A Challenge to all Worship Leaders, Christian Artists
and Musicians for Jesus.
by Keith Green

[For as long as he could remember, the late Keith Green's greatest 
dream was to be a musical success. After he gave his life to Jesus, 
however, he felt the need to surrender those aspirations. Ironically, 
when sometime later he sensed God was directing him to pick 
these abilities back up, his music soared straight to the top of the
contemporary Christian charts. The following message was birthed 
out of his personal struggle to strike a balance between music 
and missions, humility and fame.]

"Today, so many people ask me if I can tell them how they can 
start or enter into a music ministry. At concerts I get countless 
questions about this, and I also get lots of letters and even some
long-distance phone calls from many people who feel they are 
only "called" into the music "ministry" One day I began to ask 
myself why so few have ever asked me how to become a missionary, 
or even a local street preacher, or how to disciple a new believer. It 
seems everyone would prefer the "bright lights" of what they think 
a music ministry would be, rather than the mud and obscurity of 
the mission field, or the streets of the ghetto, or even the true 
spiritual sweetness of just being a nobody whom the Lord uses 
mightily in small "everyday" ways.

Are You Willing?
My answer to their question is almost always the same. "Are you 
willing to never play music again? Are you willing to be a nothing? 
Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything for Christ? Are 
you willing to stay right where you are and let the Lord do great 
things through you, though no one may seem to notice at all?" 
They all seem to answer each of these questions with a quick 
"yes!" But I really doubt if they know what their answer entails.

Star Struck
My dearest family in Jesus...why are we so star struck? Why do 
we idolize Christian singers and speakers? We go from glorifying 
musicians in the world, to glorifying Christian musicians. It's
all idolatry! Can't you see that? It's true that there are many
men and women of God who are greatly anointed to call down the
Spirit of God on His people and the unsaved. But Satan is getting
a great victory as we seem to worship these ministers on tapes
and records, and clamor to get their autographs in churches and 
concert halls from coast to coast.

Can't you see that you are hurting these ministers? They try 
desperately to tell you that they don't deserve to be praised,
and because of this you squeal with delight and praise them all
the more. You're smothering them, making it almost impossible 
for them to see that it's really Jesus. They keep telling
themselves that, but you keep telling them it's really them,
crushing their humility and grieving the Spirit that is trying
to keep their eyes on Jesus.

Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, 
sometimes with our whole heart. So a lot of people who want to 
become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek 
after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after 
Him! And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a 
place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus.

A Thankless Job
How come no one idolizes or praises the missionaries who give 
up everything and live in poverty, endangering their lives and 
families with every danger that the "American dream" has almost 
completely eliminated? How come no one lifts up and exalts the 
ghetto and prison ministers who can never take up an offering, 
because if they did they would either laugh or cry at what they'd

How come?

Because (1) we're taught from very early on that comfort is our 
goal and security... and (2) that we should always seek for a
lot of people to like us. Who lives less comfortably and has had
less friends and supporters than the selfless missionaries who
have suffered untimely, premature deaths trying to conquer souls
and nations for the whole glory of God? Do you really believe
we're living in the very last times? Then why do you spend more
money on Gospel records and concerts than you give to organi-
zations that feed the poor, or to missionaries out in the field?

There are ministries all over the world where "penniless" people 
are being saved and transformed. They are broken people who 
have promise and qualities, but just need someone to bring them 
God's light during the times when their lives seem so completely

I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having 
performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my 
life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy (Romans 11:11) or 
to sell out more completely to Jesus!

Quit trying to make "gods" out of music ministers, and quit 
desiring to become like them. The Lord commands you, "Deny 
yourself take up your cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). 
My piano is not my cross, it is my tool. I'd never play it again
if God would show me a more effective tool in my life for 
proclaiming His Gospel.[God gives us each our own unique tools.
But we may never use them if we become more interested in 
someone else's. Seek God, ask Him for His plan for ministry
(true, God glorifying ministry) in your life.]

To finish, let me say that the only music minister to whom the 
Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the 
one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom 
music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the
only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal!

Let's all repent of the idolatry in our hearts and our desires for 
a comfortable, rewarding life when, really, the Bible tells us we 
are just passing through as strangers and pilgrims in this world 
(Hebrews 11:13), for our reward is in heaven. Let's not forget 
that our due service to the Lord is "... not only to believe in
Him, but also to suffer for His sake"(Phil. 1:29).

Amen. Let us die graciously together and endure to the end like 
brave soldiers who give their lives, without hesitation, for our
noble and glorious King of Light."