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Nov 13 2009

Songs of Justice, Missions of Mercy

Christianity Today looks at why Christian musicians are embarking on a different kind of world tour.

In the late 1970s, the holy rockers of the nascent Jesus music movement distinguished themselves from their mainstream counterparts even further with one radical step: They discovered social justice. And they did something about it. Little did they know how much their actions—and those of the musicians who followed suit—would impact the world.

Christian music pioneers like Randy Stonehill and Phil Keaggy began partnering with Compassion International in 1979, promoting the evangelical organization's child sponsorship program from the stage and in their album liner notes. Since then, many Christian artists—including Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, MercyMe, Casting Crowns, and Third Day—have partnered with Compassion and World Vision, some earning stipends from the nonprofits. The results are impressive: Due to artist partnerships, more than 1 million children have been sponsored through Compassion International and World Vision. And in 2008, musicians brought in 49 percent of new World Vision sponsorships.

See also:

Sara Groves: Less Charity, More Justice

Steven Curtis Chapman: Beauty Will Rise

Derek Webb: A Different Kind of Neighbor

Third Day: Diversification Is the Key

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