By Paul Dada
In this post, I will be asking more questions than taking a position. The reason is that I don’t have definite answers. At best, the answers I have are tentative. I hope you will not be uncomfortable to see many “I thinks” later in this post. I put them there deliberately. I hope that our engagements on this thread may prove enlightening to me and other readers.
Commercialisation of Gospel Music
It has been alleged that most of the so-called gospel singers/ musicians are into it for money. I do not doubt that.
But is it wrong? I mean even if one is making genuine gospel music, is it wrong to seek to live on it? What exactly is commercialisation of gospel music? If we don’t condemn those who author and publish Christian books for selling their works, why do we blame gospel singers for selling their music?
Would you regard a gospel singer and musician who sells their music as a businessman/ businesswoman rather than take them to be a minister? If you say they are business people, what would you call a teacher of the word of God who publishes a book and sells copies of it?
Should the musician only sell their music to recover the cost of production?
My Experience And Decision
Earlier this year, I released an album and later a single which production was sponsored by a brother.
I sold CDs of the album. I also sold the music online. But I have stopped selling.
I believe God wants me to be a non-commercial singer/musician. While I will gratefully accept voluntary financial support from whoever is willing, It is my decision to no longer sell my music. I am preparing to record another album which will be released possibly mid-2020( God willing) and I do not plan to sell it despite the huge cost of production.
It is probably easy for me to take this decision because I don’t live on music. I am a journalist and Digital Marketing consultant. I think I should not blame those who live on music. If music is actually a ministry, does the Bible not say, those who serve on the altar must live by the altar?
What I THINK is Ideal
Well, it may not be wrong for a gospel singer/ musician to live on their music. But I THINK the situation is so because we have largely departed from the church model given to us by the Lord.
In the early church, there was no solo ministry. Ministers were supported by the brethren. Although, they took no salaries, yet ministers were financially and materially assisted by the churches.
I THINK that if we were largely following this pattern, no singer/ musician would have to sell the music they have made. I THINK the churches would support and fund the production of composed songs and brethren who are using their talents in this area. I THINK then the music would be promoted and distributed free to the public.
I also THINK no one who writes a book would have to sell copies of it because they are supported by God’s people. Perhaps, people would not have to buy a copy of the Bible or a Christian book at a shop.
I THINK that since we have too many songs pretending to be gospel songs, real churches and believers should come together to establish recording studios where people with genuine gospel songs can record for free. Their songs will be mixed, mastered and then given out for free.
What do you THINK?