Lutherans do have a voice on the contemporary Christian music scene. A low-key duo called Lost and Found ministers to audiences of teens with acoustic Christian rock music--banged out aggressively on piano and guitar.
George Baum and Michael Bridges, both lifelong Lutherans, also lead discussions for their young audiences and spend time with them one-on-one and in groups. Lost and Found plays 150 dates a year nationwide.
"They have turned teenagers on to Christ more than anyone I have ever met in 15 years of church work," says Julie Romine, who served as youth director at St. Luke Lutheran Church, Cordova, Tenn. St. Luke hosted Lost and Found for a state youth retreat.
"Through their music, their enthusiasm for Christ and their clear gospel message, they accept kids where they are," Romine says. "They are able to communicate to teenagers that Jesus can change their lives."
Matthew Geerdes, a psychology major at Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, is one such teen. "Seeing Lost and Found definitely changed my outlook about my relationship with God," he says. "Their music had, and continues to have, a big impact on my life."
"The one message that we exist to share," Bridges says, "is that God has loved each of us with an everlasting love that depends not on how we behave, how hard we work, how happy we are or how enthusiastic we can be--but on the fact that God loves us because God is a merciful God, a God who, in Christ, has changed the cosmos."
Bridges, who holds master's degrees in public policy and in theology, admits that he prefers traditional hymns and liturgy during Sunday worship. But he also believes that modern, doctrinally sound Christian music can enlighten and empower young people.
"It's ironic that Martin Luther was one of the biggest proponents of contemporizing Christian songs in his day," he muses. "Yet our denomination, for all its rich musical heritage, has not found a home in the world of today's Christian music."
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