I just returned from a week long Student Mission Trip with Carolina Cross Connection. The week was filled with home repair work during the day and then spiritual encounters around the campfire by night.
This was my 10th year with CCC (seven at Mt. Carmel UMC during the 90s and now the last three years with Good Shepherd). All those campgrounds and all that worship with all that singing got me thinking about how Christian campfire songs have changed through the decades.
Here you go:
The song of the 80s (and 70s, I’m sure) was “It Only Takes A Spark.” One of the first times I realized that the bible doesn’t command pipe organ for songs to or about God.
The songs of the 90s were “Lord I Lift Your Name On High” and “Awesome God.” Christian music really came of age in the 90s, with radio stations, magazines, and new artists popping up everywhere. So the decade deserves two songs. These were the most singable and the most iconic.
The songs of the 00s were “Shout To The Lord” and “Our God.” Both tunes sort of bridge the decade in question with “Shout” coming in the late 90s and “Our God” dominating the early teens, so I will give them BOTH the first decade of the next century.
The song of the 10s is “Reckless Love.” Think of the progression from the 80s to today … a simple, sentimental, horizontal tune like “It Only Takes A Spark” to the haunting, provocative, and thoroughly Wesleyan (ever heard of prevenient grace?) lyric of “Reckless Love.” This one empowered deep ministry with students and adults alike at Carolina Cross.