At this very moment, I have been listening to Katy Perry’s new single “Rise” on repeat, and it’s my favorite song of hers that I’ve ever heard. It’s exactly what was needed with everything going on in the world. So much of the religious circles focus on everything that she’s done wrong, but some of her more recent songs have more hope in them than some Christian songs. In case you haven’t looked at the lyrics, she even quotes/paraphrases the Bible.

Back when “Roar” came out and was very popular, Dustin Smith had told us in songwriting class in the school of worship that many songs, specifically that one, should have been written for the church. It’s no wonder I felt like kicking darkness in the face whenever I’d listen to it. This new song of hers takes it to another level. She has lyrics like “victory is in my veins” and “I must stay conscious through the madness and chaos,” words that should remind the church of who we are.

So why bring this up? We all know that music is powerful, and songs will be written one way or another. The question lies in who will write the songs. Katy Perry isn’t even in the church anymore, but she’s writing songs that are empowering people and pushing back fear, things the church should be doing. Sometimes I wonder if she and others are writing these amazing songs because someone in the church didn’t step up to their calling as a songwriter, or because the truth is still in her whether she knows it or not. Or both. We may never know.

I’m tired of so many Christians neglecting this thing we call the music industry. Maybe it’s just where I grew up, but so many of them just ignore the darkness instead of doing something to be a light. It’s not going to get any better until we do something about it. That goes for every area of life, not just music. Darkness won’t go away on its own, because it’s the absence of light; it disappears when light comes to fill the places it was always meant to fill.

P.S. There are a lot of incredible songwriters in the church who are making a difference. I just wanted to encourage all of us to fight the darkness and fear together, because everyone in the body has the responsibility to be the light. 

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