Cari Jean resides in North Dakota where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.
I love Christian music for many reasons. For one, the lyrics are non-offensive and I can listen to it without having to worry about what words my daughter is going to pick up. I also love how many of the lyrics to Christian songs come straight from the Bible. Christian music has helped me greatly through many struggles and it always helps me to get into a positive mindset when I am writing or have a daunting task ahead.
Even though I only usually listen to Christian music, I still love a good rock song. Here are ten Christian bands, that in my opinion, totally rock!
Hometown: Seneca, South Carolina
I was at work when I heard my first-ever NEEDTOBREATHE song. It was one of those songs that really grabs your attention and you have to find out as soon as possible who sings it. The song was "Shine On."
As much as I loved that song, I was blown away by "Washed by the Water." What an awesome blend of southern rock and gospel! When I saw them live in concert with Third Day, their performance of that song became one of my all-time favorite live performances.
A few things set this band apart:
- They have an amazing ability to cross over into the mainstream (they have opened for Taylor Swift) while keeping their focus on God.
- Bear Rinehart's very unique voice. Even Rob Thomas, the lead singer of the secular band, Matchbox 20 has tweeted about Bear's amazing voice.
Members of NEEDTOBREATHE
- Bear Rinehart
- Bo Rinehart
- Seth Bolt
- Joe Stillwell
- "Shine On"
- "Washed by the Water"
- "Something Beautiful"
- "More Time"
- "Drive All Night"
- "Keep Your Eyes Open"
- "Lay 'Em Down"
- "Difference Maker"
2. Third Day
Hometown: Powder Springs, GA
The band, Third Day, will always be one of my favorite bands. It was with Mac Powell and the guys that I discovered Christian rock music.
I had just rededicated my life to the Lord and was in the midst of getting rid of some of my music that I no longer had the desire to listen to. I had a huge collection of CDs by rock bands such as KISS, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison, Warrant, Tesla, and many other '80s hair bands.
Just as fast as I got rid of my old collection, I began a new Christian music collection. With help from my younger brother, also an avid Christian music fan, and the radio station, KLOVE I discovered many new favorites—Third Day being one of the first among them.
Members of Third Day
- Mac Powell
- Tai Anderson
- Mark Lee
- David Carr
- "King of Glory"
- "40 Days"
- "Children of God"
- "Consuming Fire"
- "Cry to Jesus"
- "I Believe"
- "Love Song"
- "My Hope Is You"
- "Show Me Your Glory"
- "I Need a Miracle"
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Truthfully, a year ago or even six months ago I would have not put this band on my list. But after hearing the songs "Restless" and "Afterlife" on the radio, I bought the CD (Vise Verses) and am now a Switchfoot fan.
Though people may argue that Switchfoot is more of a mainstream band, many of their songs boldly speak of their Christian faith. After getting my new Switchfoot CD, I thought about my niece and nephew who do not listen to Christian music, and the many other teens who don't but am convinced they would like this CD. In fact, the album Life Verses reached number 3 on both the Alternative and the Rock Billboard charts.
Some might have an issue with a band performing both Christian and secular music, but if a nonbeliever is listening to this music because they think it is a great rock album and a song gets them to think about Jesus, more power to the band!
Members of Switchfoot
- Jon Foreman
- Tim Foreman
- Chad Butler
- Jerome Fontamillas
- Drew Shirley
- "Dare You to Move"
- "This is Your Life"
- "This Is Home"
- "Dark Horses"
- "Your Love Is a Song"
Hometown: Greenville, Texas
I don't think there are many Christian music fans who would not have MercyMe on their list of fave bands. Ever since their debut single, "I Can Only Imagine," they have been a huge influence and addition to the Christian music scene. In the decade from 2000–2009, the band was the number one Christian artist of the decade, and their song "Word of God Speak" was the number one Christian song of the decade.
It seems that no matter what stage my life is in, there is always a MercyMe song that goes along with it. It also seems that my favorite MercyMe song changes every time they come out with a new album. Admittedly, there are a few songs by MercyMe that I don't really care for but for the most part, their music and their lyrics minister to my heart and my soul.
Members of MercyMe
- Bart Millard
- James Bryson
- Robby Shaffer
- Nathan Cochran
- Michael Scheuchzer
- Barry Graul
- "I Can Only Imagine"
- "Word of God Speak"
- "So Long Self"
- "All of Creation"
- "You Reign"
- "Bring the Rain"
- "Hold Fast"
- "The Hurt and the Healer"
5. Casting Crowns
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
I love the fact that when Casting Crowns became a Christian band, they were just making music as outreach projects for youth in their area. They did not intend on getting a record label.
God had other plans though because their music ended up in the hands of Mark Miller, of the country band, Sawyer Brown. In 2003, Casting Crowns produced their first album with co-producers Mark Miller and Steven Curtis Chapman. The rest, they say, is history, and Casting Crowns is a Christian household name.
Their self-titled debut album will always be near and dear to my heart as that same year my daughter was born eleven weeks early. Many of the songs on that album ministered to me during that time. One of my favorite songs was "Praise You With the Dance." I would dance around the room with my little baby while listening to that song. Their next album which had the song "Praise You in the Storm" also ministered to me as I struggled to accept my daughter's disability.
Members of Casting Crowns
- Mark Hall
- Juan DeVevo
- Hector Cervantes
- Melodee DeVevo
- Megan Garrett
- Chris Huffman
- Brian Scoggin
- "Voice of Truth"
- "Who Am I"
- "Praise You in the Storm"
- "East to West"
- "Slow Fade"
- "What if His People Prayed"
- "Until the Whole World Hears"
6. DC Talk
Hometown: Lynchburg, Virginia
There will never be another Christian group like DC Talk. Their rap/hip-hop, rock, and pop sound seemed well ahead of their time. In fact, they were probably the first artists who sang, wrote, and performed rap and hip-hop Christian music. While some might not necessarily view them as a band, I just had to include them on my list.
DC Talk was formed in 1987 and their music was popular throughout the 1990s. I admit I didn't listen to Christian music at that time but I had heard of the trio and their album, Supernatural was one of the first Christian albums I ever bought in the year 2000. This was the same year the group began recording solo songs and eventually went their separate ways. Today, Michael Tait is the lead singer of the Newsboys and Toby McKeehan has become singer, songwriter, producer TobyMac.
Members of DC Talk
- Michael Tait
- Kevin Maxx
- Toby McKeehan
- "Jesus Is Just Alright"
- "Consume Me"
- "Into Jesus"
- "In the Light"
- "Luv Is a Verb"
- "Socially Acceptable"
- "Colored People"
- "Jesus Freak"
Hometown: Mooloolaba, Australia
Who doesn't like the Newsboys? They not only sing great worship music but they are so much fun! I'm not sure if some of their quirky lyrics have anything to do with being from Australia, but they definitely have some of the most unique lyrics in all of Christian music.
For example, I have never heard any other Christian band sing about "Captain Crunch waving farewell" from their song "Breakfast." Not to mention a few unique titles of their albums, Love Liberty Disco and Hell is for Wimps.
While their songs are fun, they are on the serious side talking about eternal life and salvation through Christ. They are definitely "Not Ashamed" to share the Gospel message. Besides being a little zany, they also sing some of the most beautiful worship songs.
Throughout their release of 16 studio albums, the Newsboys went through many changes in their band. In 2009, Peter Furler—an original member who started off on drums then went on to lead vocals—was replaced by Michael Tait. Furler still writes songs and produces albums for the band.
Members of the Newsboys
- Former lead singer Peter Furler
- Current lead singer Michael Tait (formerly of DC Talk)
- Jody Davis
- Duncan Phillips
- Jeff Frankenstein
- "I am Free"
- "Entertaining Angels"
- "Love Liberty Disco"
- "Beautiful Sound"
- "Not Ashamed"
- "He Reigns"
- "God's Not Dead"
- "Born Again"
8. Tenth Avenue North
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
The band, Tenth Avenue North is relatively new to the Christian music scene. The guys formed their band while in college at Palm Beach Atlantic University and their first album and tour came out in 2008. In 2009, they won the award for New Artist of the Year.
From their first release, "Love is Here" I was a fan of this band. I became an even bigger fan with the release of "By Your Side." And it seems their music just keeps getting better and better. One of my favorite songs by them is "Strong Enough to Save" which I usually jam to on my way to work. I really look forward to hearing a lot more from these guys and would love to see them in concert someday.
Members of Tenth Avenue North
- Mike Donehey
- Jeff Owen
- Ruben Juarez III
- Jason Jamison
- "Love is Here"
- "By Your Side"
- "Hold My Heart"
- "Healing Begins"
- "You are More"
- "Strong Enough to Save"
- "No Man Is an Island"
Hometown: Nashville, TN
I honestly hadn't even heard of the band, MIKESCHAIR until I wrote a Hub highlighting the 2011 Dove Awards Song of the Year Nominees. Their song "Let the Waters Rise" was one of ten songs nominated. When I was looking for a video to post, I heard the song for the first time and loved it right away.
MIKESCHAIR was formed in lead singer Mike Grayson's dorm room at Belmont University during his freshmen year. The guys were getting frustrated about not being able to come up with a name for their band so they jokingly named it after the chair in Mike's dorm room. The name stuck.
I had a chance to meet the guys from this band when they were in Dickinson, North Dakota touring with Big Daddy Weave and Kerri Roberts. I told Mike they needed to come to Bismarck. He asked where Bismarck was and I told him just 90 miles east of Dickinson on Interstate 94. They were amazed that my friend and I had driven 90 miles to see them in concert. They were super nice and I was thrilled to meet them.
Members of MIKESCHAIR
- Mike Grayson
- Jesse Hale
- Nate Onstott
- Sam Tinnesz
- "Can't Take Away"
- "Straight to Your Heart"
- "Keep Changing the World"
- "Someone Worth Dying For"
- "All For You"
- "Let the Waters Rise"
10. Sanctus Real
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio
I had heard Sanctus Real being played on KLOVE along with our local Christian music station. But honestly, I didn't really start paying attention to them until lead singer, Matt Hammitt's baby boy was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).
HLHS is a rare condition where the aorta and left ventricle are underdeveloped. Basically, babies with this type of heart condition have a heart that is only half functioning.
Upon hearing this news, a friend of mine sent me a link to their blog and I wrote what were hopefully words of encouragement as I was born with a heart defect in which my left ventricle was virtually non-functioning.
I am glad to see that Matt along with his wife Sarah and the band, Sanctus Real has become advocates for children born with congenital heart defects and uses their unique platform to raise awareness. For more information on HLHS or to keep up with Matt's baby, Bowen you can check out his blog Bowen's Heart.
Members of Sanctus Real
- Matt Hammitt
- Chris Rohman
- Pete Prevost
- Dan Gartley
- Mark Graalman
- "The Face of Love"
- "Beautiful Day"
- "I'm Not Alright"
- "Lead Me"
- "We Need Each Other"
- "Everything About You"
- "All of Me"
More Christian Rock Bands
Other Christian bands I really enjoy are:
- Sidewalk Prophets
- Big Daddy Weave
- Selah and Skillet
What are some of your favorites?
Noe on April 23, 2019:
Great article...Great Bands.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 30, 2015:
Patty Inglish, MS - thank you so much for your comment. I really like Skillet too! I'm not sure of the female vocalist's name in that band but she totally rocks!
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 30, 2015:
pstraubie48 - thank you for voting up and sharing this Hub. I truly appreciate it!
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 27, 2015:
Third Day is one of my favorites and I like Casting Crowns, Switchfoot and DC Talk. I also like Skillet. Christian music helps in many circumstances!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 27, 2015:
You have showcased some of my favs. We are adding some contemporary Christian music to our services and I am so excited.
Thanks for sharing.
Angels are on the way to you this evening ps
Voted up and shared
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 22, 2015:
I apologize for the delayed response but thanks all for the great comments! Glad to see so many fellow Christian music lovers out there. I've been known to call myself a "Christian concert junkie" because I LOVE them so much!
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on March 29, 2014:
Definitely have to spend more time with this hub. So many of these groups are new to me. Mercy me - Mercy Me! And Third Day is from my hometown. I remember seeing them play in churches when they were unknown.
I know what you mean about lyrics coming straight from scripture. "Thou Oh Lord" is a standard for my church choir, though the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is a different genre from those bands in your hub. Our director made his New Year's Resolution to select music straight from the Bible. It's been amazing.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on March 28, 2014:
Oh, I love Christian bands too. My husband and I have seen Third Day in concert a few times and we just love them. We have also seen MercyMe and many others here you have mentioned. I really love Casting Crowns too. After listening to rock music, which I loved my whole life, one day I was driving down the road and thought, I am so tired of listening to this same music over and over, and turned the channel, and that was it for me!
Awesome hub. Up and more, pinning, tweeting and sharing
God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper
Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on December 27, 2013:
Great list. From the ones listed, I'm a huge fan of Third Day, Switchfoot, and dc Talk. I also like MercyMe. Haven't heard much of the others.
merylagustin on November 01, 2013:
I love MercyMe. Homesick is one of my favorite songs.
ExpectGreatThings from Illinois on December 17, 2012:
This is a GREAT list - and a really well written hub. Thanks for putting so many great bands all in one place. I have never heard of Mikeschair. That will be fun to check out. I'm so glad you included Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, Selah, Third Day & Sidewalk Prophets. I also like FFH and Newsboys. I was recently introduced to Page CXVI, and I really like their sound.
Betty (Alawine) Overstreet from Vacaville, Ca. on November 11, 2012:
Great Hub! Do you ever give a poor, un-famous Christian singer a listen? Check out my songs on www.reverbnation.com/bettyoverstreet
My husband and I sing Christian music at churches when ever possible. I do the older music: bill Gaither, Dottie Rambo, etc as well as the Old Hymns and some original ones I have written.
keep writing, great Hubs
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 26, 2012:
psychicdog.net - thanks so much for sharing your favorites! Seems MercyMe is on a lot of people's favorites list! They are truly amazing!
psychicdog.net on August 26, 2012:
love the music hubs like this thanks Cari - Mercy Me and Forgiven by Sanctus Real are my faves here
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 25, 2012:
Parksie - thanks so much for your comment. I will have to listen for the song "I Refuse" as I have not heard it.
Christy Parks from St. Peters, Missouri on August 25, 2012:
Thanks, I wasn't familiar with Mikeschair either... Love Newsboys and MercyMe!
My other favorite is Josh Wilson and love his song "I Refuse"