AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL
10 Things Every Christian Music Fan Should Do
NRT's founder, Kevin McNeese, lists a number of things that every Christian music fan should be doing this summer.
 


Christian music fans come in all varieties. On one side of the spectrum, you have the casual listener who can recognize the major artists and big radio songs but rarely dives deep into an artist's catalog or will keep up on what's new. On the other side, you have the hardcore fan who will consume anything that has "Christian music" stamped to it. And in-between you have the Sunday worshipper, who enjoys anything vertically pointed, alongside the genre conscience who gravitates to a specific type of music and rarely deviates from their favorite style.
 
And that's what I love about Christian music. There is literally something for everyone to digest. 
 
So what level of Christian Music Fan are you? We've put together a short survey that you can take below to help determine where on the scale you land. Post in the comments below and let us know what you scored, along with any other ways you are showing your love for Christian music! 
 
1. Attend a Summer Music Festival

This should be the official rite of passage for any Christian music fan. Each summer, tens of thousands gather in fields, on boats and in amusements parks to experience hours (sometimes many days) of Christian music across multiple stages. From braving the elements at your campsite, to praising along with 50,000 others under the stars, to watching your favorite artists with Cinderella's castle as the backdrop, these experiences will be treasured for a lifetime and should be a "must-do" on your list. Click here for a list of festivals this summer.
  • Points if you've attended a festival this year: 5
  • Bonus points if you traveled out of state: 2
2. Support a Crowd Funding Project

Crowd funding became mainstream a few years ago with the launch of KickStarter, a site that allowed you to invest in projects of all shapes and sizes while receiving bonuses for supporting their way to being fully funded. It didn't take long for Christian artists to join, and now signed and indie artists are connecting with their fans as they finance new projects, music videos, and tours. Multiple sites have popped up since including Indiegogo and FaithLauncher, which specifically features religious crowd funding projects. For a list of featured projects, go to NRT's new section, Launch Pad.
  • Points if you've recently funded a project: 5
  • Bonus points if that project fully funded: 2
3. Download an Album on NoiseTrade

It's been over a decade since illegal downloading totally changed the music industry. Since then, we've seen legal options come online, first with iTunes and then through streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. NoiseTrade.com, co-founded by Christian artist Derek Webb, has been providing legal downloads of music for a few years now and has a great selection of Christian music to get. All it takes is an email address and an optional tip to the artist (you can choose to keep the service free). Start with the new album from Robbie Seay Band. It's fantastic.
  • Points if you've download an album on NoiseTrade: 5
4. Listen to NRTRadio 

The average Christian radio station adds anywhere from 2-5 songs per month to their shrinking playlists. It's the core reason why you hear the same songs over and over again, and why the Christian radio charts are saturated with songs that released 6-12 months ago. We know there's a lot more music out there that radio isn't even touching, so that's why we created NRT Radio. We have a 9-hour playlist without a single repeat, no commercials and no DJs. Just new song, after new song. We feel it's one of the best ways to discover what's new in Christian music and we'd love for you to tune in.
  • Points if you've listened for at least one hour this month: 5
5. Recognize a Christian Song in a Non-Christian Location 

You know you're a true Christian music fan when you're shopping in a store and the world stops when a Christian song comes through the speakers. It's such a fun moment to hear Christian music in public places, inserted into everyday life. And catching the eye of another Christian music fan is equally thrilling.
  • Points if you've heard a Christian song recently in a public forum: 5
  • Bonus points if someone you were with caught it at the same time: 2
6. Watch a Band's Vlog on YouTube

Social media has quickly become an artist's best friend. Never before have fans had such a personal relationship with artists. It brings the artist closer, their songs become more alive and a true connection happens beyond the song. Many bands are making video journals (known as vlogs) and uploading them to YouTube and Facebook, and they are typically one of the best ways for a Christian music fan to waste a few minutes. Go explore your favorite artists and learn something new about what makes them who they are!
  • Points if you watched a vlog recently: 5
  • Bonus points if you shared it through your social networks: 2
7. Download an NRT App For Your Mobile Device
 
NRT has two very different apps that help you stay connected to Christian music. Our NRT Mobile app (available on iOS and Android) allows you quick access to the world's largest Christian music database. Artist info, album and track listings, lyrics, photos, and the upcoming release schedule are all just a tap away. And our NRT Weekly app (available for iOS) highlights six artists a week and gives you quick access to exclusive NRT content, videos and more.
  • Points if you have one of our apps: 5
  • Bonus points if you have both: 2
8. Volunteer at a Christian Music Event
 
Christian concerts would simply not exist without the help of volunteers. Sponsor tables, merch booths, security, parking, set up and tear down all rely on volunteer help. While all are necessary, there are two positions that every Christian music fan should do at least once. The first would be working a merch table. Artists make most of their living selling merchandise on the road, and typically, they need volunteers to help them manage the merch booths. It's crazy, a lot of work and the time just flies by, but it's so fun. The second position would be an official runner for an event. A runner is basically help on wheels. You provide the car, and do whatever the tour needs. I've had Audio Adrenaline in my car before taking them to the laundromat. The guys in Jars of Clay wanted to go to a coffee shop. Or the tour manager needed some basic office supplies. It's a great way to serve the tour and possible get some cool stories in return.
  • Points if you've served at a merch table: 5
  • Points if you've served as a runner: 5
  • Bonus points if you've done both: 2
9. Dive Into Christian Music's Roots
 
I've been around Christian music for just over two decades now. My first taste of Christian music was Audio Adrenaline's Don't Censor Me, and I was hooked. But now, I'm started to gain some good perspective on the music that I grew up with. It's harder if you're a younger fan, or just beginning to get into Christian music, but as a genre, our roots aren't that deep. The Jesus Movement happened in the 70s and it wasn't until the late 80s and early 90s that Christian Music really started to take off. The music has changed, but the message hasn't. And it's always good to remember where we've come from.
  • Points if you own an album from the 1970s: 5
  • Points if you own an album from the 1980s: 5
  • Points if you own an album from the 1990s: 5
10. Give Christian Music as a Gift

So often I'm racking my brain about what to get my friends and family. A gift card to the mall. A new sweater. An item off their wish list. But for $10, I can get them music that will share the gospel, provide hope and encouragement to their day. It's an easy add on to another gift and could be the very thing they need that can turn around their day... or life!
  • Points if you've given Christian music as a gift: 5
  • Bonus points if that gift started a conversation: 2
That's it! Here's the scale:
  • 65 and up - Mega Christian Music Fan
  • 45 - 64 - Super Christian Music Fan
  • 25 - 44 - Normal Christian Music Fan
  • 24 and lower - Casual Christian Music Fan
How did you do?I can't wait to read all your comments!

Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.

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