I was probably 11 or 12 when it first began. My well-established church was full of men in pressed suits, women in floral dresses and heels, boys in scratchy button-up shirts and girls sharing clear nail polish to patch up runs in their panty hose – all pretty standard church attire of the day.
I remember heads turning just as the service was beginning, and for the first, but certainly not the last time…
… there were hippies in my church.
We recently saw the movie, Jesus Revolution, which tells the story of Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel and the explosion of a radical movement that would challenge the mainstream church status quo and change the course of what today would be defined as “Christian music.”
But at the time, it was simply called, “Jesus music.”
As the movie progressed, I felt like it was a step back in time when youth culture was searching for something that was real, and ordinary, flawed people were used in extraordinary ways. It was a unique time when new believers simply started accepting that Jesus was who he said he was. It was a movement where explosive faith was being practiced and lived out in its purest form, in all of its complicated and messy glory.
Music was a huge part of the Jesus movement, and, though I was very young at the beginning of it, my life was absolutely shaped by it’s influence all the same.
Love Song, Mustard Seed Faith, Honeytree, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Chuck Girard, Keith Green, Amy Grant, Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy, Petra, Sweet Comfort Band……they all taught me to sing to God, not just about God, and I developed the rock-solid faith that would see me through my entire life. As one who frequently felt misunderstood and was fighting battles at home even my sweet church family knew little about, in this music I found a language that allowed me to feel seen and loved by Jesus the revolutionary.
And I still do.
Feeling all nostalgic on Day 14!
If you were around “back in the day” or are just curious to know what Jesus People were all about, take a musical walk back in time and look up some of the above artists. I know I have….and not only are the memories sweet, but the challenge to simply believe that Jesus is who he says he is has been reignited.
Proud to be among the Jesus People!
Peace and love,