Reflecting on Keith Green’s Impact 30 years after His Tragic Death
Today, July 28th, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of Keith Green’s death. I wasn’t even a Christian back in 1982, and had no clue who this great man of God was. When I became a Christian in 1985, I was immediately introduced to him. He had a profound impact on my life.
Back then, contemporary Christian music was in its infancy. The local Christian book store had an 8′ x 4′ section of a wall dedicated to it. There wasn’t much! Basically it was The Rez Band, Twaila Paris and Keith Green. Of course there were others (who can forget “Under Cover”? I was a musician, and I needed to be weaned off of my AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith and KISS addiction. My best friend Sergio introduced me to the perfect answer: A guy who played piano and challenged the heck out of you to take the call of Christ seriously: Keith Green
It wasn’t his music that touched me. Sure, the music was great, but it wasn’t the hard-driving rock that I had grown up with. Instead, it was his lyrics. No matter what topic he wrote about, it always made me think about my walk with Christ. I was always challenged to go deeper, to stop pretending, to actually obey Christ. In fact, I don’t think I could ever listen to his songs casually. The songs would always make me stop and think about my life.
Keith Green fans are typically older now. We are in our late thirties and older. Get a bunch of us together in the same room, and ask us who had the greatest impact on us as younger christians, and many of us will name Keith. He challenged a generation to be Christ followers. He did it very, very well.
He didn’t do it for the money or recognition. In fact, he actually gave his albums away. I even have a copy of one of those albums where it says on the album cover:
“THIS RECORD MAY NOT BE SOLD!”
“This recording may be copied for private or ministry use only-Copies may not be sold at ANY price!”
Can you believe that?
Keith saw himself as more of an evangelist than a musician. I always viewed him as more of a prophet to the church.
I am still a musician, older and wiser (The older part is certain, and I am hoping that the wiser part is too). Sadly, there isn’t much in today’s Christian music that moves me like Keith Green’s ministry did. Not even in the “Worship” genre. Everything seems entirely entertainment focused and profit driven.
On the 30th anniversary of his death, I want to publicly state how much his ministry meant to me. I will be forever grateful for how Keith Green shaped my life!
I can only hope and pray that God raises up someone else who can impact today’s younger generation like Keith did!
If you have a similar experience with Keith’s ministry, feel free to share it here, with the rest of us!
Posted on July 28, 2012, in Christianity and tagged CCM, christianity, Contemporary Christian Music, cross-centered worship, El cristianismo, entertainment, Gospel, inspiration, Keith Green, Life, music, news, Not For itching Ears, singing, worship, Worship Leading. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.