THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN -Glenn Kaiser
Introduction to this reissued online book along with the newly added study guide.
“ THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN” With STUDY GUIDE – OCTOBER 2020 Note: This book is copyrighted, but I am allowing FREE READING AND DOWNLOADING OF THE BOOK TOGETHER WITH THE STUDY GUIDE through this site – [just cut and paste to copy].
After twenty-two years of giving concerts and recording with Resurrection Band (also known as the REZ Band or simply REZ), being a worship leader, pastoring, and teaching music, musicians and ministry seminars at our Cornerstone festival, I must admit that this book it practically wrote itself. It was an outgrowth of the Music, Musicians and Ministry brochure , also available for free download: ( https://musicmusiciansandministry.wordpress.com/ ).
TROTCM is a discipleship journey for followers of Jesus. This book is all about relationship issues – and that’s the heart of the matter. The REZ Band, Cornerstone Magazine, Cornerstone Press Chicago and the Cornerstone Festival have ceased performances and are no more. Also, considering that this book has been out of print for many years, I began to pray with the desire to offer it online. One fine day it seemed to me that I received the Lord’s approval. The NEXT DAY, a pastor from another state in the United States emailed me about this book and asked if we had ever made a study guide to go along with it. He mentioned that he had a church with many musicians and wanted to use it as a text for his teaching sessions. Amazing!
Following Jesus has been and will continue to be the number one aspiration of my life. I keep writing, recording and playing a lot of music for people in jails, prisons, motorcycle events and blues; I also do it for the church and for the street. I will continue with this work as long as I have encouragement because the Creator has not stopped lovingly approaching all those who open their “ears to hear.”
For now, in this simple book you have the essence of what I think are the most important issues. These themes are independent of where, with whom or to whom you take your musical offers. As incredible and sweet as the gift of music is, the deepest privilege and responsibility lie in loving the Lord our God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. These commandments are God’s wish and will for all those who acknowledge Jesus as their Savior, including musicians.
Shared with love and grateful to God for his grace, -Glenn Kaiser – Chicago, October 2020.
OF THE CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN
GIVING EVERYTHING to the One who FREELY GIVES
THE GIFT OF CREATIVITY
Cornerstone Press Chicago
1994 Glenn Kaiser. All rights reserved.
Originally published in English under the title:
The Responsibility of the Christian Musician
Cornerstone Press Chicago
Chicago, Illinois United States of America.
Spanish Translation by Carlos Mestayer
Published by Cornerstone Press Chicago, the communication arm of Jesus People USA, Covenant Church. Jesus People USA is a community of Christians serving the poor, the homeless, and the elderly in the northern section of Chicago. Nationally and internationally, Jesus People is known for Cornerstone magazine, Grrr recordS label bands (REZ [Resurrection Band], Cauzin ‘effekt, CRASHDOG, and The Crossing), and for the Cornerstone Festival. If you want more information about Jesus People USA and its ministries write JPUSA attention: Cornerstone Press Chicago, 939 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago IL 60640
All the biblical texts of God Speaks Today The Popular Version Bible, second edition, Copyright © United Bible Societies 1966, 1970, 1979, 1983; except when noted.
my strength and song
my dearest friend
To Rebecca, Heidi and Amy,
my greatest gifts
Responsibility to your Father, God
Responsibility to the Family
Growing at Home
Responsibility to the Family of God
The Church in General
Responsibility to your Potential Family
A vast percentage of God’s Word deals with attitudes and relationships. Our personal relationship (or lack thereof) with God is first and foremost. It is from this relationship and the relationship with others that we develop our talents by sharing what we call “life”.
What a difference between heaven and hell! We as Christians are children of heaven. Our values, motivations, and goals must mature in the direction of heavenly values, motivations, and goals, and therefore our conclusions will always lead us to God’s generosity. Glory to his name — he is the author and finisher, the pioneer and perfector of faith (Heb. 12: 2) for all believers.
Although his call is the same, the Christian musician is sometimes a “grudging duck” in the body of Christ. He or she is in a very tense environment socially and spiritually. Throughout history the Church has vigorously debated the artist and his gifts. Music and its use / abuse have been and will always be the subject of controversy among Christians.
On the other hand, I think that part of what we will deal with here has to do with young and rebellious Christians who lack respect towards the structures and towards the traditional church because they have run into the cultural “norms” of the older generations. The traditional church in some cases completely “de-Christianizes” young musicians because of their musical style. This is something like a compound fracture. It is prejudice versus prejudice.
Many believers have disobeyed the Bible by rejecting fellowship with other Christians due to an unbiblical disagreement over musical tastes. What can one say or do to end this unscriptural separation of siblings?
“Because knowledge and prophecy are imperfect … but the most important of the three is love” according to 1 Cor. 13: 9.13. If these verses are true then I, individually corporately, know only “in part.” Why do we insist on being so absolutely correct? Pride? Unsafety? Ignorance? Stupidity? My heart goes out to those who are like me even though I believe we all share these afflictions. However, to love, we must pray, and even have communion in the Lord with those with whom we do not agree, if we practice this we will have a testimony that neither the world nor the devil can silence despite our music or theirs. Thank God the taste of music is not a biblical matter that deprives us to have or not to have communion! Sadly, some on either side of the musical discussion seem to think so. Where in the word of God can this position be validated?
The truth is that both sides have a lot in common and a lot to learn from each other.
I praise God for all those teachers, pastors, youth leaders and musical directors of the body of Christ who have carried that torch of truth called the Word of God to young musicians – which is absolutely necessary, because obviously there is great power and influence in the music. music. Songs of praise, testimony, and prophecy can be wielded in conjunction with the sword of the Spirit to great effect. However, I rarely hear voices urging sound and solid biblical concepts for younger or newer Christian musicians. Knowing how to write, arrange, produce, and play music is one thing. It is quite another thing to know how to live biblically in the process. Musicians, their lives and their gifts will affect many to a great degree! “To whom much is given, much will also be asked” says Luke 12:48.
The Bible teaches openly about Christian responsibility, and I may add that musicians are no exception.
Because of the communicative nature of our art form and because of the position it enjoys in our society today, Christian musicians must be much more responsible with their lives and their works of art. We musicians have tremendous potential as vessels containing the Holy Spirit … or as agents of nonsense … or even destruction. Idolatry has many faces. Some of us bow down to our culture as if it were Christ! Do you worship creation and created things (such as music) more than the Creator? This is a valid question for Christians old and young. Do you dedicate to God at most one hour a week, and to your rehearsals or auditions more or less thirty or forty hours a week? Be honest.
In all frankness many musicians are one-dimensional. They constantly listen, play, speak, read, watch (on television and videos), dream music and nothing but music. Most of his friends are musicians or elite people of some kind. Sounds like a very balanced and complete life, right? What do you talk about most often? Do you spend your excess money on missions and church needs or on music and entertainment? What can you bring to a meeting with other Christians so that everyone can enjoy, grow and have fellowship? If music is your only answer, you need to dedicate yourself to regret and growth in your future. As born-again believers we are all brothers and sisters. One of the most obvious signs of Christian maturity and love is the ability to put “childishness” aside. Do musicians “play” while others “work”? Among Christians especially this must change. So proceed with care. My prayer is that John 15: 8 will come true in your life and music!
WITH YOUR FATHER, GOD
God has bought you at a great price; don’t let other men make you slaves. So, brethren, let each one stand before God in the condition in which he was when he was called (1 Cor. 7:23, 24).
Serving God in His confirmed calling can be very difficult, or very simple and satisfying, and even easy. It’s actually the two extremes. How is it for you? The greatest and most important commandment according to Jesus Christ is: “Hey, Israel: the Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength ”(Mark 12: 19-30). God says that He is the true (and only) God who must be loved totally and completely. He says in Exodus 20: 3 that He is a jealous God and that we should not have “other gods apart” from Him. So our first responsibility is not to others — be they born-again musicians or ungodly sinners — not to ourselves! themselves, nor for our work or calling!
The Word of God is what holds us accountable. It can be said that our Christian life begins in the heart and mind of God. He created us and loved us deeply, but because of our sin we were separated from Him. He sacrificed his own son on the cross so that the penalty for our sins would be fully covered, thus opening the way for us to have a genuine relationship and eternal with Him. But where does our responsibility begin? “Listen O Israel …” We must learn to listen.
This word: responsible has a deep meaning and many implications. Webster’s dictionary defines it like this: “to be called to answer; be able to answer for one’s behaviors and obligations: trustworthy, able to choose for himself between what is right and what is wrong; in charge of, or involved in, any responsibility. ” Replyis the root of this adjective. Replicating, reacting, and responding to those with whom we enter into a relationship is extremely important. In fact, we cannot have a relationship with someone if we do not respond in some way. If the Lord Jesus Christ had any attribute that was his responsibility to carry out what He knew as the will of the Father as stated in John 6:38: “to do the will of my Father who has sent me.” When asked what the most important commandment was, He commanded to love the Father supremely. This action of loving God is the essence of life. The particular reaction and response that we offer to the Lord when we believe that He has spoken to us is the essence of our relationship with Him.
How do we hear your voice? He speaks to us personally through His Word (the Bible), through prayer, through our spiritual leaders / pastors (other Christians), through circumstances, and also through supernatural “signs and wonders”. Once we are relatively sure of His direction we must act accordingly. It is at this point in the relationship that we do or stop doing his will. If we choose the right alternatives, our witness to the world and to other Christians can foster a deeper understanding of God’s love. Charles Colson’s excellent book Loving Godwill provide a deeper insight into this phenomenon if you want to read a bit more. My point is simple: many believers do not realize that they can never love in the fullest human sense unless they first allow Jesus to touch their hearts, minds and soul with His heart and mind. This process takes time. It can be scary, even painful. But it is this time with God that makes the very spirit of the Christian sing! And the nature of the Christian becomes more like that of the One with whom he has spent the most time. This communion eventually influences all aspects of life, including music if you are a musician.
1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23 says that in truth we have been “bought with a price.” That price was the shed blood of the Spotless Lamb, the blood of Jesus the Son of God — that is, God the Son. The very blood of God was shed so that we could come to Him in a Father to son relationship. Our responsibility is to love, to serve, to be faithful, to speak honestly with Him every day in every situation, and to search His book for guidance in all things related to this life and eternity; Ultimately our responsibility is to listen to Him and obey Him. This two-way relationship should be the foundation on which the genuine Christian musician builds everything.
Becoming a slave to the whims of anyone else (including oneself) is not what God considers responsibility towards him. This loyalty does not mean that we reject out of time what others tell us. However, sometimes our loyalty to God’s call will divide us from others. This can be very painful, but it is a pain that Jesus also suffered in his obedience to God.
Being obedient to God is part of the process of loving Him, at the same time we receive a more complete sense of acceptance that He offers us. This deeper experience of his constant love for you on a very personal level will set you free to accept and love others.
As your need for acceptance is filled and satisfied, you have the freedom to love not only Him, but others as well – lost or rescued. There is freedom to love others when you are sure of their love and their calling in your own life. You are better able to minister biblical “brotherly affection” and support to people who don’t like you or who don’t like what you’re doing musically.
Because He loves you, I am also capable of loving. Because I am experiencing His love for me, I don’t have to worry about myself! I can help others find that same love. We love Him “because He first loved us” says I John 4:19. When we are close to this action and interaction that makes us discover His love and really communicate it to Him… what a great joy it feels! What devotion and adoration it turns out! This is a romance much deeper than any other and from which all other romance must be born. From these moments will come music inspired by God and that will glorify Him! It may be a cry or a whisper, but it will speak to the heart of man because this music will be born from a relationship with the same Creator of the universe, the Creator of creativity!
There are excellent books available on our multidimensional relationship with God. Let’s take a moment to make a list of specific ways of communication that God has given us to grow our relationship with Him:
Listening. This would include reading the Bible and good devotional books or healthy Bible teaching books, etc. It also includes realizing when He is speaking to us through other people, creation, circumstances, and miracles.
Talking. It is amazing that the Creator of the universe listens to us! We speak to Him in prayer, of course. But nevertheless; We also speak to Him through our deepest thoughts and actions.
Presence. The meaning of the word presence is assistance, proximity. Sometimes there is an incredible sense of their presence. Some even state that they “feel it” physically with them. Certainly this is one of the dimensions of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, and it is a part of the whole in our relationship with the Father.
What is not mentioned often is that multidimensional relationship with God takes time! Many Christians seem to think that these truths are so biblically evident that the new Christian simply “gets them.” Of course Jesus loves you and accepts you; That is the basis of your faith in Him for your salvation, but in the real everyday world that basic faith and the assurance of His care and protection will be tested.
Let us praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by his great mercy has made us born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This gives us a lively hope, and will make you receive the inheritance that God has in store for you in heaven, which cannot be destroyed, stained, or withered. By the faith that you have in God, He protects you with His power so that they may achieve the salvation that He has prepared, which He will make known in the last times. For this reason you are full of joy, although it may be necessary for you to go through many trials for a little while. Because your faith is like gold: its quality must be tested by fire. Faith that stands the test is worth much more than gold, which can be destroyed. So your faith, when so tested, will deserve approval, glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears. You love Jesus Christ, even though you haven’t seen him; and now, believing in Him without having seen Him, they rejoice with a joy so great and glorious that they cannot express it in words, for having achieved the salvation of their souls; for such is the goal of their faith (1 Peter 1: 3-9; see also 1 Peter 4:12).
And faith will grow. But growth takes time. Very few things (if any) are instantaneous in the Christian life. So you must learn to work with your spiritual life to deepen your confidence and experience of God’s faithfulness. If you wish, something wonderful will start to happen. You will see your relationship with God turn into real worship, honoring God and satisfying your soul.
Worship is something that we can never get enough of, it is something that we actually always do in some sense and something through which we grow ourselves and in God. I have long stated that one of the problems for contemporary Christian music audiences (musicians and audiences alike) is that we know how to enjoy our music… but do we know how to worship? Of course many Christians think that they worship when they only experience emotions. If that’s step one to worship, then step two is to do it genuinely and with your heart. Some say that in a typical Christian concert they are worshiping Jesus. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Because everything has to do with the attitude of the heart more than anything else. Discernment is needed to know if someone is truly worshiping God or simply reacting emotionally to a given stimulus. Naturally (and I approach it from the point of view of the “natural man”), there are those who “discern” with very human prejudices.
Yet there is something even deeper. It is not only my privilege, but also my duty to worship him (duty to give God his offering). It is also one of my greatest joys. With music, in silence, with or without his sense of presence, I adore him. He is worthy! Amen, worthy, worthy, and worthy of the deepest and highest praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. When we see his face on that day we will very likely reach a level of worship that we currently have only a vague idea of. I love Jesus, I adore him! He is the most wonderful person there is! And in those times of worship, not only do I try to discover new ways of saying all this to Him, but He also ministers to me in a thousand different ways that make me understand better why. I love him so much — and why should I love him more and better.
Possibly the best songs we sing to the Lord in our hearts. They are not for anyone else, nor could they ever be for anyone else. Nor are they in any way for us. They are pure, chaste and holy offerings of love. Simple and genuine gifts for her Majesty. The notes, rhythms, and words that express worship of the Most Adorable, Highest, Most Powerful, Most Holy King of Kings and Lord of Lords begin there. Return to this attitude. Starting from this relationship, all the others will be touched. So we have reason to rejoice in our calling, read 1 Cor. 7: 23.24. If the fruit of our worship turns out to be music, so be it, don’t be ashamed of that. Only when we separate ourselves from the God who makes the call and from those around us who are affected by that call, do we suffer. When our lives are at peace with God and His will, we can reach out to others and draw them closer to Him. Some will listen and respond, some will not. But our first love must be for our Lord. As we explore all the depths and mysteries of our communion with Him, others will be touched, because this interaction in our lives will naturally be reflected in our music. If not, our relationship; and therefore our responsibility to God must be questioned. Those times are not for making music. They are silent. When things go as they should with our Lord – then we sing! As we explore all the depths and mysteries of our communion with Him, others will be touched, because this interaction in our lives will naturally be reflected in our music. If not, our relationship; and therefore our responsibility to God must be questioned. Those times are not for making music. They are silent. When things go as they should with our Lord – then we sing! As we explore all the depths and mysteries of our communion with Him, others will be touched, because this interaction in our lives will naturally be reflected in our music. If not, our relationship; and therefore our responsibility to God must be questioned. Those times are not for making music. They are silent. When things go as they should with our Lord – then we sing!
TOWARDS YOUR FAMILY
GROWING AT HOME
Children, obey your parents out of love for the Lord, because this is fair. The first commandment that contains a promise is this: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you will be happy and you will live a long life on earth.” And you parents, do not make your children angry, but rather raise them with discipline and instruct them in the love of the Lord.
(Ephesians 6: 1-4).
One of the most difficult things each of us has to face in our lives is growing up in the society we live in now. Without a doubt, it can be very frustrating to discover that one of the most enjoyable things for us — our music — is one of the most debated topics in your home.
We all have to accept the fact that one day we will grow up, we will probably get married, have our own children, and repeat the same crazy process except that we will offer our children more understanding and freedom than our parents gave us, right? ? No! Don’t believe it for a minute.
All of us sometimes agree on many things and sometimes we don’t. Occasionally we think our parents are as dumb as they look. Many do not differentiate between Carlos Santana and Marcos Witt. (Nothing personal Marcos, I like you much more.) And they think that our desire to play our kind of music in our style is sinful in general, and rebellious in particular. They also don’t like it and can’t imagine why we act the way we do as if they know the reasons why we like our music — and good Christians like those things for exactly those same reasons. Or something like that.
Well, let me tell you what it was like growing up in my house. After we unearth part of my story, we will think about yours a bit and see how we are alike and how we differ. And then we will think more about the problems we went through growing up in our homes as musicians. My family was the typical middle-class family from the Midwest of the United States, we first lived in a small town and then we moved to an average suburb in a large city. The children went to state schools and we were average students who could have done better in studies, but we did not study because we did not care much. We spent a lot of time with our friends and we had a dog — there you have the painting. So my parents got divorced, my sister got married, and my brother joined the army to marry later.
My mom had been a talented singer before cigarettes and other things helped her kill her voice. As a high school student she had won singing competitions in Milwakee and played the piano and accordion very well. My dad had played saxophone in bands that entertained dances and they both liked music although I don’t remember them playing much at home when I was growing up. My sister and brother listened to pop music when I was very little. But my adolescence passed without their influence because by then they had already left home. My mom listened to Julie Garland, Sinatra, Mantovani, things like that. Frankly, I think it was okay. I liked many types of music and there were so many wonderful styles within each genre that it amazed me. Until this day,
I was basically fat, outgoing and very lost. I had a lot of friends and I spent my life listening to the radio and watching television, but at that point my story gets a little weirder. You know, when you don’t have confidence in yourself and you feel like you have only one good thing, you hold onto it to death. I could sing. He could play many instruments, more or less well. And as soon as I tried, I found that I could write music and lyrics, get into bands, start my own bands, and finally be extraordinary.
Being extraordinary is important when in your heart you really wonder why you are alive. No one in my family had ever been a genuine practicing Christian. I had many deep wounds and doubts, I even wondered if “the gunpowder with which I could blow my brains was worth it.” With the exception of the music, I didn’t think it was worth anything. So before my senior year in high school, I lost sixty pounds over a summer from not eating and using a lot of drugs; it was a disaster trying to destroy me. And when I went back to school the following fall… boy did I fall!
The best thing that could have happened to me almost killed me. The first day of school, nobody recognized me. All my weight was gone, and suddenly a group that I had never had the kind of relationship I wanted with seemed to like me — girls — and not just as friends, you know? Of course I liked it, but you have to understand that I didn’t even realize when someone was flirting with me, it was something that had never happened to me.
When all the members of your family have betrayed each other, you do not grow up fully understanding the words of God and his ways, they hurt you easily, you hurt others and you slip away from commitments. He really didn’t trust women. He didn’t trust anyone. And I learned that I couldn’t trust myself either.
Music was a constant friend. I wanted rock stars to love me. I thought they loved me in a way. They talked about the same things that I was thinking about and what I was talking about all the time. They understood a lot about life … or so I thought. And music never imposed itself on me, I did whatever I wanted with it. If I didn’t want to hear something I would just turn the dial or turn off the switch or go in or out of the concert. Simple.
Nothing in my life or in the lives of those around me made as much sense as my music. Nothing else gave me so much joy or meaning until I asked Jesus Christ to enter my heart and become the absolute Lord of my life. But before that day, music was the only thing in my empty life that seemed to continually help fill the void within me.
This is my history. I promised that we would talk about your family later and deal with the inconveniences that all the musicians go through at home.
Following Jesus I have learned some good lessons early in my ministry: Never fight over music. If you and your family have differences it might help to have both sides talk to a youth pastor, but I’m serious — if you and your family can’t talk about your differences “in spirit” forget it! You and maybe everyone is going to sin if you just argue about musical tastes over and over again. Pray. Obey your parents. Don’t lose Jesus because of music! Don’t make your music an idol. Idolatry is mentioned several times in the Bible as a way to end up in hell, so take a serious attitude with your prayer and obedience to your parents. Invest as much time in Jesus and others as you invest in your music … or you will be thrown off balance just like some of the people you like to argue with. Music is a poor substitute for Bible study, prayer, genuine Christian discussion, and for witnessing to people about the Lord Jesus. Face it. It is true. You want me to “agree with you?” Look back up and read the verses at the beginning of each chapter, and try to be as honest with your motives as possible. When you are of legal age and away from your parents’ home, you will be free to express yourself musically and biblically under God. It seems like an eternity, but that moment will come soon. Consider God’s wisdom in these words: You want me to “agree with you?” Look back up and read the verses at the beginning of each chapter, and try to be as honest with your motives as possible. When you are of legal age and away from your parents’ home, you will be free to express yourself musically and biblically under God. It seems like an eternity, but that moment will come soon. Consider God’s wisdom in these words: You want me to “agree with you?” Look back up and read the verses at the beginning of each chapter, and try to be as honest with your motives as possible. When you are of legal age and away from your parents’ home, you will be free to express yourself musically and biblically under God. It seems like an eternity, but that moment will come soon. Consider God’s wisdom in these words:
And I say to myself: The Lord is everything to me; that’s why I trust Him. The Lord is good to those who trust in Him, to those who turn to Him. It is better to wait in silence for the Lord to help us. It is better for a man to submit from his youth (Lamentations 3: 24-27).
That is an easy yoke according to Jesus: “Accept the yoke that I put on you, and learn from me, that I am patient and humble in heart; so they will find rest. Because the yoke that I put on them and the load that I give them to carry are light. ” (Matthew 11: 29.30). It doesn’t seem like this sometimes. When we can grow in the kindness and humility of Jesus, we can rest in Him whether our parents “give us free rein” musically or not. Read Hebrews 12: 5-14.
5 and have already forgotten what God counsels them as his children. It says in Scripture:
“ Do not despise, my son, the correction of the Lord, nor be discouraged when he rebukes you. 6 For the Lord corrects whom he loves, and punishes whom he receives as a son. “
7 You are suffering for correction: God treats you like sons. Is there a son whose father does not correct? 8 But if God does not correct you as he corrects all his children, then you are not legitimate children. 9 Furthermore, when we were kids, our parents here on earth we corrected, and respected. Why should we not submit ourselves, even more so, to our heavenly Father, to obtain life? 10 Our parents here on earth corrected us during this short life, according to what seemed most convenient to them; but God corrects us for our true benefit, to make us holy like him. elevenCertainly, no punishment is pleasant at the moment of receiving it, but it hurts; But if one learns the lesson, the result is a life of peace and righteousness. 12 Therefore, renew the strength of your tired hands and weak knees, 13 and seek the right path, so that your lame foot may heal and not twist any more. 4 Try to be at peace with everyone and lead a holy life; for without holiness, no one can see the Lord.
Discipline, holiness, and a righteous life are essential, not options, for Christians. Think of Jesus on the cross, and then consider giving up where your parents ask you to in that part of your musical life. What’s worse? We don’t know what suffering really means! But love, prayer, and living in the Word of our heavenly Father will help us to be the examples our families need to encourage them to grow in the Lord as well. “Avoid being despised for being young; Rather, you should be an example for believers in your way of speaking and behaving, and in love, faith and purity of life ”(1 Tim. 4:12).
Parents can exasperate their children. God commands them not to, but they sin in this sometimes. Some do not train or instruct their children in the Lord to the extent that they should. If this mistake is made in the homes of the preachers, how much more in the homes where Mom / Dad are not even Bible believers?
My wife and I have three of the best children on the planet. We love you with all our hearts. We pray for them constantly and strive to help them choose biblical alternatives. Sometimes we exasperate each other… but Proverbs 10:12 says that love forgives all faults. We have learned to ask for forgiveness when one of us has acted badly with the other. If you “make love your goal,” you will find that music will find its own place. Maybe you can even learn to appreciate styles you never cared about before.
And remember, the day will come very soon when you will do exactly what your parents did when they grew old. You will be free to listen and as a musician to play whatever you want. Study the scriptures so that you have a good understanding of what God says about music. Learn to worship. Learn to listen. There is a future time for expression to the fullest. By then I hope you have learned that God will not judge your parents for their influence on your musical direction. When you are alone, you will only be judged on your motives.
From then on there will be no one else to blame. Thank God for parents who understand, who know the word, and refuse to let their personal wishes dictate their personal purposes. But some others must thank God for those parents who are at least trying to teach their children values because it is what they know best and their values are correct. Right or wrong, concerned parents are better than those who don’t care if you grow up, how you grow up, and where you end up! Think wisely. Many would like to have parents like yours.
Many more wish they had a father in heaven like yours, even if they don’t realize they yearn for it. Music is just one way of telling you about Him. There are other ways — in fact, much better ways. Interestingly, Jesus is never mentioned as a musician or even a singer. But I love it exactly as the Bible reveals it whether or not music is on me. Jesus Christ is mylifetime; music is one of the things I do to obey him. It is an act of worship among many others. But while I am growing up at home my music must be balanced with obedience to my parents because God commands both! Up to this point, what I have been saying applies to male and female musicians interchangeably. From now on my male point of view will restrict my applications a bit more. For example, I will not be able to write about the problems that a married woman in music may have, although much of what I have to say will apply.
32 I would like to free you from worries. He who is single worries about the things of the Lord, and to please him; 33 but the one who is married cares about worldly things and pleasing his wife, 34 and so he is divided. Likewise, the woman who no longer has a husband and the unmarried young woman are concerned about the things of the Lord, because they are holy both in body and spirit; but the married woman cares about the things of the world and to please her husband. 35 I tell you this, not to put restrictions on you, but for your good and so that you live in a worthy way, serving the Lord without distraction. 1Cor 7: 32-35
Let me get right to the point: It’s not easy! Some people dream of marrying a Christian musician and all the “glories” that this entails as part of our lifestyle. Others wonder how they could marry a musician from the beginning. Serving God in a music ministry is sometimes one of the most expensive things. Before you get married, be completely certain that your partner is willing to pay part of the price. Many people have stars in their eyes and, quite frankly, stones in their heads. It is clear what the history of Gospel music (evangelical), the history (younger) of Christian music, the record of the evangelist and the pulpit pastor alike reveal: those who do not share the same calling are destined to live a pittance. definitive. The lonely hours
Before I got married, I told Wendi about every possible turn I could anticipate in the future of our music ministry. I tried to paint as honest a picture for him as I could of what marrying me would cost him, specifically because of God’s calling on my life. She wanted to give her the option to follow the Lord if He had called her another way. The last thing he wanted for her was to be hurt by God’s call to this narrower path. I shared what I thought was God’s future plan for REZ — the vision. And after all, she said yes.
Something that many people are still learning is that marriage is as much a matter of obedience and wise choice as it is of “love.” There are subjects motivated by their emotions or by a romantic idea of love — that is, being in love with love — who neither question themselves nor present their suitors with the difficult questions of future costs. Discipleship costs. Marriage, like discipleship, costs. Yet both are great blessings.
You have to understand that back then we had no idea that the Lord would “sneak” Wendi into the band. So his project of following me around the world to many strange places did not include going as a member of the band. She basically told me: “Where you go I will go, where you are I will be.” It has to be a woman of God who lives that kind of commitment without selfishness. Brothers in Ministry — Marry a Minister! Sisters in Ministry — Do the Same!
One of the most practical blessings of traveling with a wife is that we can both reach out to people of our own sex if the person wants or needs a deeper conversation. If the topic is not appropriate for you to discuss or if you suspect that what women really want is attention and a chance to flirt, your wife is the one they should talk to. I have thanked God many times for Wendi’s place in REZ and my marriage in this regard!
I and many others prayed boldly and asked for confirmation before the band was formed. The same kind of questioning, prayer, and seeking for guidance took place before we were married. I have never regretted or been ashamed of it. When you are genuinely striving for a daily life based on obedience to God rather than personal desire, it becomes easy for you to trust Him to supply your needs, you also live in greater peace and security.
Suffering and sacrifice are part of life. Jesus is our supreme example of this. “The greatest love one can have is to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). What are the ramifications of this verse when we consider a Christian musician who is married? Earlier I mentioned a few practical struggles. Let’s consider some others. No wife likes church leaders scolding her husband for the method he uses and that he believes God has directed him into ministry. No husband likes to leave his wife alone in a house or apartment for fear of things that might happen when He is away. She is the one who will have to make the monthly or weekly payments and face the creditors. She is the one who will question the purity of her husband as he travels and unfolds in a world of lonely and broken lives. He wonders if his position in a secular business is the best place for her. There are so many situations in the real world that I don’t need to comment on like the car breaking down when He is gone, the plumbing failures, etc. etc. It’s not easy for her for him to have the approval and assurance of the audience while she has four walls and (even) a few friends who don’t really understand the couple’s calling enough to encourage her biblically during the dark times.
Another option is for the couple to travel together. And in that situation they will share all the physical, spiritual and emotional pressures of life “on the road.” Depending on your situation, they will have to face daily a bed, town, church or crowd, different promoters and a large number of wounded lives and difficult situations. Sounds like your idea of a good time? Now you have to worry about spending more time with her because if she’s working with the band or sound or band sales or whatever, she also has as many “obligations” as you. Even if they travel together, they can’t be together for long until late at night when they are too tired and all they want is to pray to bed!
And there are rehearsals, interviews and much more. All of this can become very tiring after a while — not to mention off-peak times when there are few concerts to play. For many it is very difficult to have to change the pattern of life and readjust to being “normal for a while. Ask anyone in the music ministry if these things are not so. We are perfect examples all the time, there are even times when we wonder if we are functional spouses!
I have said many times in the past that when God calls you to minister to others, you must understand that your life is no longer yours alone. Those in any kind of public ministry are accountable not only to God and his church but also, in another sense, to all those to whom God sends them. It is a very demanding job at times, but if it is God’s will for you to serve in music or other public ministry, you must learn to be a selfless steward of your time. If you are married, you both must learn to do this.
Now we go to some basics for those who are married or for those who are seriously considering it. If you have received a clear and confirmed call to get involved in some aspect of music ministry it is best that you pray seriously and discuss it with your wife or future wife. Depending on how he or she responds, you will have to decide who you will serve first. I made it absolutely clear many years ago that I was not going to back down from what I was sure was God’s will for my life – for anyone. I must state it clearly again: Few ministers bother to advise future young preachers or music ministers, etc., to stay single or marry a person who is of the same degree of calling and is as committed to service as much as you are.
God hates divorce. There are biblical terms for divorce, yet it is not in HIS heart that separation takes place between those He has joined.
3 Some Pharisees approached Jesus and, to set him up, asked him:
– Is one allowed to divorce his wife for any reason whatsoever?
4 Jesus answered them:
– Have you not read in Scripture that he who created you in the beginning, ‘male and female created them’? 5 And he said: ‘Therefore, a man will leave his father and mother to join his wife, and the two will be as one person.’ 6 So there are no longer two, but one. So man must not separate what God has joined.
7 They asked him:
– Why, then, did Moses order to give the wife a certificate of divorce, and to fire her like that?
8 Jesus said to them:
– Precisely because of how stubborn you are, Moses allowed you to divorce his wife; but at first it wasn’t that way. 9 I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except in the case of an illegal union, and marries another, commits adultery.
10 His disciples said to him:
– If this is the case of the man in relation to his wife, it is not advisable to marry.
11 Jesus answered them:
– Not everyone can understand this, but only those to whom God has given to understand it. 12 There are different reasons that prevent men from marrying: some are already born incapacitated for marriage, others are incapacitated by men, and others live as incapacitated because of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can understand this, who understands it.
Matthew. 19: 3-12
One of the few fair claims that music (and other ministries) are labeled today is that the divorce rate among music ministers speaks to hypocrisy in one or both lives of couples. How can we answer this? With safe service and singleness to Christ. Or as in my own situation, with a solid marriage based on biblical principles, subject to a church where good marriage counseling is available when needed.
There are only two other options, and neither is good. Either you get divorced or you follow God’s will in serving the ministry. Do you really want to get into this situation? Do you want to put yourself or another human being in the middle of this hell on earth? God is more important than marriage. And marriage is more important than self.
The harsh realities of Christian service have made many bitter at heart. A “root of bitterness” has sprung up, and many have not only been contaminated by it but have also damaged the concept that non-believers have of Jesus and his gospel. Study Hebrews 12: 12-17 carefully.
12 Therefore, renew the strength of your tired hands and weak knees, 13 and seek the right path, so that your lame foot may heal and not twist any more. 14 Try to be at peace with everyone and lead a holy life; for without holiness, no one can see the Lord. 15 See that no one lacks the grace of God, so that no one will be like a bitter-rooted plant that hurts and poisons people. 16 Let none of you indulge in prostitution or despise the sacred; for this is what Esau did, who for a single meal sold his rights as an older son. 17And you know that later, when he wanted to receive his father’s blessing, he was rejected; and although he cried a lot, there was no longer any remedy for what happened.
18 You did not approach, like the Israelites, something that could be touched and that burned in flames, where there was darkness, darkness and tempest; 19 nor did they hear the sound of the trumpet or the voice of God. Those who heard that voice begged him not to continue speaking to them, 20 because they could not bear the command that said: “Whoever sets foot on the mountain must be killed with stones or spear, even if it is an animal.” 21 So hideous was what it looked, that Moses himself said, “I am trembling with fear.” 22 You, on the contrary, have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to many thousands of angels gathered to praise God, 23and to the community of the first children of God registered in heaven. They have drawn closer to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of good men whom God has made perfect, 24 to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood with which we have been purified, which speaks to us better than the Abel’s blood. 25 So be careful not to reject the one who speaks to us. For those who rejected God when he called their attention here on earth, did not escape. And much less will we be able to escape, if we turn our backs on the one who calls our attention from the sky. 26 At that time, the voice of God shook the earth, but now he says, “Once again I will shake not only the earth, but also the sky.” 27By saying “once more”, it is understood that created things will be removed, what can be moved, so that what cannot be moved remains.
We must strengthen ourselves, make flat roads, make every effort to live in peace and to be holy. We must see to it that no one is left without the grace of God. We must guard against that root of bitterness. We must see to it that “no one commits sexual immoralities, or is wicked like Esau,” and that is our problem.
These verses clearly emphasize our responsibility. God is eternally responsible for what He does. And we too will face the consequences of our actions. With all of this in mind, I recommend the following:
(1) Establish (unless really impossible) a time of prayer and Bible study with your partner if you are seriously contemplating marriage and Christian service.
(2) Establish a permanent relationship (or at least keep in touch) with those who have strong marriages and who are serving the Lord in Christian music ministry. Ask them honest questions. Find some biblically wholesome and experienced answers.
(3) Make a commitment to a strong church where biblical counsel is available. I’ll tell you a sad fact of life: In a young marriage (and sometimes an older one that has a bad or weak foundation), couples simply do not know how to attack the problem. They whip each other. The Bible says that we do not fight against flesh or blood, but rather that the devil will do his best (worst?) To tell us the opposite. For this, I offer a solution: a committed, accountable relationship with an outsider of God who has nothing to lose or gain in the particular discussion – someone who truly loves you both. . They can help you argue biblically. They can help you find solutions. The other option is the one that too many couples take: they hide in the little underground shelter of “home” and just fight like cats and dogs … all alone. It sure isn’t a problem for more than the two of you — unless you are part of a church that moves biblically on sin and confronts it! Are we our brother’s keeper? What is hypocrisy? How to “help each other to bear our burdens, and thus … fulfill the law of Christ” as Galatians 6: 2 says and not get involved with couples in conflict in our churches? If you can find a better way to love, express love and provide biblical solutions for a hurt marriage to be safe write or phone me, because I am a pastor who desperately wants to know how to serve his congregation biblically! Many Christians have forgotten the truth that it does not take the extreme of separation to talk about biblical principles of growth in our marriages. And by the way, both need humility to face this fact. In other words, if either of you think it’s time to talk to the pastor or a more mature Christian, you both have to!
(4) Read as many books as you can about these topics. There are many available. Most pastors and any Christian bookstore can help you find some of these books. Some that we have found useful are The Christian Family by Larry Christenson, anything by Dr. James Dobson and Dr. De Wheat. These texts will offer a starting point for further study.
If Satan wants to do something, it is to destroy relationships. The first relationship he wants to wear out is the one you share with God. The next item on his hit list is your marriage. Sometimes the best way to reach someone is not directly, but through your family. Every believer and therefore Christian musicians fall prey to this. When my wife and I were newly married we continually experienced this. Our commitments to Jesus, to one another, and to his calling (to evangelize and disciple through music ministry) were constantly tested. Those early times of prayer, Bible study, the support of the church through teaching and counseling, etc .; they helped us get through the “rapids”. We were very young, very headstrong, almost always proud — and therefore argumentative! We were still able to stay true to every important relationship (if you haven’t figured it out yet, this is actually what this book is about) thanks to all that “cement” foundation. We have always had people in our ecclesial family (Jesus People USA) who have prayed for us, animated and corrected when we have been in danger of straying from the path. What’s more, those who have appealed to us most openly are those who have remained our closest and best friends. Consider these two wise pieces of advice from Proverbs 27: 5, 6: “It is better to rebuke frankly than to love in secret. The friend who hurts can be trusted more than the enemy who kisses. ” There are no great secrets to acquiring marital stability for musicians. That only comes as a result of meditation and hard work. It takes time. And it happens when both establish and maintain biblical life patterns and biblical relationships. This, of course, is easier said than done. But it is neither impossible nor beyond the field of vision of any of us because in certain ways couples involved in music ministry are no different than any other Christian couple. God’s grace is enough! “And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for you; because my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will rather glory in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me ”(2 Cor. 12: 9) [NLT].
And you parents, do not make your children angry, but rather raise them in discipline and instruct them in the love of the Lord.
(Eph. 6: 4).
And he will make parents and children reconcile. Otherwise I will come and punish your country, destroying it completely “
(Mal. 4: 6).
In the book of Psalms there are three verses that I know and love: Children born to us are rich blessings from the Lord. Children born to us in our youth are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. Happy the man who has many arrows like that! You will not be embarrassed by your enemies when you defend yourself against them before the judges. (Ps. 127: 3-5).
If the Lord brings children into your marriage, you will be amazed at the blessings that come with them! Children are really special for a family. But by them you will also be pressed to the point of brokenness. Certainly any worthwhile relationship is going to cost something. And I must tell you that for the Christian musician, children will radically change your perspective and your ministry.
Let’s start with Psalm 127.
Children are serious gifts! When God sent my children to me, I entered a new learning experience that has not stopped yet — and it has been many years since our first daughter appeared on the scene.
Some people grow up surrounded by children, I don’t. Not only was I the youngest in the family, I can’t say that I remember my sister as a babysitter or something like that. So there was never any other child in my life.
As I grew older and visited friends’ homes, I got to know some of his younger siblings, but only in a very superficial way. So you can see that in terms of practical experience that I was not prepared for the responsibility of having children. But God decided that he could educate me! After three children and many years, I think he knew what he was doing and how he would do it.
Each of my daughters became a true gift to Wendi and me. They share similarities and at the same time each of them is an individual with their own unique personality. But let me tell you, my wife and other pastors in our church taught me to relate to them. I don’t know what would have happened without your support and encouragement.
Let me explain.
I was very involved with the ministry and my hobbies when our children arrived. And I was too young, immature, and selfish to want to spend time babysitting when I thought I might be doing something that I thought was more fulfilling. Not being with children my entire life, I didn’t know exactly how to interact with them. I didn’t know what to do with them! But God began to teach me, through personal confrontation and also through my wife and my pastors, how important it was for me to grow up and face the responsibilities of parenthood.
Scriptures like the one that opened this chapter simply jumped off the pages of my Bible during my personal devotions. I began to think about some characteristics of my own parents — good and bad — that I obviously and unknowingly shared. Over and over again the Lord confronted me with the depths of my own selfish nature. Passages from the Bible (eg, Hebrews chapter 12) had a fresh meaning to read from a parent perspective. Ultimately God led me to repentance and new spiritual growth in a part of my life that he had vaguely touched before. Without children this process would never have happened.
We generally advise people to wait a few years before having their first children in order to build their marriage partnership in the Word and to establish themselves in a church strong in biblical teaching. Once the solid marriage foundation is built with prayer and biblical guidance, a family can begin to be built.
Dr. James Dobson is one of many counselors who offer excellent family teachings. There is no shortage of good Christian books on this subject. Read them, sometimes you will cry and sometimes you will laugh. You will be surprised how much they have in common with other married couples when they get together and in the course of communing with them, start sharing the experiences that God gave you with your children. Again, you can learn a lot by talking to others who have had more experience with family life.
Let’s think about archery for a moment! Psalm 127 says that children are “like arrows in the hands of a warrior.” I have been involved in archery for a few years. I learned a great quote from years ago: “he who never shoots, never fails.” In other words, you are always going to make mistakes, no matter how hard you try. You will “exasperate” them. You will not have read the Bible with them or you have given them divine instruction or you have not set the healthiest biblical example for them to follow all the time. That is a fact.
I’m also not the best archer on the block either. But God brought each of my children into this world and into my life, and my time to influence them with biblical love, discipline, and instruction can be very short. So I’m going to use it while I can!
Practically speaking, we got used to taking our children with us as much as possible when they were younger. Now we plan our itineraries thinking about how long we will be separated from our families. When their school studies are not completely ruined, we take turns taking them with us on tours. And when we are at home we work sharing time together.
Again, I’m not the most kid-friendly person in the world, but I highly recommend children’s books. It’s amazing how interesting Timoty the Turtle can be! Somewhere along the way I missed something from my childhood — so I’m making it up now.
We take turns taking them to their beds, reading to them, singing worship songs together, and praying together. We go to the park, we play in the yard, we take them to the library or we go to eat ice cream together. Because everyone at REZ lives in community, we also have great help from others who served as babysitters or “nannies” when we couldn’t take them with us.
My wife and I talk about the concept of the “persistent team” often. It’s when the “angels” are driving you crazy, and it’s time to start praying seriously! We try to work as a team for each other. For example, if Wendi is up counseling late, I let her sleep afterward. I get up and have breakfast with the kids, we do our morning Bible reading, and I try to avoid being awakened. We agree so that children do not tire us. I think one of the reasons God provided two parents instead of one is that one just simply “loses the victory” without the help of the other!
It is very hard to monitor their playtime, help them with homework, set careful rules for watching television or videos, and have serious conversations about really important things. We say to each other after a long day: “You knew the job was dangerous when you took it!” And we knew it. But we didn’t know how dangerous! With abortion, child abuse and rape, churches that sometimes treat children as second-class citizens, and simple neglect, a message is being sent to today’s children: growing up in a Christian home. It could be a lot like growing up in an unbelieving home. Or it could even be worse.
Malachi prophesied it out loud, and it is better for us Christian parents to listen. As if this decaying world didn’t have enough curses already, God said that unless parents and their children allowed their hearts to turn to one another, a more serious curse would come. And he will make parents and children reconcile. Otherwise I will come and punish your country, destroying it completely ”(Mal. 4: 6). His heart breaks for that Father / Son relationship to be recreated as much as humanly possible in our families here on earth. But many musicians are too self-centered, too ignorant, and too proud to do much about it. This phenomenon must be attacked.
How often the adage warns us of people who win the world but lose their family in the process. It requires careful planning to establish and maintain balance.
Christian musicians who are also parents have a serious ministry “made for them”. Sometimes it’s very difficult trying to balance our songwriting, rehearsal, touring, recording, and family life. But I’ll tell you what: what your kids think of you is a thousand times more important than what someone else’s kids think of you and your Christianity!
If you have to travel without them, do your best to make them understand the practical reasons. Also be sure to have a serious conversation with your children explaining why you minister and do what you do. Of course, if they can be with you, they can see it.
One of our daughters was taught about abortion at her Christian school. She came home talking about it, and when we realized that she didn’t know that here in the United States it was legal in many states, we talked to her. He became very depressed. What he told us immediately afterwards was that someone had to do something to try to stop the problem. My wife explained that abortion was one of the reasons we traveled and ministered so much. When people begin to follow Jesus and live his word, abortion, like other issues, find solutions in him. We adults understand this and our children need to understand it too.
Every family with parents involved in any type of ministry shares similar struggles. It takes a lot of prayer, advice, and a lot of grace. But I have been enriched through my relationship with my children.
Learning to love them has taught me so much! It has brought into my life a deeper faith, a greater understanding of my dependence on God, and a clearer sense of the Father’s heart toward me, my children, and yours. Everything that God has done in my life and heart for my children seeps into my music ministry.
If you are willing to die to self and follow Jesus as Lord, and if you are willing to have a full and broken heart, you can have a vital music ministry and a strong family, including children! That’s anything but boring!
And I strongly recommend it.
FAMILY OF GOD
Let’s not stop attending our meetings, as some do, but rather encourage each other; and all the more so as we see that the day of the Lord draws near (Heb. 10:25).
Unfortunately the local church community is one of the last places the average musician can find biblical support in relation to their vocation. Sad comment, right? But very true. Most Christians have little knowledge of what scripture says about music, making music, or musicians. Some of the most aggressive preachers seem to be the most ignorant in these areas of biblical knowledge. The typical pastor has had little (or no) training in the biblical use of music. I might add that Christians who seriously think of musical ambition are viewed by many as rare beings. Many do not consider a music career as a “real job.” Others are simply functionalists: if you don’t fit the traditional format and liturgy of the church — forget it!
To say that many of us “divide” our lives into “sacred” and “secular” parts is an overly modest statement. But if it is true that the church life and everyday life remain as two and different parts of my Christian life, how can I fulfill the biblical mandate to “do everything for the glory of God” According to 1 Cor. 10:31? The church doctrine of compromise needs a lot more Bible study and discussion than most Christians give it, and I’m not as convinced as some that there are easy answers. If everything were so clear, the church should not be so much in debate and disagreement. “How to live my faith consistently in the everyday world?” it is one of the continual questions of the church. Our testimony and its potency / sterility could well rest on our individual responses to these questions. These are just some of the problems and issues associated with a Christian musician who commits himself to a traditional church. But this dilemma has another side.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a large number of Christian musicians are simply not committed to a church with solid biblical teaching or to any church in their area. This is a clear violation of the word of God. Furthermore, very few members of Christian groups are called or have any kind of skill in the pastorate; therefore, a close relationship with the established leadership of a good church is one of the most important sources of sound teaching in the fields of finance, encouragement, support, and safety. The Bible teaches that all Christians are part of the church and that pastoral care and vigilance in an assembly of believers is a fundamental part of our experience. In other words, if you don’t have a pastor and a local church, you will fall into one of four categories:
A brief Bible study will teach you the principles upon which true Christians form habits: meeting together, submitting to the authority of the church, and sound biblical teaching, instruction, and counsel. Having honestly grappled with these truths, we must comment on some of their ramifications.
Let’s say I decide to look for a biblically based church in my neighborhood. For many reasons I will never find the perfect church. Nor will I ever be considered the best “model” of a parishioner / disciple of Christ you see. This congregation does not seem to relate to me in general because of my (their?) Cultural tastes, because of the clothes they wear and especially, because of the music. Should I change or them? Or should I keep looking for the rest of my life for the church that suits me? The only real options are to join that church or not go to any. (A never ending search for the church that “fits me” is a way of not going to church). This last “option” is the one that many musicians choose very often. The strongest arguments I have against this alternative are in the following verses:
Because where two or three meet in my name, there I am in the midst of them (Mt. 18:20).
When the Feast of Pentecost arrived, all the believers were gathered in one place (Acts 2: 1).
Submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph. 5.21; see also Heb. 10:25; Mark 1:21; Lk. 4:16; Acts 1: 4. 14; 4:31;
1 Cor. 11:33; I have. 13: 7, 17; 1 Pe 5: 5; Pr. 11:14; 12:15; 13:10; 15:22; 20:18).
Some of you have considered throwing this book out the window, I’m sure. You are thinking about the exceptions to what I just said, why not? Christians in prison, someone who was shipwrecked on a tropical island, or someone living in a Muslim country or another country where Christianity is illegal all come to mind. But when an individual in the West reaches a certain age, he or she is free to go from here to there or to pray and relocate to another city or state, find employment, and then join a church where he or she knows biblical Christian commitment. However most of the musicians I have met are not exactly stranded on a desert island.
I am convinced that my worst problem is me, not the devil whom I can resist, rebuke, and whom I can quote from the scriptures until I flee (Luke 10:19, James 4: 7). My worst problem is not the church that meets on the block from my house that doesn’t know what to think of me or what to do with me. No. I am my own worst enemy … and you must realize that the same thing happens with you! The main reason Christians are divided today is not because of a lack of understanding or disputes on biblical issues. The root is found in the lack of true love between one another. This is expensive and painful! You may have to dress much more conservatively than you like to be welcome in a particular church. Whether it’s lack of immaturity on their part or just their style preference, why add your immaturity to theirs? “Love forgives many sins” (1 Pet. 4: 8).
In chapter one I referred to the importance of a heart according to God’s. I mentioned that Bible study is one of the fundamental aspects for communion with him. It should also be part of the basic fellowship between you and other believers. I discovered that when my practice of the word and its knowledge became more important to me than my musical knowledge or the last album of my favorite group that I began to have more communion with all the Christians with whom I related. Before that music, a superficial knowledge of my salvation, and a terrible ignorance of the Bible and its truths was all I could share with anyone. Is it any wonder that the lyrics of so many artists have such little depth? Jesus said, “… because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 KJV).
Prejudice also has a leading role in most of these issues, it begins to tear down this wall of sin in you. For those a little younger, Paul’s excellent advice to Timothy is summed up like this: “Avoid being despised for being young; Rather, you should be an example for believers in your way of speaking and behaving, and in love, faith and purity of life ”(1 Tim. 4:12). Many of us in the church are waiting for you to join us so that we can help you — and you help us — to grow in Jesus and honestly share his love together. Maybe you haven’t been watching. You can find us in most denominational, inter or non-denominational, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Protestant, or Catholic churches. And although some Christians will differ with this last statement, God will be the only one who will judge the truth on that. Because on the day described in Hebrews 10:25 there will be many surprises, I’m sure.
Over and over again in scripture the Lord moves through the church. Examine the following references to prove it.
And he himself granted some to be apostles and other prophets, some to announce the message of salvation and others to be shepherds and teachers. Thus he prepared his own for a work of service, to grow the body of Christ until we all become united in faith and knowledge of the Son of God. In this way we will reach the maturity and development that correspond to the perfect stature of Christ. We will no longer be like children, who easily change their minds and who are blown away by the wind of any new teaching until they are fooled by cunning people who walk the wrong paths. Rather, speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow in everything toward Christ, who is the head of the body. And through Christ the whole body adjusts itself and binds itself well through the union of all its parts; and when each part works well, everything grows and develops in love. This, then, is what I tell you and charge you in the name of the Lord: that you no longer live like the pagans, who live according to their useless thoughts and have their understanding darkened. They do not enjoy the life that comes from God, because they are ignorant because of the insensitivity of their heart (Eph. 4: 11-18; see also 1 Tim. 3:10, Acts 2:47, Col. 1: 18-27, Eph. 5:25). 10, Acts. 2:47, Col. 1: 18-27, Eph. 5:25). 10, Acts. 2:47, Col. 1: 18-27, Eph. 5:25).
Many times in the Bible the church is referred to as the “body of Christ.” This is very relevant. The point is that we are his hands and his feet. He is the head and his agency is the church. One of the most interesting arguments in the Bible is found in Acts 15 which narrates a dispute regarding the Jewish rite of circumcision. The point I want to make is that in a moment of confusion, it was the local church that sent Paul and others to meet with the leadership of the church in Jerusalem to resolve the dispute. And in Galatians 1: 18-22, Paul talks about submitting to what he believes and has been preaching. Why? Because to make sure what he was doing was the right thing to do, he asked for confirmation from the church leaders and he continued his work.
One of my biggest concerns during my twenty-plus years in full-time ministry has been that too many pastors, evangelists, teachers, radio and television ministries, and musicians have fallen or failed. One of the reasons? Because they have operated outside the coverage of a local congregation or leadership. Many have had credentials with a large denomination and God has used them extensively, but the contact, teaching, and subjection to others who would speak directly into their lives and have access to their ministries simply did not exist.
I have had experience serving on boards of directors and talking with those who serve on them. For the sake of complying with the law many pastors, evangelists or other ministers who are at the “top” of a ministry simply have a trim meeting. What happens to those powerful charismatic personalities through which the Holy Spirit could move mightily? They become a church themselves, a church within a church, without subjection to anyone. Boards of directors full of men who say yes to everything challenge both the spiritual weakness and pride of the “leader” and female fans before a rock band!
Can I say it clearly? I urge these men: do not criticize contemporary musicians for something that you also do. To musicians who have never sincerely sought a local community to send them blessings and prayers, I say it is time to lay down biblical foundations! You need their prayers and their biblical knowledge and their teachings. Like it or not, you have been called to be part of an assembly of Christian believers from the moment you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
Membership and levels of commitment to a specific church will vary from assembly to assembly, and this is something each musician must prayerfully yield to. Let me emphasize something, I think that we musicians should be more accountable to the local church that we belong to than other people in the congregation. Why? Because we influence a lot of people.
Although we may judge others in our congregation for a superficial relationship to leadership, remember this:… To whom much is given, much will also be asked from whom much is entrusted, much more will be demanded. (Luke 12:48). The lack of restraint that many artists demonstrate today is horrifying. How can we ignore what the word so clearly says? Ministries are biblically valid when submitted to and are an extension of a local church. The New Testament patterns are the model, no more, no less. Listen to Paul’s statement: “… not to run or have run in vain…” (Gal 2: 2). How much benefit or profit can be derived from a bad purpose?
Is it any wonder so many ministries and believers stray so far from some biblical principles and sound guidelines? No, they are simply not part of a functional church that cannot meet its inner needs. Independent music ministries are as out of the Bible as any other. Webster’s Dictionary defines independence as “not subject to control by others.” Read Hebrews 13:17 again and meditate deeply on your personal situation. It is time to repent and “connect”. Plurality, mutual respect, and subjection within the body of Christ are vitally important for wisdom, balance, and security.
I would like to introduce a few practical tips at this point. You should show some respect for anyone you work with regardless of the task, the ministry, or whatever. When music is offered in a ministerial situation, a humble attitude on the part of the servant [that is, you] will be the best way to establish and maintain a relationship with those with whom you work. Please read the last two sentences again. As you can see, restraint is a normal part of life. Not only is ministering in your local church essential but also working with other believers when you are on the road. Frankly, you won’t be touring for long if you don’t learn these lessons. Why you should? Because that way you will earn the right to serve.
If music of worship and praise is your calling, what better place to express your devotion to Jesus and inspire others to do the same as in your church? While I don’t think every musician is particularly gifted in this area, I wish more rockers would learn to express a genuine sense of worship on various levels.
Expressing your devotion to Jesus in this way is a true testimony for those Christians who don’t share your love for rock. On the one hand we have nothing to prove. On the other hand, the calmer traditional church needs to be loved and educated about prejudice as much as we need it.
If your music tends toward teaching and lyrical depth, church can be a place to share it. Even more evangelistic content can be used when ministering to a congregation. Many of those who go to church do not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. In certain areas, the traditional church is one of the largest mission fields available. Whether your music ministry is primarily within the church or those outside, you will need the strength and support of a family church. You will need pastoral guidance to stay healthy theologically and doctrinally.
Finally, the traditional church needs your zeal as much as you need its knowledge. May God bless you as you learn to obey him in an enduring commitment to a church strong in biblical teaching. He won’t be able to bless you in half if you don’t join such a congregation. And remember to be patient with those brothers of the “traditional culture.” You must learn to love them. Because loving the church is one of God’s commandments.
The Church in General
God loves you and has chosen you to belong to his people. Live therefore clothed in true compassion, goodness, humility, meekness and patience. Be patient with one another, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord forgave you, forgive you too. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of union. And may the peace of Christ direct your hearts, because for this purpose God called you to form one body. And be grateful. May the message of Christ always be present in your hearts. Instruct and encourage each other with all wisdom. With deep gratitude sing to God psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs ”(Col 3: 12-16).
As I think of a musician ministering outside of his local church, work and interaction with other believers comes to mind. They don’t know you as they know you in your local church. They may not accept or appreciate you as they do in your church; so we must examine a different kind of relationship in this context: the musician and the body of Christ in general.
Jesus prayed that all his followers would “be one” (John 17: 20-23). Only in his love is this possible! But are we as divided today as some think? Is the church as fragmented as is commonly claimed? It is a fact that we have many variations in the flock in general, but we all follow a Shepherd. Jesus spoke about this phenomenon in John 10:16: “I also have other sheep that are not of this fold; and I must bring them too. They will obey me and there will be only one flock and one shepherd. ” I personally believe that in the true Body of Christ each congregation has its own personality, understanding, and sense of direction, just like each individual.
The church in general has much more similarities than differences — unless we specialize in the little things! At this point the most important and central issues of the word of God are obscured and our uniqueness, personal opinion and tastes take the form of intolerance that is an absolute sin in the presence of the Lord. Ninety-nine percent of all true Christians believe the same basic doctrines. But when we start to cut hairs in half… we divide — from each other.
Musicians should avoid promoting and amplifying their own quirks to the point that they obscure the basic unity and likeness that all Christians share. It is one thing for a Christian to dislike your appearance, dress, or sound. Another totally different is that we end up causing divisions due to our lack of sensitivity. We must work hard to lift up Jesus and forget about our individual and musical differences. Especially in front of a Christian who is questioning our basic maturity and our salvation. For example, my brother’s spiritual needs outweigh my current hair color! You can bet I’ll try to steer my conversation toward content that I hope will edify it spiritually — we will both benefit from that kind of conversation.
One thing is certain. If you find yourself traveling in your country (or the world), you will learn many lessons about the incredible diversity within the church. What you do with such experiences and how much you learn from them will directly affect your own spiritual sense of balance.
Through the years I have had the pleasure of meeting true Christians in independent churches, denominational churches, and interdenominational organizations (large and small). REZ has traveled to forty-eight states, almost every Canadian province, and many countries. Know something? There are true Christians in all those places.
In chapter five of Galatians some negative and positive things are mentioned. In the New International Version [in English], verse twenty ends with two words that need consideration. They are dissensions and factions. In Greek they mean “disunity, division, seditions” and “to take a party, disunity, heresy, sect,” respectively. These are very sinful attitudes that can infect any Christian. Here and elsewhere the word of God condemns these attitudes and activities. If you or someone you know has this disease, it’s more than time to visit the Grand Doctor and repent! Love and a sense of humility will heal you. Pride, ignorance and lies cause it. Feeling that your church, your band, or whatever is the best there is is one of the biggest symptoms of this plague.
The devil will always agree with you — of course you have “the deepest truth and the highest light.” We are talking about, and nothing but, sin.
What a difference love makes! The experience too. Romans 15: 5-7 is another text that deals with Christian unity. I’ve been quoting verse seven a lot lately. And God, who is the one who gives constancy and comfort, help you to live in harmony with one another, according to the example of Christ Jesus, so that all together, with one voice, you praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ” Some translations interpret the last phrase: “for the glory of God.” What glory do you give God when you accept other Christians? We cannot expect to agree with all Christians on every matter always. However, there is a mature “agreement to differ” regarding the lighter issues of the word. We don’t need, no We don’t have to de-Christianize one another simply because we disagree on every bit and bit of writing! The Bible consistently teaches the intrinsic spiritual unity of believers.
Now, a short topic change that may help clarify some of the problems we face when using contemporary styles: The children of Israel were told not to assimilate the moral habits and religious practices of the pagan nations around them or to have marriages with those pagan tribes. By the time Christ enters the scene, this directive has been translated into a prejudice against all things “Samaritan.” Of course Jesus Himself respects God’s commandments in relation to God’s original concerns dealing with the separation of moral principles and practices. He uses the Samaritan as an example of a good neighbor. Why?
If the practices and results of all Samaritans in all cases were sinful and served as a stumbling block for the Jews, how could Jesus travel through Samaria drink water from a Samaritan woman’s cup and actually declare that when the Holy Spirit would come, would he lead the disciples to preach the gospel “to Samaria?” Remember, the Jews had interpreted God’s command to mean that they did not have to get involved with either the Samaritans or their culture. This alienation is precisely what is happening among Christians today in the area of music and other cultural forms. Music has become one of the greatest causes of division between true brothers in the faith.
Today’s contemporary musicians are the New Samaritans. Simply put, it is very difficult to cultivate a merciful and forgiving attitude towards older believers (in years or in spiritual maturity) who oppose modern music forms as anathema. Worse still, we as individuals have become anathemas to some of them. We have to overcome this evil with good. We must respond with biblical compassion and understanding even if we can never win them to our trenches. “And: if the just is saved with difficulty, where will the wicked and the sinner appear?” (1 Pe. 4:18 VRV). We must do as the good Samaritan did “… so that the ignorant and the foolish have nothing to say against you” (1 Pet. 2:15) through a holy and loving example that denies allegations of misconduct. that they throw at us.
It is a sad fact of life that racial, socioeconomic, cultural and spiritual intolerance is not exclusive to the unbeliever. How I wish I could report something different from our spiritual family… God knows! Jesus said “… and I tell you that you will not see me again until the time comes when you say ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Lk 13:35). Volumes have been and will be written about the unit that we must demonstrate.
Musicians, of all people, should be able to see through the sin of division due to prejudice. We constantly confront it regarding our music. How is it, then, that we do not identify the same sin in ourselves?
If the Lord grants you a “more traveling” ministry, over time you will learn to give him the glory for his infinite wisdom by creating many, many types of people and communities, ministries, and mission groups with which to reach all types. of being human. His gospel and the fullness of biblical truth, sound doctrine, and the principles of Christian discipleship are for everyone! So is his death and resurrection which are central to our individual salvation and sense of wholeness.
Learn to appreciate and walk in this truth: those who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are “accepted in the Beloved.” This wonderful phrase is found in Ephesians 1: 6 (NRSV). As a result of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ we are the blessed children of the Most High God. In the original Greek words used here, there is a sense of completion, consummation, and fulfillment. As we come to a deeper realization of his (the Beloved’s) acceptance of each true believer — realizing our personal acceptance — we begin to accept the overwhelming love of our heavenly Father for one another as well as the richness and breadth of our family.
Rarely when REZ goes on tour or I travel we don’t bring something good back in the form of a blessing or lesson learned from the church, home group, or prayer meeting we have visited. There are many different communities of Christian believers around the world who have received different gifts and directions from the Holy Spirit and who work at different levels of depth of understanding and biblical maturity. I find this wonderful. This means that God is greater and even more complete than any of us hope to understand in this life. How sad for the Christian to be deluded into the idea that his congregation “has it all”! What a little God they have if they believe that their assembly is the “perfect church”!
The flawless church with complete Christians does not exist. So don’t worry, because if they existed anyway, they wouldn’t let you be a part of it!
One final word, when traveling be careful with strange and new teachings. Continue to be diligent with your own Bible study and commitment to your own local church. If you are as grounded and confident in these areas as you should be, you can enjoy the Lord Jesus Christ when he visits you through his Spirit among his followers — when they are gathered together (Matt. 18:20).
THE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS YOUR
Although I am not a slave to anyone, I have made myself a slave to everyone in order to win as many people as possible to Christ. When I am among the Jews I become like a Jew, to win them; that is, to win those who live under the law of Moses, I put myself under that law, although in reality I am not subject to it. On the other hand, to win those who do not live under the law of Moses, I become like one of them, although I am really subject to the law of God, since I am under the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9: 19- 22).
It is sad that many in ministry today find it difficult to become “like one of them” to win some. Do we not want to win some? Maybe we want to be the big show or the big “stars” in some kind of five-star Christian music firmament. Some compare the number of tickets sold at a concert as a symbol of success. Others confuse the number of souls who prayed as a symbol of success. If there are needs in the body of Christ today, balance and practical common sense are surely two of them. Humility will help us open ourselves to both.
Jesus was as much at home on the dusty roads of Galilee as he was at the great temples (Mark 6: 1, 35, 56). His heart was equally inclined towards the poor widow and the rich young ruler. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), when he sees someone’s soul in need and supplies the need, he does so out of his own fullness, of who he is. I lack many things. We are all lacking, but in Christ each of us can learn to do what we can to meet a need in a particular situation. Many of us screw up our music ministry. We specialize so much that we only have the narrow musical vocabulary to speak with, or we are very immature in our lyrics because we do not have enough reference to the word of God in our minds and hearts. The same applies to our concepts of helping someone who shares a problem with us after a concert. Of course we are not called or gifted in every area the Bible mentions, but that fact should not be used as an outlet for our natural inclination to run away from difficult questions. Many musicians demonstrate a surprising spiritual superficiality and irresponsibility. To say that we love Jesus, his people, and those who are still lost while proving that we are foolish and illiterate musicians does not convince anyone. Someone once answered God like this: “I don’t know. Is it my obligation to take care of him? ” (Gen. 4: 9). Of course we are not called or gifted in every area the Bible mentions, but that fact should not be used as an outlet for our natural inclination to run away from difficult questions. Many musicians demonstrate a surprising spiritual superficiality and irresponsibility. To say that we love Jesus, his people, and those who are still lost while proving that we are foolish and illiterate musicians does not convince anyone. Someone once answered God like this: “I don’t know. Is it my obligation to take care of him? ” (Gen. 4: 9). Of course we are not called or gifted in every area the Bible mentions, but that fact should not be used as an outlet for our natural inclination to run away from difficult questions. Many musicians demonstrate a surprising spiritual superficiality and irresponsibility. To say that we love Jesus, his people, and those who are still lost while proving that we are foolish and illiterate musicians does not convince anyone. Someone once answered God like this: “I don’t know. Is it my obligation to take care of him? ” (Gen. 4: 9). and those who are still lost while we show that we are stupid and illiterate musicians does not convince anyone. Someone once answered God like this: “I don’t know. Is it my obligation to take care of him? ” (Gen. 4: 9). and those who are still lost while we show that we are stupid and illiterate musicians does not convince anyone. Someone once answered God like this: “I don’t know. Is it my obligation to take care of him? ” (Gen. 4: 9).
A Christian musician asked me for help for his group. Since I didn’t have time to talk much and his schedule didn’t allow him another chance, I shared a very small piece of advice. I advised him that each member of the band — first individually, and later as a group — seriously wonder if what they were doing in music they were doing as a service to God and man or as a method of self-satisfaction. Your answer to this question would tell you a lot about the needs of the band.
If there is a genuine sense of call on the part of the individual / group to serve God and men, then we will begin to look to His Word for general solutions to the problems that our audiences bring to us. I am not insisting that the musician function as a teacher or pastor or as a Christian counselor. But I do call on those in the career of musicians to “put a little compassion on your shoulder,” not just the guitar girdle. Think: there are scriptures and experiences that you have had where the Lord helped you find healing and solutions to problems. If you are saved, you know how to lead someone to the Lord. There are churches, Christian leaders, books, seminars, radio and TV programs, and other parachurch ministries that can more directly and comprehensively help those with whom you speak. Is it too much to ask that you use your heart and mind to offer practical guidance to those in need at your concerts? I do not think so.
I am not suggesting that you should have all the answers to the many hurts, struggles, or deep theological debates that an audience or congregation may bring you. But, again I must point to the Bible and its powerful truth. Maybe some of us are just plain lazy. We may not even think about praying with the person. We may not remember the name of that great book by Dr. whatever it’s called. Maybe we forgot to give them our church phone number so they can talk to someone who can give them biblical solutions. We may not know of a good church in that area where they can be ministered more. Maybe we don’t even care. Am I being tough, my brothers? Cheer up. We were all young once. We all start from the beginning.
Where do we start to reach the wicked? Peter had to grow in sensitivity to the Gentiles. Pablo helped him. So if we are going to talk about our “potential family,” we are going to have to understand who they are and how we can reach them with the message of life. There are those who feel disabled in their ability to reach other cultures. If you find yourself in this situation I recommend that you pray, study the Bible and start walking in another neighborhood or foreign colony in your city. What do you think? How do they feel? What are they subjected to at home, at work, and what kind of music do they play? Ask them about these things. How simple, but how radical!
Even if you were not called to evangelize through your music, remember that right now there are people in eternal hell who would have liked to know what they now know! If it sounds too harsh consider the story of Jesus about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16: 19-31). We have a potential family out there. Taking our responsibility towards them seriously can make an eternal difference. Please be sensitive to this when writing, arranging, and / or playing your music.
How do we find our potential family? Can we generate enough respect to be taken seriously? Pablo did it. But he did not bow down before a religious hierarchy whose sense of respect had to do with laws that were not in the Law. Nor did he cheapen his message by lowering the moral standards of those to whom he ministered.
The gospel will always be an offense because God said so.
Mentioned in scripture: “I put a rock in Zion,
a stone that they will stumble over; whoever trusts her will not be
disappointed ”(Rom. 9:33).
As for me, brothers, if I were still insisting that
believers are circumcised, the Jews would not persecute me, since in
in that case the message of the cross of Christ would not offend them ”(Gal.
But if our statements regarding biblical truth and principles are not treated with respect, it could well be because of us and not the content of our message. The responsibility rests on our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
It is much easier to shed biblical depths than it is to listen to people and identify with them as human beings! And this lack of care and consideration is something I constantly see in my own life.
In any case, if we work with these things and meditate on them we will learn that God wants to teach us to reach those not yet reached. Growth will come unless there is lack of repentance — in which case we will know what to do.
There are plenty of biblical passages that deal with evangelizing non-believers, and any serious student of the Bible will find them easily. As you become familiar with the word, you will also notice how much is mentioned and done to stimulate spiritual growth in the Christian. This is not an “one or the other” proposition. Evangelism and spiritual growth are essential in our Christian world.
But each of us has received the gifts that Christ wanted to give. That is why the Scripture says: “He ascended into heaven, taking with him the captives, and gave gifts to men.” And what does that mean that it went up? Well, it means that he first came down to this earth. And the one who came down is the same one who also ascended to the highest point of heaven, to fill everything with his presence. And he himself granted some to be apostles and other prophets, to others to announce the message of salvation and to others to be shepherds and teachers. Thus he prepared his own for a work of service, to grow the body of Christ until we all become united in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. In this way we will reach the maturity and development that correspond to the perfect stature of Christ. We will no longer be like children, who easily change their minds and are blown away by the wind of any new teaching until they are fooled by cunning people who walk the wrong ways (Ephesians 4: 7-14; see alsoMt. 28: 19,20; Mr. 16:15).
Paul could minister as an evangelist while ministering spiritual growth as needed. As each of us grows, we may find God directing us in our lyrics and presentations toward unbelievers, or we may be directed more toward the edification of the saints with our musical abilities. There are many streams of lyricism or presentation, but for my purposes we will consider only these two great pools in which most Christian musicians swim. Obviously doing either urges us to have a deeper understanding of what the Bible says not only about God’s callings, but also about the various spiritual gifts in the life of every Christian.
I have heard several comprehensive teachings on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of your (or my) favorite exposition of the gifts, there are some salient points about those various gifts that you and I would agree on. These points are worth exploring in light of the matter I want to comment on.
We know that the Holy Spirit moves by giving his gifts “to [whom] he thinks best” (1 Cor. 12:11). This being the case, he, and not us, decides what gifts he gives us. Much depends on the gifts with which the Holy Spirit has endowed us. The church cannot reject musicians because they do not have a particular gift.
For example, no matter how hard you try to be an evangelist, the Holy Spirit could have gifted you in the area of teaching. While these two are biblical gifts of the Spirit, one will guide you further to the evangelistic content in your song lyrics. If God has gifted you with teaching, you will probably delve into expository lyricism. You will be more motivated to make songs that provide lessons for the church.
Over and over again we see the Holy Spirit blessing individuals with various gifts through which he supplies the needs of a church. Since there is no “gift of music” listed in the Word, there is a biblical basis for calling it a skill, not a calling or gift as such. Well, we see that the musicians are skilled and demonstrate various gifts of the Spirit, which will determine the content. Therefore we have a biblical foundation for our thinking and activity in ministry.
On the other hand, we need to remember that individual Christian musicians have a wide range of music-making philosophies and views on music ministry.
I have a Christian friend who wants people to be saved, he plays with a band that ministers evangelistically, and he sees permanent fruit. He rejoices in it and sees himself greatly blessed by skillfully playing an instrument. Is he in the flesh? Is he arrogant?
Could be. And he will admit that these are battles he grapples with — just like the rest of us. My friend has struggled with the fact that he is at least as satisfied with a strong musical performance as with the souls that come to Christ at that concert. While he and I agree that the first fact pales in importance when compared to the eternal importance of the second, I think I understand his situation.
First of all, I know him well enough to think that I understand his heart before the Lord. Second, I assured him that as long as he lives under the biblical demands of a minister of the gospel and doesn’t hinder the evangelist in the band, no problem.
The evangelist is sharing the gift that God has given him. He has been anointed for that purpose. On the other hand, the skill of the musician is the “platform” from which he is sharing with the audience. They are both free in Christ to be who they are in God, because God created both areas in my friend, the evangelist and the musician.
I have come to this understanding only after years of studying the Bible, preaching, and yes, judging others. I could never understand why some musicians showed so little apparent concern for the souls of those in the auditorium. Of course, some are living “in the flesh” and do not care about the eternal destiny of those for whom they play. But for others who know and love the Lord and his word deeply, their attitudes are based on gifts and anointings of the Spirit rather than sin on their part.
This brings me to the next point.
Believing that God has put him in a musical group, the evangelist will not only share the gospel naturally but will also work to be musically skilled. In the same way, the skilled Christian musician must learn to share evangelistically even if it is not from the stage during a concert.
Can I take them one step further? Shouldn’t the evangelist be open and have the ability to minister simple and edifying truths from the word to a congregation of Christians? Let’s say you don’t have the gift of teaching. Find a church full of born-again and Spirit-filled Christians, should you refuse to rise up and minister to the people? I think not.
At REZ Band, we often find ourselves in situations where every effort is made to ensure that non-believers come to a given concert. We arrive on the night of the event and realize that most of the attendees are already saved. No problem! Christians need to be challenged, fed, discipled, and led into closer contact with their Lord.
At other times we see ourselves ministering in the context of a church. Although the concert promoter has planned it to be a night of spiritual growth, it could be that we will find few attendees who know Jesus as Savior. Of course we will share the gospel because that is the appropriate need at that time.
We need to study and think more about the topics of calling, gifts, and skill that we find in the Word. First, to remove the confusion in our minds, and second, to help the rest of the body of Christ think more biblically regarding music ministry. Of course these principles apply to those who are not musicians as well.
Things are not as easy as they seem. Jesus commissioned us: “Go into all the world and proclaim to all this message of salvation [to all creation]” (Mark 16:15). Does this mean that every Christian should preach? And what about the musician, the plumber, the cook, the housewife, the legislator? Does the Christian painter have to load each painting with religious symbolism to testify? What about the command to make disciples of all nations? “Go, then, to the nations of all nations, and make them my disciples; Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you every day, until the end of the world ”(Mt. 28: 19,20). Does this mean that I must travel to every country I can and do church planting or that as a tourist I must find someone in the Grand Canyon to guide you to the “depths of the word”? There are more questions than soothing answers in the lives of many musicians today. I admit to being shaken by the Holy Spirit to take a closer look at many of my own laws and traditions. The balance is hard for lawyers!
Some of these questions I ask seriously, others a bit joking. Some find an answer in carefully reading the Bible in context. You can talk to the pastor or youth leader and read a good Bible commentary and come up with many if not all of the basic answers. “Do your best to present yourself before God as an approved worker who does not need to be ashamed, who properly teaches the message of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
I fear that there are a multitude of Christian musicians out there in the world who are more in love with their art than with their “Lord” and who are more committed to their own pursuit of happiness than to winning the lost or encouraging brothers. through his music. We are talking about plain and simple selfishness. Proverbs 11:30 says, “… he who wins souls is wise” (NRSV).
Allow God to determine who will be part of your potential family, then serve them according to their need in their language. Don’t presume to force-feed them “as usual” simply because you’ve always done it that way or because it’s more convenient and comfortable. Routinely serving Truth will accomplish as much in the lives of those who listen to you as your routine service to God will accomplish spiritual growth in your own life. Work from a sincere and caring heart. And remember to listen too. First Peter 2:17 speaks of showing respect to everyone. Let us continually bear this in mind when making our music, souls must certainly be in balance.
Genesis 4: 9
Romans 9:33; 15: 5-7
Exodus 20: 3
1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23, 24; 7: 32-35;
Psalms 127: 3-5, 9:19, 22; 10:31; 11:33; 12:11; 13: 9.13
Proverbs 10:12; 11:14; 11:30; 12:15; 13:10; 15:22; 20:18; 27: 5.6
II Corinthians 12: 9
Lamentations 3: 24-27
Ephesians 1: 6; 4: 7-18; 5:21, 25; 6: 1-4
Malachi 4: 6
Colossians 1: 18-27; 3: 12-16
Matthew 11:29, 30; 18:20; 19: 3-12;
1 Timothy 4:12, 3:10, 28: 19,20
II Timothy 2:15
Mark 1:21; 6: 1, 35, 36; 12:29, 30;
Hebrews 10:25; 12: 2,5-17; 13: 7,17
Luke 4:16; 6:45; 10:19; 12:48; 13:35;
James 4: 7, 16: 19-31
1 Peter 1: 3-9; 2:15, 17; 4: 8, 12, 18;
John 6:38, 10:16; 15: 8, 13; 17: 20-23,5: 5
Acts 1: 4, 14; 2: 1; 2:47; 4:31; 10:34;
1 John 4:19, 15: 1-41
The Responsibility of the Christian Musician – Study Guide
Chapter One – Responsibility to your Father, God
1. How can your relationship with your earthly father affect your attitude towards your
Heavenly Father ?
2. What if God gifts you and calls you to other areas of service or art? How about he
just calls you to support other artists instead of calling you to be a musician?
3. Why is our daily relationship with Jesus more important than our music or
opportunities to perform and perform as and when we want? Do you think God could ever call us “Selah” for a while?
Chapter Two: Responsibility to the Family Growing at Home, Marriage, Children
1. What is the wisest and best way to respond if your parents disagree with your musical preferences?
2. How could your marriage and relationship with your spouse be affected by a career in music and / or ministry?
3. How might your financial and time availability needs change and how
would raising your children affect your ability to travel?
Chapter Three – Responsibility to the Family of God, the Local Church, the Church in General
1. How important is it to God that we remember that Christ’s followers are part of an eternal spiritual family?
2. In addition to your musical ability, what if your local congregation asked you to serve asanother way? What would be a godly and spiritually mature way of responding if few or no one identify with your music?
3. What difficulties could you face if you serve and become musically involved with other churches in the world?
Chapter Four – Responsibility to Your Potential Family
1. How willing are you to verbally share your personal experience with Jesus, with or without music?
2. Are your music and music career more important to you than your audience – especially if those who listen to your music do not have a faith relationship with Jesus?
3. Are you willing to accept that both you and your music are ridiculed, rejected and / or simply ignored for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom purposes for your life? Is love for God and others the true reason for your decisions as a musician and follower of Jesus Christ in a world so broken and needy?