I’ve heard some say that the soundtrack of the Christmas season is by Mariah Carey, but I would heartily disagree. For me and my house, we long ago chose Phil Wickham as go-to Christmas crooner. His first Christmas album—Songs for Christmas—still holds up years later, and like a Christmas gift you didn’t ask for but totally needed, Wickham has released a second Christmas collection, humbly titled Christmas.
“Worship leaders” aren’t as ‘contemporary’ as some think they are. If you pay careful attention, particularly in the Old Testament, you’ll see that there are people who facilitated worship. The ‘priesthood of all believers’ doesn’t take away from that we all have different giftings. And one of those areas of gifting is music. Music is one of the ways of expressing worship. Many churches do this weekly. How we facilitate or lead in the time of worship can hinder or enable people from connecting with God.
I grew up in a house with very little music. It’s not that my parents didn’t like it. We just didn’t have a home stereo, and we kids preferred TV anyway. So the only time I ever heard rock music was in the car with my parents, and that meant that we were listening to oldies, like the Beach Boys or Motown. Not that I didn’t like that music. It was all I knew, aside from the random Carmen or Ray Boltz cassette tape.
So when I actually got a taste of current rock music in junior high, my tiny mind was blown. I can remember getting a sampler CD back then, and one of the tracks on it was “Saturn” by Skillet. It’s a much different sound than what many fans of Skillet are used to hearing today, but the spirit of inspiration, of looking out from where you are to that which is greater, is still the same.