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12.20.09

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11.29.09

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11.15.09

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10.25.09

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10.18.09

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9.27.09

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9.20.09

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9.13.09

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8.30.09

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8.23.09

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8.16.09

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8.9.09

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8.2.09

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7.26.09

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7.19.09

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7.12.09

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7.5.09

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6.21.09

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5.31.09

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5.10.09

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4.26.09

Leeland and Jack Mooring
4.19.09

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4.12.09

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3.29.09

Scott Krippayne
3.29.09

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3.22.09

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3.15.09

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3.8.09

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2.22.09

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2.15.09

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2.8.09

Duke Preston
1.25.09

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1.18.09

Todd Tiahrt
1.11.09


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Conversation: Chris Sligh

From American Idol to Christian radio

Chris Sligh is best remembered as a top-10 contestant on American Idol Season 6. But the mop-headed, wisecracking crooner is also finding a place in the Christian music world with his new album, Running Back to You. TPE Staff Writer Christina Quick recently spoke to Sligh about his faith and career.

tpe: How did you decide to audition for American Idol?

SLIGH: I tried out on a whim. A friend paid for my hotel and drove me down. Only in my wildest daydream did I ever expect to get on the show. I don’t look or act like your typical American Idol contestant. But I ended up making it to the top 10. It was pretty crazy.

tpe: Did being on the show change you in any way?

SLIGH: I think it has to change you at some level. I went from no one knowing who I was to 30 million people having seen my face. It was a little weird.

Fame doesn’t equal a career, but it opens up opportunities to have a career. I got to make an album and sign with a record label, so that’s pretty exciting.

tpe: Why did you want to record a Christian album?

SLIGH: For four or five years, I tried to make it in Christian music. Then I moved into mainstream. I felt like during the competition God was calling me to do Christian music and create a record for the church. That’s what I ended up doing.

tpe: How did you come to accept Christ as Savior?

SLIGH: My parents were missionaries in Germany. When I was 15 years old I became a Christian. But it wasn’t until I was 21 or 22 that I made the decision to follow hard after Christ. It was just a matter of coming to a place in my life where I decided I should make my faith my own. I think everyone who grows up in a Christian home has to decide whether to make that Christianity their own instead of just leaning on the heritage of a godly childhood climate.

tpe: What difference has that decision made in your life?

SLIGH: The idea of having a relationship with Christ as opposed to just having a religion defines everything. It becomes a worldview. Whatever you experience should be viewed through the lens of scriptural evidence and principle.

tpe: Were there any challenges in terms of maintaining your Christian testimony and integrity during the American Idol competition?

SLIGH: I tried to stay accountable and maintain my Christian friendships. I was involved with my church back home as a small-group leader and worship leader. Stepping away from that was difficult. During the competition you have to work seven days a week. You don’t really get a Sunday off. So that was hard. But there was nothing that actively challenged my faith.

tpe: Was the hectic schedule hard on your family life?

SLIGH: It still is. I’m not home a lot. I’m out on the road promoting my album and working on touring. That has changed the way my wife and I approach our relationship. We have to be intentional about making time for each other. It’s been a fun road for both of us, but there have been challenges.

tpe: Judging from your MySpace page, you seem to have maintained friendships with some of the other Season 6 contestants. To what extent do you stay in touch?

SLIGH: I stay in touch with Phil Stacey. We became very good friends. He and I were the only ones, other than the top two, who got signed with record labels. I’m also good friends with Blake Lewis and Chris Richardson. We had a tight-knit group.

tpe: Did the relationships you made on American Idol provide opportunities to share your faith?

SLIGH: There were times when I was able to share my faith with others who were involved with the show. I definitely made friendships that opened up those opportunities. My faith is no secret. I talk about it in interviews all the time. It’s such a big part of what I do and who I am, it’s going to come up.

tpe: What’s ahead for you?

SLIGH: I just want to be able to make music and connect with people, touch lives and bless the church. If God allows me to do this for a career, that’s awesome.

I’ve started writing for a second album. I’ll be doing some producing as time goes on.

I listen to a lot of music and try to stay in the Scriptures.

tpe: How does that Bible reading time help you as an artist?

SLIGH: A lot of times as I’m reading through Scripture, I’ll get an idea for a song I want to write. Mostly it’s helping me learn to trust God. When you do what I do, it’s easy to want to take control and have it all on your shoulders. I’ve started to learn more and more that everything I could do, God can do it way, way better and come up with better scenarios than I ever could.

I would love to have made it further than 10th place on American Idol, but I left everything in God’s hands. I don’t think I could have done it any better than He did.

E-mail your comments to tpe@ag.org.

 

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