Hello SelahAfrikans, I trust the hands of the Lord has been heavy upon you and He has poured upon you such grace that comes with the life we live in Christ Jesus. I know someone is wondering why I am being all spiritual with my introduction to this post. That is because I am going to be that way all through the post so buckle up as we unravel some miseries which are in Christ Jesus.
Two weeks ago or more, I wrote an article which went viral amongst Gospel folks and I want to say a big thank you to every platform who carried the article without second guessing. I want you to know we are building a nation and not just an industry. My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Amen.
A certain fellow left a comment on the article to which I responded, (I do not always do that), and he went further to defend his cause. As much as I believe everyone is entitled to his own opinion, I believe there is a need to clarify some certain issue and the comment section will not do justice to that, therefore I resulted to writing a whole article in that regard… I have been writing all these in my head ever since. Please visit the comment section here and see what transpired.
Read some of the points he raised which I will like to discuss below:
Beyond the quality of the Single Art, what is the quality of the song? Can it be played alongside other mainstream songs? Can the video be at home on HipTV, MTVBase and Soundcity? Or is it only good enough for One Gospel and Kingdom Africa?
Gospel artistes should stop aspiring below the pedestal, God called us to be the light of the world, not the light of the gospel community! …The World don’t tune into One Gospel, TBN and Kingdom Africa!!! The world, who are your primary target tune in to HIPTV, SOUNDCITY and MTV… I would celebrate Kirk Franklin winning best Artiste at the Grammys rather than winning ‘Best Gospel Artiste’ at the Grammys!”
Now, one can be easily carried away by the points he raised and say it is the fact. Truth be told, Gospel artistes, for the most, have to step up to their A-Game, so are the qualities of work on our media but observe carefully;
“The World don’t tune into One Gospel, TBN and Kingdom Africa!!! The world, who are your primary target tune in to HIPTV, SOUNDCITY and MTV… I would celebrate Kirk Franklin winning best Artiste at the Grammys rather than winning ‘Best Gospel Artiste’ at the Grammys!“.
Every time someone says “God called us to be the light of the world” these days, what I hear most of the time is “the Gospel is boring and it is not paying the cheques, a lot is happening outside, let’s go and get hold of those opportunity the world has to offer!” – like when Peter told the rest of the disciples “I go a fishing” [John 21:3], and honestly, it sounds like someone is saying God has gone bankrupt and he is not able to fund His vision unless someone adds a helping hand and carry the ark of covenant with God but like Uzzah, people are still getting burned today for helping God! Observe the end of John 21:3; “that night they caught nothing”.
As much as this ministry has the business aspect of things which I am well aware of, and have been of service to some Gospel folks, don’t forget your primary assignment is to give glory to God, not the audience on HIPTV, SOUNDCITY and MTV (like God is your boss at the bank who gives you a target of money to bring in at the end of the month). You cannot help the giver of the glory to give glory to you! First that’s self centered and it is not the will of God, I am all about the growth and development of the budding Gospel music industry in the right perspective but if God needed you to get into the world, your finest orchestrated plan cannot march the wisdom with which he will get you there! Ask Sammie Okposo who started by writing and producing soundtracks for movies, Do you even know that Lara George had gone back working a 9 to 5 before “Ijoba Orun” became a huge success which began her path back into the Gospel music? Oh Nosa! You would want to point out as your defense yeah? Nosa ran away from Chocolate City boss for a year and half trying to avoid signing a record deal before the Lord finally ordered his steps back to Chocolate City confirming his call and area of specialization… unlike most of these folks, what some artistes want to do is just run off, of their own accord without the Word. That is operating outside the grace.
Many others feel their church is not big enough to get them seen, others feel unappreciated while the rest in this category feel there is not enough support for their ministry in their church, therefore they feel a reason for leaving their primary place of assignment and cleave to what is obtainable. One word; stay in your matter till you matter in a matter of time. No one is responsible for your failure or success but you! Frank Edwards, Sinach, Joepraize, Ada, Onos, Buchi, IK Worships, ID Cabasa, Minister Kenn (MK) and the likes will tell you a thing or two about this – being a servant-leader, committed to their ‘man of God’ and all these above named artistes are super-successful. Personally, I wonder how an artiste runs off the church, away from the spiritual leading of a pastor and intend to succeed spiritually. If you have seen any who did that successfully and didn’t make a disaster of the ministry, please use the comment box!
So many want to take up the prominent role but every leader must first be a servant. Serve faithfully and that is what will qualify you for leadership, not your talents. You haven’t served faithfully in your church or you ran away from the church and you want to lead in the world, hommie, the world will sink you in faster than you can even realize it!
Now to MTV, BET, SoundCity and the awards they offer. While it is a good thing for the Gospel artiste to cross into the mainstream and obtain these awards and recognition, again, don’t let us lose focus of the goal – the Kingdom of God. The Word says;
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matt 6:20
If you get any of these awards, I’m sincerely happy for you and glad the gospel is on the move but if this is your standard of a successful career/ministry (like the commenter suggested), then I have a few questions;
1. How credible are these media; and their awards, where one of them recently described Serena Williams as having manly structure but Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner was said to be breathtaking. Another named him/her as ‘one of the best dressed women’?”
2. How many times have BET, MTV, Trace, Soundcity and the likes played Kirk Franklin, Tasha Cobbs, even Erica Campbell‘s trap music “I Luh God” (which some described as worldly) back to back with the rest of the music, during the week and not on a dedicated Gospel program?
3. The ones who award Gospel music amongst them, do they have dedicated categories or mix the Gospel artistes with the rest of the categories?
4. I have more questions, especially about the perversion and obscenities that goes on, on those platforms but I want to stop to ask this, if the world already segregated you, why are you trying to conform to it by living up to the world’s standards?
We must be careful to check our motives every time because these things comes subtly till we wake up one morning and realize we are far gone – no more in the will, we have taken the reins from God but we are still not in control. I understand that you want to do business, even God commands it but be careful to make the money and not let the money make you… as a minister. Take heed to your ministry and be an examples to the Believers (Yes! to the church!) [1 Timothy 4:12]. Develop yourself, break your own record, do it better each time. Employ the necessary techniques, walk in the grace The Gospel music industry is still budding and the future looks bright, let God worry about how you get to the ends of the earth. He will never be indebted to any man. Did he not say;
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14
Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” – Habbakuk 2:13-14
Kenny K’ore once said during an interview and I will paraphrase; “the problem is not that the media is not playing the Gospel music, the problem is that Gospel artistes think they should break their system to attend to them. Instead the church should use entertainment as a form of evangelism by raising platforms that serve the Gospel needs.” [Holy Holla, Nov. 2013].