A simple but essential question for creatives “Do You Know What You Believe?” God has given you a platform for a special purpose. He made you unique and filled you with a creative gift. It is impossible to maximize your gift and purpose, without first knowing what you believe.
In the past few years, the growing trend of deconstruction has emerged. Many have found deconstruction as a way to grab attention. Rob Bell was catapulted to great heights as he sensationalized he disbelief in Hell. While chastised by core Bible believing Christians, the world embraced Rob making him an even bigger rock star. Soon after followed Michael Gunger who built a music following amongst “cool & trendy Christians” only to walk away from his faith after deep thinking his way out of faith in Jesus. This month author Joshua Harris and Hillsong songwriter, Marty Sampson, both announced they are walking away from the faith they built their careers on.
The irony is most of those celebrity Christian leaders who announce their deconstruction want to take other Jesus followers with them on their journey of walking away. If we follow sensational creative leaders while they appear to use their platform for Kingdom building, how do we process and react when they announce they are walking away from the belief that initially drew us to their platform? One thing is sure, if we don’t have a grasp on what and why we believe, the temptation to follow them over the edge will be difficult to resist. Those creative leaders who walk away don’t loose or denounce their charisma, they merely switch teams.
The enemy is lurking and waiting with the forbidden fruit in his hand, ready to offer it to each of us at the perfect time. Will you take and eat the fruit when follow the “cool & trendy” presents itself to you? Do you have a rock solid knowledge of who, what and why you believe?
Christian creatives often possess an inner desire to be revered as trend setters. In much the same way as non-believing creatives, some Christian creatives want their art to push boundaries while blazing a trail for others to follow. A stirring deep inside their soul begs to become a creative leader. Ironically, many of those same Christian creatives actually become followers of the wrong source in their pursuit to lead with their art. Chasing relevance and acceptance from the world becomes a bigger priority than leading the world to the one true source of creativity.
Let’s take a quick look at what Jesus calls us to be. Believers are called to make our primary action and goal in life to love God with all our heart. We are also called to follow and emulate Jesus so that others will see Jesus through us while sharing the gospel and making disciples of all nations. I have yet to find any scripture that carves out an exception for creatives.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
Matthew 22:37-38 ESV
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
John 12:26 ESV
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
Are you leading the world to Jesus with your art or is the world leading your art on your quest for relevance?
So you write great songs, put on a great live show and radio programmers across the country have decided to catapult you to the top of the charts by spinning your song in heavy rotation. Success is knocking on your door with a special delivery of fame. Are you fully prepared for the platform God has just given you?
I’ve heard numerous Christian artists state “I’m not a minister, I’m a Christian entertainer.” Before making that statement so quickly, maybe we should examine the platform God has entrusted you with. While you will be on stage entertaining, thousands of young impressionable minds will put you on a pedestal. Like it or not, that pedestal comes along with the job. From this moment on, every word spoken from your mouth on or off stage matters in a bigger way than you ever imagined. Your words will either reflect truth about Jesus or they will deflect truth about Jesus. Your words matter whether you are performing in churches or in mainstream arenas. You are now a teacher with a following.
The Bible tells us in James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgement. God apparently looks at the role of teacher as a huge responsibility. And you thought being an entertainer would be a piece of cake? Interestingly, God also reminds us that no one will be the perfect teacher as James 3:2 goes on to say For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. While we will never be the perfect teacher, we should strive to be the best we can through knowing God’s Word. Entertainers are a different kind of teacher than pastors or college professors, but they still teach through words and action both on and off stage. Words said from stage, interviews in the media and lyrics written in songs all teach to some degree. Therefore, knowing Truth should rank as a high priority.
I would encourage all Christians, who are chasing a career on stage, to make studying the Bible a priority. Seek out a wise mentor and others to study with. God has given you a platform that others will look up to, and he expects big things from you. Know the Truth, Live the truth and Teach the truth!
Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift under $20 for that family member or friend who is pursuing a career that could potentially bring fame? You might consider sending them a Creating Monsters book, Don’t Feed The Monster t-shirt or both. You can order from our website store or from Amazon.com.
If you are like many Americans, you found yourself glued to your TV over the last couple weeks watching the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. While Americans picked up 121 medals, it was interesting to see winners from multiple countries giving glory to God. Olympic winners are given an incredible platform as every media outlet in the world wants to grab a interview with the winners. We have seen American gold medal gymnast, Gabby Douglas, speak about her faith in Jesus over the last four years and it was nice to see so many others join her in sharing their faith at this year’s Olympic games.
Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman swimmer to win gold – “All Glory to God. Isn’t he awesome!”
American gold medalist Maya Dirado – “I don’t think God really cares about my swimming much. I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world”
Ethiopian gold medalist Almaz Ayana – “I pray to the Lord. The Lord has given me everything. My doping is in Jesus”
American women’s triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgenson – “I really think you just have to keep God as your focal point and know that he is always number one. When you do that it will help you gain perspective on everything in life-not just endurance sports”
“We both know our identity is in Christ” – Mens diving silver medalist David Boudia says about he and fellow American diver Steele Johnson
How are you using your platform to make Jesus famous outside the church?
So many of us humans chase fame. If we are honest, probably every single one of us possess a desire to be known. Something deep in our soul drives us to pursue high profile careers, record contracts, Youtube views, Facebook Likes, number 1 songs, Heisman trophies, community status and countless other honorable positions. The ironic thing is that the most famous person to ever walk the earth had no desire for any of those things.
The role model of fame had no earthly possessions. He had no website, no Facebook account, no Instagram account. He never won an election, a baseball game, scholarship or talent contest. He never secured a single radio add, Dove Award or Grammy. He wandered the earth with no wheels, no crib, and no iPhone.
The most famous person of all time didn’t pursue fame. He was merely born to die for us.
Happy Birthday Jesus!
I’ve had the opportunity to do a few radio interviews over the last couple of weeks and SOS Radio in Las Vegas is one I’m pretty excited about. Interviewing with SOS Morning Show host, Scott Herrold, was a blast! Scott is full of energy and in a market full of entertainers chasing fame. I couldn’t pick a better place to discuss Creating Monsters – Finding Fame In Jesus’ Name. Click on the image below to hear the interview.
Ever wonder what people who win Dove Awards do with them?
Do you feel called by God to be a musician? I often wonder if the word “called” is misused. We are all called to make Jesus famous with The Great Commission but does God call us to play guitar or sing? I would offer the supposition that God calls us all for the same purpose which is to make Jesus famous but he gives us varying platforms to use for that purpose. Instead of saying “God called me to be an artist” I think it makes more sense to say “God called me to make Jesus famous and he has given me specific skills and a platform to carry out the calling through music.”
Platforms come in all shapes and sizes. A fast food drive-thru window, a corporate board room, a meal wagon serving the homeless, a major league sports field, or an arena concert for twenty thousand people can all serve the same purpose. The platform God gives us is our sphere of influence. Our “calling” is to make Jesus famous.