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Articles: Viewing Article
Being a visionary band/artist is harder than it seems. Any group of Musos can put a band together, and even sound good; but few can really lead and have lasting impact and testimonies worth noting. One reason great athletes command such deep respect, in my opinion, is because they normally spend a lifetime preparing, working, and training for their dream. There aren’t too many overnight sensations in the sports world. Though good marketing and $ can make you a star in music (possibly), it can’t give you the stuff of legend because legends take a long time to make and are normally born through pain and preparation. Even more so for a Godly legacy!
It is a privilege and honor to serve the God of the universe. As His chosen beacons in a dark and fallen world, we are entrusted with a message that affects and changes reality everywhere it lands, and we want to represent Him well in everything we do. It’s important to remember daily that we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against rulers and principalities of darkness at work against us in this world. We’re always shocked when others fall from grace and make mistakes, but the truth is that it could just as easily happen to any of us. Our opponent is well acquainted with our issues and weaknesses and is patient to undermine God’s work in us. What that has to do with being a visionary is this; we have a choice when it comes to pursuing dreams and passions: To follow God or the way of the world. Sadly, as Christians in music, we sometimes look to heroes and stars for inspiration and direction more than our God. Yet the only hope we have against our adversary is being filled with God’s spirit and seeking His Kingdom first.
We work very hard to become good bands musically, but maybe not as hard to be healthy and alive spiritually. My challenge, wherever you are in your journey, is to build your musical dreams and visions on a good foundation; one that can be blessed, sustained, and promoted should God desire it. It’s backwards from the way the world’s music business works, and maybe even some churches. The point is: We are living and breathing for such a time as this and want to be effective and fruitful. The creativity is not a problem for God and if we focus our plans around Him the music can reach its full potential.
Some steps to laying a good foundation:
Identifying who we are as followers and worshippers of Jesus.
Knowing our spiritual gifts.
Surrendering and stewarding our talents.
Once we understand and can articulate who we are and what we do (individually and as a band) then we can make plans and take necessary steps. Whether a worship band, pop band, country band, etc., our first commitment is to God’s plan and glory being revealed in and through our lives. The music is secondary! Since God will not share His glory we can’t expect to be useful from a Kingdom perspective if we choose to do it our own way. It always costs dearly to compromise Godliness for earthly pursuits.
Instead of waiting to be discovered, do now what you say you want to do! Even as a band you can serve and make a difference. If you’re waiting for someone to “give you a chance or a break,” stop waiting and go do! Opportunity usually comes when we are busy with the work already, or serving where we can today. Having a vision is an imperative first step. It doesn’t have to be completely figured out, it just needs to be present to avoid wandering aimlessly-expecting others to do for us what God has given us to do ourselves. That vision should come from hearing God regarding what is important to Him and specific for us. Hard as it may be to listen and hear, He is always speaking and will guide if we follow.
A mistake made over and over, often with tragic outcomes, is giving “our” vision over to be controlled by another. Usually because we think it’s going to further our goals/careers, but sometimes also out of trust. Not that it’s wrong to trust, but no other human being should have ultimate control over or dictate your vision. By that I simply mean; if God has given us something specific to do, we shouldn’t sign it over nor give it away since it’s ours to steward. We alone are responsible and accountable to God for what He gives us and so should guard and protect a vision. You cannot expect a company, a church, a leader, your mom, your dad, or your sibling to do it for you! God will honor your diligence and faithfulness.
Can you say with confidence that you know what you’re called to do? Remember music is not a calling, it’s a talent and we steward and invest talents. There’s a lot of freedom to create and express what God has put in us through our talents and they are for His pleasure above all. We also get to enjoy them, which is great! But what we’re called to, is the mandate of Christ in Matthew 28:18-20.
If you want to be released onto a world stage, into a harvest field wide and deep; first discover God’s vision for you, then for your music!
Reprinted by permission from Worship Musician Magazine. Access the entire issue online.