The Long-Promised List

Alongside with many other practical topics, the subject of music was addressed in the 2009 Upstream Camp. Perhaps, it has always been that music was a highly controversial sphere of life, an extremely ‘gray’ area of life; a pliable tool ready to be used in any way, yet always maintaining an innocent reputation. The seeming ambiguity in music prompted us to discuss this topic.

The intent of the sermon addressing music was not to deal with the subject comprehensively, a topic like this deserves the whole camp to be devoted to it, and even then we would only be scratching the surface. There is a reason why music has been a highly controversial area for Christians, even to the point of splitting many churches. We must therefore admit that it is a very complicated phenomenon presented to any believer. Conversely, the goal of the sermon was to prompt every believer to approach this sphere of life with full sincerity, seeking the will of God earnestly to listen to music that would serve to honor their Lord while establishing their soul. But it must be noted, that by-in-large, and perhaps unfortunately, this battle requires to be fought primarily in the heart of each believer. The church will not be creating lists of which artists are allowed and which ones are not. These lists must be created by all earnest Christians, as they seek to apply the objective principles of God’s word to every sphere of life.

When we speak of being upstream, we must understand that “upstream” is not a goal in and of itself. It is a means to our goal. Therefore, when it comes to music, merely selecting music that is contrary to our culture is not the purpose. The objective is a pursuit for music that could enrich our Christianity, uplift our souls and become a means of receiving grace, for the edification of our souls.

With all that said, I must also admit that I’m not very up-to-date with many contemporary groups, and rarely do I listen to Christian radio; therefore, you might be able to get a much better list from many other fellow Christians who understand and love good music. Nevertheless, since it was promised, I would like to present a brief starting list of artists who have blessed my soul through their music ministry.

As a brief preamble, I am compelled to add a few disclaimers. I don’t know everything about these artists, in fact, most of them I know very little about. Nor am I saying that I’m highly recommending all of their music, but rather that they have in their repertoire a good amount of helpful music. I’m not indicating that all of their music is equally good, some of them I like more because of the lyrics, others because of the quality of music. And finally, this list is not in any particular order, I appreciate many of them to the same extent.

1. Keith & Kristyn Getty (www.gettymusic.com)
2. Steve Green
3. Dan Goeller
4. Philip Webb
5. Aaron Minick
6. Jazz Meets Hymns (Juju song)
7. Jubilant Sykes
8. Fernando Ortega
9. Jadon Lavik
10. Chris Rice
11. The Gaither Band
12. Metro Life
13. Sovereign Grace Music (http://sovereigngracemusic.org)
14. Jason Gray
15. Casting Crowns
16. Indelible Grace Music
17. Sojourn Music

I hope that in the future, as I am exposed to other helpful artists, we can have more options posted so that you will have some direction when purchasing music either for yourself or for someone else. Feel free to email any recommendations to music@slovo.org.


  1. Eugene Shkarovskiy says

    Paul, thank you. You remind us of a very important truth, namely, that going ‘upstream’ is not a goal but the means that lead us to that goal. It is a direction. Understanding that leads us to intentional living not only in music selection but in selection of movies, clothing, words, friends, etc.

  2. Roman says

    By the way I think Sons of Korah has some amazingly helpful music. They take the Psalms from the Bible and sing them.

  3. Serge Kukin says

    Thank you Paul.
    Another band I really enjoy is Enfield, especially their Hymn Session.

  4. Paul Mikhaylenko says

    Thanks guys, yeah, I have both of those CD’s, and there’s some good music there. Although, Enfield’s past albums have been way too metallic, I think the hymns project is a step in the right direction. I thought I’d limit the list somewhere not to overwhelm anyone 🙂

  5. Arkadiy Dorokhov says

    Paul, more recommendations will be most welcomed 🙂

  6. Eugene Shkarovskiy says

    I enjoy listening to Pam Kenyon Snider expressing the hymns on piano (This is the wife of Andy Snider). There are times when this kind of music serves as a good break from the contemporary styles.

    Another example of devotional music for me are hymns by Kory Welch. I like that he is less dramatic than Philip Webb, yet more vocal than Ortega.

  7. Abby Bak says

    Thanks paul, I’m always on the hunt for good songs. This is really helpful.

  8. David Morgun says

    I’ve also come across some good [re-arranged] hymns by Red Mountain Church Music

  9. Paul Mikhaylenko says

    David, YES! I totally forgot about Red Mountain Church Music. I totally should have included them. I remember, you’ve shared this group with me before

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