It was 1973, in the news the Vietnam war was ended by an agreement signed in Paris, war broke out against Israel and the Arab oil embargo began impacting fuel supplies in America. In the Spiritual realm, the Jesus Movement revival was growing with more and more hippies turning away from drugs and into Jesus. Rock and roll music contained lyrics like, “Jesus is just alright, Jesus is alright with me.” But a deeper work began by the Holy Spirit in worship that transcended anything in hundreds of years; worship choruses, many with scripture words, were spontaneously created in gatherings from voices and hearts of these new believers. Some early works were recorded; Children of the Day, “Come to the Waters”, was an example and forerunner of what later became Contemporary Christian music. Nashville, TN became a center of this new genre, with artists like Larry Norman, Amy Grant, Don Francisco, Keith Green, Andrea Crouch, John Micheal Talbot and many others. At one point this music became bigger than County music and now under a larger blanket of Gospel music it has branched out with many styles mimicking secular music trends.
The Jesus movement revival ended but during that period God redeemed a generation of youth and expanded worship to a much larger audience. Very few churches fail to offer a contemporary worship service along with traditional services. It may be that people who did not grow up with the hymns are better able to worship with familiar songs they hear on the radio. God knows our heart and seeks worshipers who worship in Spirit and truth. If we do not praise Him the rocks will cry out.
Another significant aspect brought about in this revival was a shift away from denominations and a heart for unity among all believers. Today, we see many non-denominational churches that welcome believers from all backgrounds. Even many churches within denominations are dropping their denomination name in favor of wider acceptance among those who embrace unity among believers. If persecution of Christians increases in America as it has world-wide it may very well cause these denominational distinctions to diminish altogether.
Lord, send revival and workers into your harvest. Unite your people in love according to your purpose – “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17: 23).