WOW: Christian Kid Jams from the 90s


When someone tells you to "Go West," do you automatically follow it up with "Young Man?" If so, you might be a Christian kid of the 90s like me. I grew up as a PK (pastor's kid) in East Texas where we jammed out with the best of them - Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Michael W.Smith - you know the ones.

I was talking with a couple of my co-workers at lunch yesterday and we were reminiscing over our favorite contemporary Christian songs from our childhood and I thought I would put together a little compilation of some of the best. While I am admittedly not an expert on music, I definitely listened to my fair share of Christian music in this decade and these were some of my favorite songs released in the 90s.

Secret Ambition

Q: How many times did you hear this Michael W. Smith song around Easter?
A: Too many to count.

The message is great and the mullet is rockin'. Smitty never disappointed.

Circle of Friends

I will publicly admit Point of Grace was my favorite band/singers/performer/CDs/everything from about 1994-1998. Who else could describe my feelings for my friends so perfectly?

The Great Adventure

Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze! Clearly, adventure and the wild West were hot topics in the early 90s and nobody sang it better than Smitty and his contemporary Steven Curtis Chapman. I distinctly remember going on a family road trip from Texas to Tennessee with this cassette tape on rewind (we didn't have repeat back then) from our portable boombox.

Note: We may have had to stop once or twice to replace the eight DD batteries required to keep the boombox operational.

Jesus Freak

What will people say when they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak? DC Talk posed a really great question and youth groups across the land responded, "We don't care, let's be freaks."

Basics of Life

This was my first cassette tape. I think I was 6 or 7 when I got it and 4 Him had me singing about the basics of life before I even know what the "basics" were.

Baby Baby

In her 1991 album, Heart in Motion, Amy Grant was trying to decide if she was a Christian artist or a pop singer. I didn't know the difference at the time. All I knew was the beat to "Baby, Baby" was a great one to help me develop my running man skills for my school talent show.

Shine

The Newsboys were a breath of fresh air on the Christian music circuit in the mid-90s. The first music video I remember watching, I actually had it on a VHS with the other WOW 1997 artists. It wasn't VH1 material, but it was definitely memorable!

Here I am

Rebecca St. James was young, Australian and had great hair. I wanted to be her when I grew up. This was another song I didn't quite understand its depth to at a young age, but it's neat to look back and see the truth I was learning through songs like this one.

Flood

To this day, when I see a flooded street, this song comes to mind. Jars of Clay made a big splash (pun intended) with this song on their self-titled debut album.

[Does anyone else remember "Flood" playing on the radio in A Walk to Remember?]

On My Knees

Jaci Velasquez rounds out my list with this classic that was sung in churches for years. I remember getting on my knees, closing my eyes and belting this one out. Was there any other way to sing along?

Added bonus

Who could forget Butterfly Kisses? Bob Carlisle found his way into almost every wedding for the next 10 years with this daddy/daughter tribute.

Thanks for going down memory lane with me. What are some songs or artists I left off the list?

Related articles: Discovering the ‘who’ in go and make disciples / Descubriendo el ‘quién’ en id y haced discípulos / Teaching children the power of worship