ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SINGERS!

THE KINGS OF CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC BELIEVE THAT THEIR PRAYERS ARE ABOUT TO BE ANSWERED.

That changed following an acoustic medley of some of Chapman's early material. Chapman began to talk about his family--his wife, Mary Beth, and his three children, Emily, Caleb and Will Franklin. Rather than growing restless during this fifteen-minute soliloquy, the listeners were leaning forward with great interest; in response to one of his pro-family statements, a swarm of young women yelled as excitedly as if he'd just proposed to them. The little girls understood. Then, after a song in which he thanked the Lord above for removing the chains of ignorance that once had bound him, he led the collected masses in prayer as an organ hummed in the background:

"God, we know you are great and we celebrate the fact that you are also so good. You have the power to break the chains of sin. It was your mercy and your grace that led you to send your son Jesus to us. Tonight, those of us who haven't been set free from sin are asking you to forgive us and set us free from that prison. We pray this prayer in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our savior. Amen."

As a deafening cheer rose to the rafters--boom!--the band lurched into action and the lights began to flash. And as Chapman began to belt out another of his undeniably catchy tunes, "For the Sake of the Call," this pied piper of CCM danced through the glare, figuratively beckoning these youngsters to follow him into a brave new world.

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