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MercyMe ‘Optimistic’ on the Future of Christian Music

Photo from MercyMe’s Instagram

MercyMe ‘Optimistic’ on the Future of Christian Music

By Movieguide® Contributor

While at the K-Love music awards, MercyMe shared advice for up-and-coming Christian artists. 

“We tell young artists all the time to never treat where God has you as a stepping stone. That this may be the very reason and moment He called you up, and more opportunities will be given to you,” MercyMe’s lead vocalist Bart Millard said. 

“We see a lot of people that are like, ‘I’m waiting for the next thing,’ and it’s like, no you’re here in this moment and you’re reaching people that none of us were called to reach at this very moment. So we just try to encourage people to not take for granted where God has you at the moment and you’ll be shocked with what comes your way,” Millard continued.  

Having made Christian music for nearly thirty years, MercyMe has seen many changes in the industry. The type of music that Christian artists are making has also expanded and changed in a way that allows many people to worship who may have struggled to connect with Christian music in the past. 

“[We’re] optimistic, that’s a good way to put it,” MercyMe’s Bassist, Nathan Cochran said when asked about the current state of the Christian music industry. “We have been doing this long enough to see some ups and downs, I guess, with how things have changed. For us, the greatest thing about it is the message is the same, of course, we have all sorts of different styles of music, but we’re all talking about Jesus. And that hasn’t changed; it’s what we need to keep doing.” 

Movieguide® previously reported on MercyMe’s music: 

While there are plenty of options for music out there, Millard added that singing about the hope of Jesus is necessary in today’s culture. 

“I think we just need someone to keep singing about Jesus, whether it’s contemporary Christian or worship or whatever,” Millard told Christian Headlines in a recent interview. “You might be able to make the case of, well, ‘We may not need the [CCM] genre.’ But what we do need is to just keep talking about Jesus – providing hope to people.” 

“Eddie DeGarmo years ago, he said what’s funny about the Christian music genre is [that] every other genre is defined by the style of music – country, jazz, whatever,” Millard said. “But Christian music has all of those in it. It’s the lyrics that define the genre. There is country [Christian music] … hip hop, we have it all. But it’s the lyrics that sets us apart, which is really interesting.” 

While MercyMe’s sound may have changed Over the course of their 21 years in the industry, Millard said that the truth found in their lyrics remains their central focus. 

“I can’t imagine just singing in a bar or just singing about pop stuff that, to me, wouldn’t have as much meaning,” he said. “The gospel changed my life years ago. Somebody asked, ‘Why did you sign up for Christian music?’ I was like, I don’t think we signed up for it. It’s just kind of who we are.” 

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