Aug 29

Redemption days – what are young people listening to?

We have a music jukebox in our church’s youth room where people can choose to play whatever songs are on it. Last week I overheard a conversation about a song (unfortunately the particular track escapes me). Basically the conversation went along the lines of: – ‘oh, that’s a quality tune.’ – ‘can you believe it is on the jukebox here at church?’ – ‘what?! that’s mad!’

Basically, these two lads were agreeing that this particular tune was cracking but also in total agreement that the content of the song is not appropriate for playing in a Christian venue or at a Christian youth group. (So why it is on the church jukebox is a good question, which our wonderful youth minister is looking to sort out!)

This conversation is even more pertinent as both lads would call themselves Christians.

Another recent music encounter I have had was when I was driving to a meeting. I was listening to Radio 1 when Josh Osho’s song, ‘Redemption Days’, came on. Josh Osho is a newcomer to the music scene with his debut album being released just this past month. As the track finished the presenter, Fearne Cotton, said that someone had texted in to say that they had had to stop what they were doing and just sit and listen to this ‘cracking tune’.

Music really does seem to have an incredible power to change us, whether for the better or worse. Josh Osho is interesting as his lyrics to this particular track talk about how we have to choose our destination because a man died for our salvation. Very interesting lyrics indeed. Could make for an interesting discussion one youth group session.

I don’t know where Josh Osho is faith wise, but it struck me how this listener was caught up by this gospel-sounding song, so much so, that they just had to stop and take in the moment. When was the last time you were brought up still like this? We need these moments, where we are fully immersed in the present, not rushing about all the time.

Music stirs up emotions like nothing else. I love music. It inspires me, motivates me and can transform my moods. We need to realise how important music is and to help our young people think intelligently about choosing what they listen to. The challenge is can we help them to understand that ‘do I like the tune?’ is not the only factor involved in should I buy or listen to this track. We need to help them use Philippians 4:8 as their song selection filter – ‘whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things’. That doesn’t have to mean we only listen to worship songs.

How have you tried to help young people think about the music they listen to? What are some of the issues for you with this? How do you choose what you listen to? Please leave a comment below.