’s 30 day thing, but my wife did a good job of spinning it in a different light. I guess for someone who’s neck deep in the world’s music, it would be a much-needed detox of the system. I personally enjoy K-LOVE at times, but as a mobile DJ with experience in radio, they drive me nuts with their 10 song deep playlist and ooey-gooey on-air talent. My wife says I’m not their target demo, but a 27-year old Christian with a wife and kid, I’m just missing the mini-van and I think I tick all the boxes! 🙂

    I’m sorta with Russell here. We can’t expect our teens to wall-off the rest of the world’s music and expect them to grow. A 30-day challenge – sure that’s one thing. But we need to teach them to consciously and intelligently asses a song and reject the unbiblical parts (or the song as a while) and embrace the good. (1 Thess. 5:21)

  • Jen Bradbury says:

    Travis –

    I definitely get what you’re saying here. However, as some of the others who have commented said, I think there’s a flip side to this as well. I actually blogged about that last week: http://ymjen.com/blog/concerns-about-k-loves-30-day-challenge


    • DrewE says:

      Jen — that’s an excellent little essay. Good, lucid thoughts.

      I often wonder about the assumption that there’s such a thing as “Christian music” as opposed to “secular music.” There are undoubtedly Christian lyrics and secular lyrics…that’s obvious. But is (for example) the central theme from Sibelius’s Finlandia christian or secular music? It was composed as a patriotic symphonic poem, and the theme has been reworked as the music for an important patriotic Finnish song. Most English-speaking Christians, however, would probably first recognize it as “Be Still My Soul.”

  • Jen, great thoughts. I found this post I had written on a previous blog and moved it to mine. http://www.ministry2youth.com/3-reasons-not-to-listen-to-only-christian-music/
    I think it’s important to teach our students how to decide what to listen to, and not to just blindly accept anything labeled Christian or blindly reject anything labeled non-christian.

  • […] Reposted as a response to  The Mayhem of Music on More Than Dodgeball. […]

  • Travis Lodes says:

    I agree with most everything the comments are saying. I hope the article didn’t come off as, “Listen only to Christian music, anything else is terrible.” I do think we need to be teaching our students to filter, and pick and choose which music they listen to, or TV they watch, or any of that. The real heart of it, was that either way, music will have a hold of our students. Do we guide them, lead them, and draw them towards more wholesome music, or do we just let them listen to whatever they want, and hope to fight against what they are hearing all the time?
    It is more meant to be a push towards wholesome music, positive music, something that isn’t teaching them the opposite of what we want them to learn.

  • Emmanuel says:

    Travis, this is awesome bro! Very Biblical and true! The story about the 7-year-old girl is shocking, nevertheless it is important we discuss these things and do stuff about it. I like the 30 day Christian idea, and the issue is greater than music, however why not fill more of our lives with Christ every moment of our lives if we want to grow and hear His voice more. And listening to Christian music aids a lot. If not K-love find another godly station or use things called C.Ds or ipods. Thanks for this post bro. I enjoyed reading it. God bless and keep serving the Kingdom

  • Emmanuel says:

    Also, I just thought of something. If we tell people to understand the context on Bible verses, why not tell them to know the context (what is really being said) in the music?

    I am not saying that God’s Word is = to music. But the same logic applies.

    Be blessed everyone.

  • Leave a Comment

    Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let us have a personal and meaningful conversation instead.