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The following post is part of a series called Summer Worship Ideas put together by Natalie Hill and Kevin Kusunoki. You can access other posts in this series via this link. 


The broad genre of independent and alternative music isn't really tied down to a specific sound or style.  It's more known for its inventive use of instruments and sounds that other genres don't often use and unique, poetic ways of writing lyrics.  These sounds could range from bluegrass to electronic, but what makes them unique is that they're innovative.  This playlist consists of a range of styles, with songs from bands who care about the creativity of the sound of their tunes just as much as their lyrics.

Posted
AuthorBlane Young

The following post is part of a series called Summer Worship Ideas put together by Natalie Hill and Kevin Kusunoki. You can access other posts in this series via this link. 


The origins of rap can be traced to West Africa, where stories were often told in a rhythmic pattern to the beat of a drum. This oral tradition made its way across the Atlantic with the slave trade and became a staple in the development of African-American music. James Brown, a major figure in African-American music, is often cited as the “father of hip hop”. 

In the mid 20th century, Caribbean music started to become heavily influenced by American music and deejays began ‘toasting’ over beats. They simply made announcements at parties like where the food was, where the next party was going to be, or what the weather was like. Various DJ’s would creatively embellish these announcements with rhyme. 

The combination of these two influences brought about the advent of rap music. Today, it is often impossible to turn on the radio without hearing rap. One scan through the Billboard Top 100 charts and you may struggle to identify a song without an element of rap. It has become a tremendous influence on culture. However some would argue that rap’s influence has been more detrimental than helpful. 

Christian rap is a relatively overlooked genre in Christian circles. That could be because of the general demographic associated evangelical Christianity, or the affiliation of that style of music with negative cultural influences. Whatever the reason may be, you won’t hear Christian rap being played on Christian radio stations; which is unfortunate because there are some really good Christian rappers out there, whose lyrics are drenched in thick theology. Please take time to really listen to these artists, they write some of the most convicting and uplifting raps. 

Posted
AuthorBlane Young

The following post is part of a series called Summer Worship Ideas put together by Natalie Hill and Kevin Kusunoki. You can access other posts in this series via this link


If you were to walk around and ask people to name a Christian song, a common response you might hear is “Amazing Grace”, or “Come Thou Fount”.

If you grew up in a traditional church you might remember singing from a hymnal without knowing what any of the words meant, yet still thoroughly enjoying the sounds of the organ and the chorus of voices. Hymns are a timeless form of worship that finds its roots in the Reformation movement, and continues to be a huge influence on contemporary worship music. They are influential and still widely sung across churches around the world because these songs are heavily entrenched in scripture.

In fact, the earliest hymns were direct quotations of the Psalms; and only later did hymns begin adding extra-biblical imagery and metaphors. This rich tradition of scriptural composition is what continues to make hymns relevant and popular in the modern church.

The following spotify playlist contains fourteen of our favorite hymns that we hope you will enjoy. 

Posted
AuthorBlane Young

The following is a post written by Natalie Hill in collaboration with Kevin Kusunoki. They both serve on staff at Chi Alpha at American University and share a passion for worship.

Kevin and I are passionate about developing a culture of worship.  It's easy to think worship is just the words on the screen on Sunday mornings or Thursday nights, but worship is much more than that.  David Crowder talks about developing a habit of praise, much like the Psalmists in the Bible.  We believe music has a way of breaking down walls and opening hearts, so we're exploring how we can encourage a culture of worship that's outside of our normal worship services.  

As John Mark McMillan said, "Worship isn't just singing, but thank God it's also singing."

So we're going to be posting Spotify playlists with different genres of music every other week this summer and expanding our view of what worship really is.  We'll start next week, we'd love for you to follow us as we explore how music can be used to worship our Savior!