(Feature Photo courtesy of The NY Daily News; All Other Photos courtesy of Pinterest)
Being Open-Hearted In A Modern World
By Darthy McCormick
Stepping into the realm of the secular can seem terrifying. As Christians we grow comfortable in our own spaces, they are safe, and they are familiar. But God doesn’t call us to stay in our comfort zones. He calls us to every corner of the earth, no matter how desolate. (Mathew 28:19)
But how do we do this? How do we open our hearts and our spaces to let Christ in, even amongst non-believers?
Our Christian brothers and sisters braving the pop music industry set a fantastic example for what this can look like in our modern world. Let’s take a look at a few of these artists.
After touring with TobyMac and releasing multiple contemporary Christian EPs, Hollyn set out to work on her project “bye, sad girl” The EP was a story of vulnerability, heartbreak, and healing and became a light in the lives of so many. When questioned whether she was abandoning God or the church by making a pop album, she responded with much grace that this was far from the case. In an Instagram post from 2019, she wrote something that had provoked me ever since:
“With the utmost humility and love, I ask you, instead of excluding people, invite them in. Our job is to help people take steps towards truth…not to exclude them.”
It made me wonder, are we doing more harm than good by creating this great divide between believers and non-believers? Are there spaces where we can collaborate and grow in God’s grace together? Something to think about.
Hollyn isn’t the only artist bringing God into the pop industry. Recently, we’ve seen the rise of the Nashville band Apollo LTD. Between their catchy love songs and famous Christian anthem “Patient,” they’ve reminded us of something important. God is everywhere! He isn’t limited to pieces with the name of Jesus on every line; He can be found in the cry of the heart as well. Approaching God from this perspective can help us partner with the unchurched by creating common ground. Not everyone knows the lyrics to “Good, Good Father,” but they probably heard at least one version of “I will always love you.” Well, guess what? God is the ultimate answer when it comes to eternal love!
Tori is a fantastic example of being a light to others. Best known for her hit song “Hollow,” Tori has performed with many big names in pop such as Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and James Bay, as well as releasing an awarding winning Gospel album. If she had let fear keep her from sharing her voice with the pop industry, she most likely never would have had the opportunity to be in these spaces. The way we treat people as Christians leave a lasting impact on others. Tori Kelly is known for being extremely kind and humble in situations that are being broadcasted to millions. In a culture that frequently views Christians in a negative light, her example boldly challenges the narrative.