School of Music


Doctor of Philosophy


Scott Connell


worship, authenticity, christian artists, message transmission, gospel, lifestyle worship, spiritual disciplines, songs, lyrics, audience, integrity, performance, persona


Liturgy and Worship


This study seeks to establish that congruence between the Christian artist and the piece directly affects the process of Message Transmission. Artist authenticity and perceived artist authenticity are central to this study. Authentic expression must be believed in the heart and then confessed with the mouth (Romans 10:9–10; Matthew 12:34; Matthew 15:18). In the secular space there is an expectation for the artist to embody or emulate the performance piece temporarily while performing the song, but to not “be” the piece in life. In the Christian setting, however, the artist is communicating the means by which people should live their lives and trust for eternity. To be duplicitous would be sinful. Therefore, the primary research question asks, “What is the effect upon the audience when they detect duplicitousness between the Christian artist and the gospel message of the song?” This project applies a mixed-methods approach. Two separate anonymous survey tools have been created to gather data from both the Christian artist’s perspective and the perspective of the audience. The data reveals insight into the topics of Message Transmission, Artist Authenticity, Lifestyle Worship, and Congruence between the Artist and the Piece. Research on this topic contributes statistical and analytical evidence of necessary congruence between the Christian artist and the piece and brings an awareness to the worship community of the spiritual influence belonging to the Christian artist. It also provides the data-supported responsibility of the Christian artist to walk in integrity and authenticity. Opportunities for further research includes a study of the inner working relationships between the artists with an awareness of the competitive nature in which the artists live and work and how these realities may affect the process of Message Transmission, as well as investigating the role the audience plays in the process of Message Transmission.