“When God prompts us to do something on His behalf” in this case ministry through music, “He is faithful to lead the way and to bless our obedience – for His own glory. His plans need to be our plans...even if it sometimes seems to ‘interrupt’ our plans.” – Gwen Smith.
Now Let’s paint a picture.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like meeting your favourite singer, or your favourite rapper, producer, musician, someone you truly admire for their talent? Have you ever wondered whether they would smile at you, shake your hand, give you a hug, tell you that they appreciate your support and maybe just maybe, agree to take a picture with you?
Picture that moment. Imagine your excitement, how blessed you feel to have had the chance to meet and speak to them, even if it was just for a moment. Can you see it? Sure?
*takes sledgehammer then completely and utterly destroys picture*
Have you ever wondered what it would be like meeting your favourite gospel singer, or your favourite gospel rapper, producer, musician, someone you truly admire for their talent? Have you ever wondered whether they would smile at you, shake your hand, give you a hug, tell you that they appreciate your support and maybe just maybe, agree to take a picture with you? Picture that moment. Imagine your excitement, how blessed you feel to have had the chance to meet and speak to them, even if it was just for a moment. Can you see it? Got it?
*takes sledgehammer then completely and utterly destroys picture*
Now most of you will probably be thinking, this chick just repeated everything she said in the first paragraph. I did, except I added one word ‘gospel’. In adding this word, call me presumptuous, but one would automatically assume that the outcome of the situation would change. But it didn’t, the outcome was the same. This is (in my mind) a reflection of the state of the gospel music industry. I’ll be the first to admit the immense talent that is currently emerging from the UK gospel scene. An incredible amount of talented and anointed young rappers, singers, poets, producers, musicians who are musically blessed but who’s attitude is less than acceptable.
We hear it on every pulpit every week that ‘we are not of this world.’ Why then can we no longer see a difference in attitude between worldly entertainers and ministers of the gospel? Is your stage performance, your fame and popularity more important than the lifestyle that you lead off stage? Why is there a sharp contrast between the persona you portray onstage and the one that we see at the end of the event?
On one too many occasions I have heard and been told of how people have been let down by the people they look up to because of the attitude with which they were received. I’m tired of attending event after event, gig after gig and seeing ‘ministers’ of the gospel congregating at the outside or at the back doing their own thing whilst the show goes on as if to say ‘My presence here is enough, I don’t need to engage in the happenings around me.’ I’m tired of plucking up enough courage to approach a minister to congratulate them on a moment of powerful ministration only to be knocked back by arrogance and rudeness. I’m tired of seeing the faces of young people upset because the person they look up to, the person whose ministry they follow for having the biggest impact on their lives, ignored them. Please let me know, who do you think you are? Tell me, if you invited Jesus, (yes I took it there), the biggest superstar of them all to your event and He stood at the back with other ministers, congregating and drawing attention to Himself, what would you make of Him? Furthermore, what would you do if when you finally had enough courage to approach Him He turned around, looked at you, decided you weren’t worth His time and walked off?
As ministers, there is an awesome responsibility placed on your shoulders to be an example of the Jesus that you celebrate in your music. The Jesus I know wouldn’t leave me dumbfounded and confused by ignoring me when I approach Him to say ‘Thank You for your ministry tonight, it really blessed me.’ The Jesus I know wouldn’t turn up late to an event late with an entourage, do a 15 minute set and walk straight out again. The Jesus I know wouldn’t behave in an aloof manner to supporters who are excited to meet Him for the first time and the Jesus I know certainly wouldn’t allow Himself to be so full of hot hair that His feet no longer touch the ground. Why? Because He has a heart of humility and integrity.
I know a minister whose ministry God has taken to unimaginable heights and on conversing with him; I’m continually amazed at how humble he is. Not for a single second does he take his success for granted because he knows it is God that has allowed him to get this far. From him I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter how big, small or well known a church is or which other minister is going to be ministering on the day. If God says go, go.
“When God prompts us to do something on His behalf” in this case ministry through music, “He is faithful to lead the way and to bless our obedience – for his OWN glory. His plans need to be our plans...even if sometimes seem to ‘interrupt’ our plans.” – Gwen Smith. For the simple fact that God GAVE you this gift means that you have no right whatsoever to become arrogant about it. He gave you a gift to use for HIS glory and fame and not for yours. It is a privilege to be in such a position of honour and prestige, serving God through the ministry of music particularly because it is such a powerful tool. But it is impossible to serve God without learning to serve your brother. The higher you place yourself, the further you have to fall when God reminds you who truly is boss. It took three days of residing in the belly of a whale for Jonah to realise that it was God’s show and not his.
I understand that it is difficult being a minister. I understand that you are under pressure. I understand that it’s hard to keep your feet on the ground when everyone around you constantly tells you how brilliant and talented you are. I understand that sometimes it gets tiring greeting everyone. I understand that you have your own lives to live and that you have other responsibilities. I understand that some people are difficult to deal and communicate with. I understand that you too get weak and tired and I definitely understand that you are human too. But the grace of God is more than sufficient to supply all your needs. His strength is made perfect in your weaknesses. The more you depend on Him, the more His glory shines through every area of your life, especially your ministry.
There is no question that what you do is greatly appreciated, and that lives are truly blessed and transformed by the message that you put out there through music. The testimonies speak for themselves. But the greatest example is the one you lead when the lights are out, when the instruments have been packed away, when the show is over.
I implore you, yes you *nods towards said ‘you* to check yourself. Check your circle. Check your heart. Check your motive. Seek the heart of the One who despite how busy He was, never turned anyone away without impacting their lives for the better. You may be the only Jesus many people see, please don’t let your attitude let them down. As your supporters see you, so does the Father in heaven and He and only He can and will reward you. Remember, you can’t lose your way if you follow The One who is the way.
This message comes from a place of love and concern. I seek not to offend but to convict and challenge you by the power of the Holy Spirit. I make no apologies for writing as I feel God has led me to. We are all humans and we all have our faults, what makes us different from the world is whether or not we run to the Father to help us fix the problem and make us better.
With all the love in the world
By Debbie Okeowo
Lyrical Solider: Please Leave you comments and contributions below. Also if your a minister how do you deal with some of the struggles discussed above