“Therefore I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them and are established in the truth you have. I consider it right, as long as I am in this bodily tent, to wake you up with a reminder, knowing that I will soon lay aside my tent, as our Lord, Jesus Christ [the Messiah] has also shown me. And I will also make every effort that you may be able to recall these things at any time after my departure” 2 Peter 1:12-15 (HCSB)
Several years ago, an evangelical philosophy began to spread throughout the “Christian” music and entertainment community. Based primarily on the ideas of a book called “Roaring Lambs,” many artists in the business became preoccupied with the notion that people weren’t becoming followers of Jesus because there weren’t enough Christian “stars” in the secular entertainment industry. A quasi-movement arose in response to the perceived “need” to raise prominent Christian artists to influence the World with their art and star power.
I find nothing wrong with evangelism or doing ministry in secular venues…but attached to the philosophy mentioned above was the negative sentiment that Christian artists who didn’t adopt this approach, whose music was primarily designed to disciple and encourage believers in Jesus, were “selling out.” The term used was “preaching to the choir.” In response, many artists decided to forsake the Church (as a marketplace) and rush to the general market, where all the “lost” people are perceived to be dwelling.
Being a follower of Jesus and a member of the music business community, I became keenly interested in this movement. I have observed that the secular siege has more to do with marketing music than winning souls. Christian music, TV, radio, and retail combined reach less than 15% of people who attend churches. Preaching to the choir? On its best day, the Christian music industry has not yet reached 85% of the “choir”! Surely, there are lost and discouraged people in that 85% of congregation attendees who need to be reminded of the truth and hope of God’s Word.
Many of my colleagues felt they were on the cusp of an awakening and that the secular initiative would be the fulcrum from which a colossal revival would be leveraged. A few even obtained general market success. But for the most part, the Church-at-large is still waiting to receive the wave of “converts” these stars and their music have produced. The lack of “revival” (through the mainstream efforts) is because the closer we get to the World…with the intent of selling them a product…the more the World demands, we diminish our message. Quite literally, They won’t buy it.
Friends, the World will not be won from a stage. “The revival will not be televised,” to paraphrase the ’70s protest song. God wants laypeople to win souls. By the way, that’s YOU. More than a rock star persona, we need a generation of well-versed believers who can do the work of an evangelist and remain present in the lives of those whom they lead to faith: Discipleship. This was precisely the Apostle Peter’s point. One doesn’t become well-versed and disciplined without repetition and support from a Godly community.
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