From radical rock-style songs denouncing the hypocrisy of the Establishment to heart-touching folk ballads about God’s love, music—written by COG members—was an important part of the COG’s outreach and one of their outstanding trademarks since the California Light Club days of the Teens for Christ. During the COG era, groups of a half-dozen to two dozen members could be seen in parks or walking the streets of major cities, happily singing, clapping, and playing their guitars.
These “Holy Ghost samples” attracted crowds of young people who had never seen anything like it. COG teams also frequented pop festivals, where their music was a key to reaching those who gathered there in search of love, peace, and fulfillment.
Music is our message! Music is our ministry!—Don’t fake it!—Or you’ll be a phony—like the rest of ’em! Use it!—Like it!—Feel it!—Sing it—Do it!—In the Spirit!—And it’ll live in their hearts forever—by His Spirit!
“Sock It to Me!—That’s the Spirit!” 1970
Our music is the miracle which attracts so many to our message about the Man! So don’t neglect your music. Some have even asked the Lord to help them to learn to sing and play who never had before, and God has given them the gift for His ministry. It is indeed a miraculous gift for the healing of many souls and bringing life to many lives and peace to many minds and hearts. What a ministry is music!
“Thanks and Comments,” 1972
In 1974 the ministry of music reached new heights as it gained popularity and bands in Europe and South America landed recording contracts and big-stage performances. In France, “Les Enfants de Dieu” recorded the number-one hit single of the year: “My Love Is Love.” Their show troupe appeared regularly on the Guy Lux TV show—the French equivalent of Ed Sullivan—and performed around the country.
Meanwhile the COG band in Brazil, “Os Meninos de Deus” (Portuguese for the Children of God), performed at a concert for nearly 250,000 people in the world’s second-largest stadium. They topped the charts with their hit song “Aleluya,” which won the Brazilian “Music Development of the Year” award for 1974. In London in 1973, the COG opened its first “Poorboy Club” in a rented church hall. The club featured live music, a DJ playing popular disco tunes, dramatic skits and entertainment, and dancing. It was an ideal place to invite those who had been witnessed to on the street, where they could hear more about Jesus. Poorboy Clubs soon sprung up in major cities from New York to Rome to Tokyo to Sydney. Thousands received Jesus as their Savior in these clubs, and many thousands more were witnessed to.
Our greatest present push and potential in reaching the youth of the world on a rapid worldwide scale is again in the field of music and even dramatic entertainment, even as we began so long ago in our first little club in California, which started the Jesus Revolution! … Only now we’re doing it on a much larger scale and in many more locations and with much broader exposure in the entertainment fields of TV, radio and worldwide record productions of our music to reach the young everywhere by every means possible with the message of God’s love and a hope and purpose for the future by our proven methods that work!
“To Our Worldwide Family,” 1974