June 21, 2022
“For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life...”
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“For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6: 6b-9
I have spent my whole adult life in and around the Christian music business. When I was 22 years old, I got my first record deal. I clearly remember the day I signed that record contract. I recall sitting across the desk from the record executive; ink still wet on the contract from my signature. He leaned back in his chair and spouted two incredibly poignant pearls of wisdom. The first was, “Most people fail in this business because they quit too soon,”; and the second was, “Don’t quit your day gig.”
Those two statements conveyed a multitude of wisdom. On the one hand, he wanted me to know I was in a “slow growth” industry, where investment would take considerable time to pay dividends. But, on the other hand, he encouraged me that MY pay-off was worth the wait, and HIS pay-off depended on my wise investment and patience!
The “Christian” music business can be a tricky industry. There are multi-car pileups at the intersection of Faith and Commerce! Some people see the “platform” as an opportunity to vainly project their image in hopes of exploiting the marketplace. When you view yourself as a product, everyone else becomes a consumer. That scenario doesn’t foster great personal relationships. Eventually, an artist’s “shelf life” ends. Those who sow their gifts in vanity reap an empty harvest.
Other artists approach the business from the standpoint of ministering to others. Sure, they produce products for the marketplace, but the greater desire is for the music to encourage people to draw closer to God. The well-intended artists view their time on the “shelf” as the Lord’s calling and recognize it is God’s prerogative to eventually call them elsewhere. Yet, they never tire of doing good, no matter how high or low profile the ministry opportunity may be.
However, wherever we are called to serve the Lord, we should each diligently sow the gospel seed in whatever mission field the Lord leads us to. Then, we must patiently wait for God to provide growth. When we focus less on our personal pay-off and more on the quality of fruit that develops in the lives of others, we will be less inclined to sell out or quit when times get hard.