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Who Influences You Musically?


I’ll ask the question up front for you to ponder for a moment. “Who is influencing you musically?” Thing about it for a moment then keep your answer handy.

I was talking to a group of pastors one time and having great discussions about worship. What was great was that these guys weren’t a part of the worship team or worship pastors – but had such amazing insight into what worship should be. After discussing a ton of questions about what is relevant in worship today – I was asked one question about music – “Who influences you musically?” This was a weird question for me. Anytime anyone asks me what my favorite book is (aside from the Bible) or what my favorite song is – I start to stutter. I do it partially because I either read so many books or take in so much music that I can’t find a landing place.

I got out my Spotify app and took the group through a tour of my Radio stations and showed them a variety of things I listen to…but the question was refocused:

“Is there any one person or group that influences you musically?”

There I am…I am made to come up with an instant answer – and I gave – John Mayer. Was it the wrong answer? Was it the right answer? I know that if I start to write a song musically – it starts to sound a lot like a John Mayer song. I love his honest lyrics. Nothing thats just filler there. Filled with lots of rich lyrics.

…but this isn’t my point.

You see…my Spotify app showed a variety of things I listen to: (In no particular order…just grabbing my last listened to stations)

Derek Webb, Jesus Culture, Mumford & Sons, Bon Jovi, David Crowder*Band, Desperation Band, Vota, Nero, Native American Flute, Hillsong Live, Gary Alan, Carlos Whittaker, Marvin Gaye…

Lots of Christian influence in there to speak of….but I was left with “John Mayer” when I was asked “who is influencing you?” I think, in many ways, that is how most of us are. Our influences are all secular – rarely Christian. When is the last time you heard someone at a secular music award say “I want to thank Chris Tomlin and David Crowder for their influence on my music”?

The question is – is this outside influence….and so much of it in today’s worship music a good thing or a bad ting for our music today? I’d love to hear your thoughts below: