Sorry, But There Are No Stars in Kingdom Ministry
Dreams of stardom, fame, glory, the spotlight! This may not describe you, but it is the desire of a lot of Christian singers. Most are very unrealistic. In my work with singers of varying degrees of talent, I have seen a large percentage of local artists with "stars in their eyes.”
Now I would never say it is wrong to have lofty dreams. I have had them as well. I do believe that as singers we must have goals and ambitions, especially if we are to keep working hard in our craft. However, what a Christian vocalist does is more than a craft, it is something that truly expresses the inner being. It has been described as passion, calling, giftedness, talent, ambition, and so on. However, if accomplishing the goal of stardom is our chief aim, we have missed the mark.
Back in the 1990’s when I first wrote my students on this topic, I had come across a survey by the Gospel Music Association. In it, 49% of the churches they had contacted in 34 states (approximately 700 churches) responded with opinions about the artists who rely, in large part, on the church for their existence. The astonishing report found that churches were scheduling fewer and fewer concerts each year with the most common reason given, “the cost is not worth the benefit.” Churches felt the lyrical content of Christian music was “watered down,” and that artists often talked too much in their concerts. The study showed that the Christian music industry was not (at the time) meeting the needs of the church very well. Artists were serving their interests first, and not those of the church. Overall, the survey produced sufficient evidence to re-ignite a re-evaluation of the Christian music industry's purpose. It would appear the product (Christian music) and this type of consumer (the church) have diverse ideas regarding the Christian music industry's goals.
When churches were asked to prioritize what criteria, they used in selecting an artist, out of seven factors -- artist popularity finished dead last. Cost was fifth, coming in behind musical talent and style. The highest rating? “Character/personality.”
So, aspiring Christian artist, while that study took place in the mid-1990’s, it is still relevant to check your spiritual barometer today and consider these questions before trying to book that next place to "minister:"
Are you interested in singing or ministry?
Do you think more about getting a record deal or more about leading someone to Christ through your singing?
Do you think more about the millions you could reach through a song on the radio or about a lonely neighbor or friend who needs to know of the hope that is in you?
I trust you get the picture. To serve and to sacrifice is greater than any joy wealth or fame can bring, In due season you will reap God's blessings.
Music ministry is God's choice. No desire we have to achieve will gain anything without the grace of God. Moving to Nashville, recording an album (CD), booking concerts, getting radio airplay, etc., will not make you a qualified music minister. That will never hold weight in the eyes of Godly people. Humility and gratefulness will. allow God to use you as He wants. If it is in singing then, amen! If it is in anything else, then so be it!
There are no stars in Kingdom ministry.
© Clint Holden. All rights reserved.