I am reading a book by Don Cusic, titled SANDI PATTI: The voice of gospel.
It is a biography about One of Christian Contemporary Singer back in the days. Her life in ministry, in the public eyes and of course, privately. Don Cusic gives a provocative account of the history of Contemporary Christian Music, exploring the never-ending pursuit of balance between commercial success and Christian that challenges all gospel artist.
I picked this book, at the home of my host in Madrid recently, I went on a short trip to ministering Spain, while I was there with another colleague of mine in the ministry, they had to discard some of their many thousands of books piled up in the family garage. As I joined in to help in sorting out the books, they said I could pick any book I liked.
My eyes caught the glimpse of the title as I scouted for more books, I knew this book will travel back home with me, amongst many other books that I brought back from Spain.
I am just a few chapters into the book, but couldn’t help agree with some of the situations the author of the story of Sandi Patti was writing about. Indeed there is a never-ending pursuit between commercial success and ministry today, and it is even more intense than it was in the 60s, or 70’s and down to the 80s. I would say when we didn’t really have many Christian musicians like we do in this day and age.
If you’ve seen the reality show on BET Channel 129, the Mary Mary Show, then you will agree that the pursuit to be commercially viable as a gospel musician and also fulfil God’s mandate is like a cat and mouse fight and that there is a thin line of compromise between these two sides.
The question here is, can a gospel singer be commercially successful and still be very relevant in ministry without deteriorating or losing the standards of the call and purpose of ministry. Because the call is first to God, and the rest follows but we see a trend in today’s world that in a bid to stand side by side the secular counterparts, a lot of the so-called gospel musicians are fast losing the fervour with which they first started, just for the sake of commercial viability. Is it, therefore, a bad idea to look for commercial success?
My answer is No, it’s not a bad idea, but it is dangerous to pursue commercial success to the detriment of the core assignment of ministry.