Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"The K-Love Challenge" Day 1: Rules

When I'm driving through rural 'Merica, where the radio station selection is limited, I have a little hobby. I listen to Christian radio and see what wild things I hear.

Driving out to Deep Creek Lake this past weekend, I heard some doozies. For example: there was the couple who wanted to make sure I knew how very important it is for Christian families to have 10 kids because the children of Satan are multiplying faster than we are. And by the children of Satan, what was explicitly meant was: Muslims. In case there was any confusion.

And then, on a different station, there was a preacher who said, "God's name is EL SHADDAI" (this was shouted for emphasis) "which MEANS" (followed by a several minutes long explanation of what El Shaddai means, none of which was very much related to what the Hebrew actually means).

And then, finally, I landed on K-LOVE (teehee), the Christian music station. "Positive, Encouraging, K-LOVE" is a national franchise with local syndication. And nationally, they are kicking off the new year with something called "The 30 Day Challenge": Listen to nothing but Christian music for 30 days, and K-LOVE promises it will change my life.

Also I might win an I-Pad Mini. For Jesus.

"Nothing but Christian music for 30 days!" I thought. "That sounds awful!"

So I'm going to do it and blog about it.

(If you're thinking, "You're a Christian, aren't you supposed to like Christian music?," then stay tuned for tomorrow's post).

I signed up for "The Challenge" yesterday, so I've gotta stick it out 'til Feb 18 for my life to be changed. We'll see how long I last.

The "Challenge" page is a bit short on guidelines, so I'm setting my own rules:

1) By "nothing but Christian music," I mean music that plays on K-LOVE or on the local equivalent (there's no K-LOVE syndication in DC, so my local station of choice is 91.9 WGTS). I can't pick and choose what Christian music I listen to. No playlists of mewithoutYou, Gungor, Matt Jackson, and/or Jenny&Tyler covering Smashing Pumpkins. It's 30 days of Matt Redman, Natalie Grant, and Chris Tomlin's Perfect Hair for me. And it's gotta be Contemporary Christian. No listening to the Staples Singers or Mahalia Jackson, unless they're played on K-LOVE.

2) I will not force the K-LOVE Challenge on anybody else. If someone else is listening to music, I won't tell them to change it. In my car, only 91.9 or its equivalent will play unless someone asks it to be turned off, in which case I'll turn the radio off. I'll wear headphones while listening to music while working or studying.

3) An exception to the Challenge is if I need to listen to anything else for worship planning at Crossroads or AU. (Funny that I might to break the Christian music challenge to plan Christian worship, eh?)

4) My goal--and here I am indebted to Nadia Bolz-Weber's Salvation on the Small Screen? and Kevin Roose's An Unlikely Disciple--is not to mock or judge, but to bring an attitude of curiosity and discernment to the Challenge. I will post one (1) blog about what annoys me about Contemporary Christian Music, and for the rest of the Challenge (as long as I can take it), I'll post about things like: what are the images of God that are prominent on K-LOVE? What sort of theology is communicated? How does K-LOVE compare to other radio stations? Are there songs that I would like to see introduced to the worship services that I have a role in planning? Now, you know me--I struggle to turn off the snark completely. But I'll try to keep an open mind and, when being critical, I'll try to keep my critiques substantive and productive. Ish.

5) I will attempt to blog about my experiences every day, as far as is possible.

And, finally:

6) On the off-chance that I win an I-Pad Mini, I'll donate it to a good cause.

Pray for me! Wish me luck! Do whatever you do! On with The Challenge!

Currently playing on klove.com: "Lift Me Up" by The Afters

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