Have you ever had the thought of being famous? Most artists/musicians are driven by the dream of performing on the big stage for thousands of people which sometimes brings fame. Many pursuing careers in Christian music begin with Christ centered intentions but just an ounce of success or admiration from others can quickly disrupt their course. Navigating the fine line between a platform and a stage can be tricky making it crucial for Christians to understand the difference in the two.
A platform is a sphere of influence that God gives us to use for making Him famous. The size, shape and nature of the platform varies based on our individual calling. A fast food drive-thru window, a corporate board room, a meal wagon serving the homeless, a major league sports field, or an arena concert for twenty thousand people can all serve the same purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus. While our individual platforms may vary, Jesus gives specific instructions on how we are to use them. He doesn’t instruct us to make followers of ourselves but instead he instructs us to make followers of him.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
Matthew 28:19 ESV
I recently ran into a former pastor friend of mine who has served as an accountability pastor for several artists and musicians over the years. As we were talking, he mentioned a successful Christian artist recently came to him concerned she had become a diva as a result of her music success. She was seeking advice on how to change. He, of course, told her she needed to ask forgiveness from anyone she had wronged, but then he gave her a huge nugget of wisdom every artist should hear. My pastor friend explained to this artist how a platform becomes a stage the second an artist allows the focus to be on themselves. If an artist finds themselves overly concerned about how well they controlled the audience, how cool or beautiful they looked on stage or how many screaming fans they have, it might be a good time to pause and examine purpose. When the platform becomes a stage for a Christian, they have most likely stepped out of God’s purpose for their life. Wow! That’s simple truth for anyone, no matter what platform they have been given, but so appropriate for those in the entertainment field.
Obviously, artists/musicians need to be excellent at their craft and interesting in order to draw people in for a listen, but there is an intentional art in striving for excellence while maintaining God’s purpose for our platform. This quote from C.S. Lewis poignantly addresses the danger Christian artists/musicians face.
Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to the love of telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about him
– C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
How are you managing your platform? Are you more concerned about building “kingdom” or is your emphasis on building “fandom?” Are you more interested in God or telling about God?
Spending daily time in God’s word is crucial to maintaining a perspective on how we are using our platform. I encourage all Christians pursuing careers in entertainment to find a pastor or spiritual mentor to help hold them accountable as their musical sphere of influence grows.
We are launching Finding Fame In Jesus’ Name University in early 2016. Visit http://keithstancil.com/ffijn-univ for more info.
Let’s make Jesus famous!
Artist Manager and Author