What dcTalk taught me about reaching others

When I was growing up during the early to mid 90’s, I was introduced to a music group called dcTalk.  At the time, I didn’t realize that there was such a thing as Christian music outside of what you would sing in church on Sunday mornings.  I was more of a country music fan at the time, but the first time my cousin Josh let me listen the Free At Last album by dcTalk, I was hooked.  They quickly became my favorite group, and honestly they still are to this day, even though the three members of the group have all moved on to other Christian groups now.

My first concert that I ever went to was dcTalk’s Jesus Freak tour, with dcTalk headlining, and a little group opening called Audio Adrenaline.  I was blessed enough to be able to see them in concert one other time, on the Supernatural tour.  I can’t remember all the groups with them on this tour, but The W’s with their one hit, The Devil is Bad were there.  dcTalk’s music influenced much of my life, and it changed the face of Christian music, which has allowed for bands playing just about any style of music with a Christian theme to be possible.

Arguably, dcTalk’s biggest hit, although they have many, would be Jesus Freak.  The chorus of the song, if you haven’t heard it before, goes something like this;

“What will people think
When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak
What will people do when they find that it’s true
I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak
There ain’t no disguising the truth”

If I was forced to pick my all-time favorite song, I think I would have to go with this one.  There are other songs that come close, but it makes me want to live my life like a Jesus Freak.  In fact, part of my blog name comes from this song.  I have told my wife on countless occasions, in all seriousness, that I want this song played at my funeral, because I hope that I have lived my life as a Jesus Freak, living completely sold out for Him!  We had a live band play our prelude, entrance, and exit music for our wedding.  My groomsmen and I walked into my wedding with Jesus Freak being played.  To say that this is an important song to me would be a huge understatement.  And there is a lot we can learn from the song as well.

Over the first couple of weeks of November 2014, Kelley and I have had the opportunity to attend two separate Christian concerts.  We saw 7eventh Time DownFamily Force Five, and The Newsboys here in Carlsbad, NM.  Then we went to the opening night of WinterJam in Rio Rancho, NM.  I bring this up because dcTalk hasn’t been together since the late 90’s or 2000, and Jesus Freak is now close to 20 years old.  But during both of these concerts, Jesus Freak was played.  Granted The Newsboys lead singer is Michael Tait, one of the members of dcTalk, but it still shows the influence we can have if we are able to present the message of living sold out for Christ in a way that truly changes the way people see it.

I’m not saying that we need to change our message.  The message of Christianity and what it means to this world is the best message anyone can ever receive.  The message of the cross, and the grace that God shows us through the cross is the best story that has ever been told.  And the best part is that it is completely true!  But we have to find ways to tell this story in such a way that we can bring in the masses.  dcTalk changed the course of Christian music by being willing to push the envelope.  They found new ways to present a 2,000 year old message, without watering down or changing the message itself.  And because of the way they did it, 20 to 30 years later, their form of the message is still being used to try and tell the greatest story ever told!

May we learn from them, and may we be able to reach the world with the most important story that they will ever here.

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