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Mar 13

Concerts or Converts?

Concerts or Converts Slide

 

Making music for the right reason

Seems like an easy question doesn’t it? “Well of course we’re here to tell people about Jesus!” And you would be right in saying that. If you’re a Christian band or artist and you’re lyrics are laced with Truth, then yes, you are telling people about Jesus. But the question is this: is the only reason you do what you do for more concerts or converts?

To me, this question is quite possibly the hardest for anyone that is in a ministry related job. Hopefully, if you are a pastor, youth minister or a Christian artist you are keeping your eye on the prize which is telling the world about Jesus Christ and raising up disciples. However, the veil of “pastor” or “Christian artist” could be very easy to hide behind and fool yourself into thinking you are doing just that. I don’t mean to be coy, or to even imply that people in minstry aren’t leading people to a relationship with Christ. I’m just saying it could be very easy for them to tell themselves they are when they very well are not purposefully doing anything to advance the Gospel.

For example picture a business man or woman. Now, picture that business person as a Christian in the work place, perhaps even a CEO of a company, large or small. This CEO not only prays for his company and business, but also for the people in it. He consistently prays with his people, leads a weekly Bible study for his employees and has even helped lead people to a relationship with Christ. Many times he’s sacrificed personal gain to avoid laying off employees or showing employee appreciation. Compare that business person with another Christian business CEO that is only concerned about how his workers are increasing his profits, never prays with his employees and sees his people merely as a number. Which do you think is purposefully seeking to advance the Gospel?

The second Christian CEO may answer the question “How have you advanced the Gospel in your workplace?” with statements like the following:

  • I haven’t cheated or lied to clients.
  • I skirt the grey areas of the rules, but never break any laws and still manage to maintain a good conscience and make a good profit.
  • I don’t curse at the workplace.

See a common denominator there? A rigid following of the “don’t do this” list and skirting as close to the line of legality to make a profit. What they consider as advancing the Gospel is extremely passive (what they are not doing) and their main concern is about the numbers. To translate into a ministry occupation, let’s look at contrasting bands. Band number one is like our first CEO. They pray with their band members regularly, before each concert they pray for God to do great things and they sometimes take great personal sacrifices to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Band number two, however, rarely prays, is more concerned about how many tickets are sold to concerts and how many CDs they sell and are relunctant to take any personal sacrifice so that others might share in the wonder and glory of Jesus Christ.

I pray that our Christians in the spotlight are never like band number two. Mucking up Truth in order to appeal to more potential listeners, less concerned about the people and more concerned about the number of people and basically being indistinguishable from someone who is not a Christian. Is that what you want your legacy to be? Is that what you want to say to Jesus at the end? That you worked for one more concert, for one more CD sale?

Do not get me wrong here. I am in no way saying it is wrong for an artist to make a profit and a living on music. In fact, that’s what we’re here for is to promote indie bands to the point that they hopefully make it big. This article is intended to serve as a warning to artists to not let one more concert become the goal. Be purposeful in your ministry. Be unique among bands.

 

 

1 comment

  1. E.H.


    What a great, timely reminder. Intention, priorities, and follow through are steps along the way that can become separate from each other. I want to have a specific effect, but as I do that, I need to keep the priorities in focus in order to be able to achieve the results I hoped for in the first place. Especially lately, external forces cloud things and holding onto my priorities and values takes more mental focus. Coming back to my reason and goal helps me stay centered. The hardest parts for me are the the unintended side effects. I think I know what might happen but I will never know how it all works together, and chances are I’m wrong on what might happen anyway. Your devotional here reminded me of the parts I need to keep in mind. The ins and outs, while important, are not the motivation for action but rather inform how or perhaps when (etc) to implement action. Keeping the people as my priority and God as my strength and guide, while sounding horribly cliché, is critical.

    Thank you.

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