Rekindling the Intellectual, Spiritual, Creative legacy of Christians in Culture

The late Rich Mullins (1955-1997) opted out of the CCM craze (Contemporary Christian Music) and chose to live and teach among Native Americans on a reservation in New Mexico. This follower of Jesus was a modern-day Thoreau in two ways: 1) he lived life on his own terms instead of conforming to culture around him; 2) he thought a lot and communicated his thoughts through his life and words.

Mullins was seen as an enigma in CCM, often barefoot, unshaven, and badly in need of a haircut, Mullins did not look like the average American gospel music writer. Unlike most artists, Mullins did not consider his music his primary ministry, but rather a means to pay his bills. Instead, his ministry was the way he treated his neighbors, family and enemies. His concern about today's religious life is captured in this quote, "I really struggle with American Christianity. I'm not really sure that people with our cultural disabilities, people who grow up in a culture that worships pleasure, leisure, and affluence, are capable of having souls, or being saved." He often called St Francis of Assisi his hero and modeled his life after him by showing great compassion towards the poor and taking a vow of poverty. This is the last interview Dick Staub did with Rich in 1997 before he died tragically in a highway accident.


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3 Responses

  1. This was surely another man after God’s own heart. Most of us can talk a good game about what we OUGHT to do, Rich just did it, and only talked about it because his celebrity demanded it and could be used to serve it. And he chose to give his great wealth away and just serve God where he saw needs. I am humbled. He definitely was a modern day St. Francis.

  2. Rich Mullins taught me the meaning of the word Liturgy. It is “A prescribed form or set of forms for public religious worship.” I recently sat down and watched a mass that was being shown on a Catholic television station, and I saw why Rich decided to create a similar order to Saint Francis’s. It is so nice to see a group of people that have so much dedication and are so focused on the truth. And like Rich said, the truth is not so much a statement of beliefs as it is a person. And that person is Jesus Christ.

    Francis had a large group of people who walked along beside him as they strived to live in obedience and experience Truth. Francis called these people his brothers, and they strengthened him and together they grew in their walk with the Lord. Rich Mullins desired to create the same atmosphere in today’s world. I believe he has suceeded in doing so, because I see people who still share this same vision long after Rich went Home to be with his Heavenly Father.

  3. The last time Rich was in my studio in Chicago I was taken by his lack of self-awareness of the impact he had on people. It was his humility that impressed me…even to the point of an almost tentativeness. He spoke frankly and was brutally honest, but delivered the truth with an awareness of his own limitations that made it come across soft and textured.

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