I used to think that if you were a musician with chops you needed to ‘get out there’ and play shows and sell albums and get rich and famous, and if you didn’t you automatically became one of those musos who hadn’t ‘made it’. A narrow point of view really, and what I realise now is that we as musicians are called to worship, and if were doing that with our music we’re winning, we’ve ‘made it’. Some are called to lead worship, some are called to a supportive role. Some worship at home, in their space, with their instrument, and bring God glory in that way. Whatever the case, I believe that if you’re assisting even one person to worship God and and enter into His presence then you’re fulfilling a calling of God on your life.
In the bigger picture, we are called to build the Church*, wherever we are. Don’t just attend a church*, muck in, get in amongst it, help your pastors and leaders. It’s not about growing an organisation or building a brand name, it’s about assisting people, encouraging them in their walk with Jesus, helping them live a better life. It’s not all about you, and the great thing about that is that if everyone has that same attitude then you’re bound to get some help from somebody when you need it. It’s a lot of give, and bit of take, and a lot of reward. A tree’s roots take nutrients and water from the earth, and the tree’s leaves do their thing with photosynthesis, and the healthy tree produces fruit that is for someone else’s use, not just its own. Think sowing and reaping, loving your neighbour as yourself, treating others the way you would like to be treated.
Whatever level your music is at, it’s still all about giving God glory and helping others do the same. The music is awesome and we love it, but it’s not just about the music. The music is a facilitator. For most people, music makes it easier to worship. It can create an atmosphere. It can keep a group of singers (more or less) in tune and together, bringing a greater sense of unity.
If you’re a closet musician, use your music to worship God and let His Spirit strengthen you as you worship so you are fit and healthy to do the work of the kingdom. If you like to play but you’re a bit shy, just have a little worship jam with some of your friends in a small group setting. If you’re a bit more out there, join a worship team. (As a side note to that, it does help if you’re proficient enough your instrument that you’re not going to be a distraction, and in the other direction, a musician who takes every possible opportunity to do a ripping solo can also distract from the reason for the music. Balance, people!!)
If you’ve got a voice, and if you’ve got musicianship, and you’re not using them to bring glory to God, I feel like you’re ripping yourself off, because so much blessing can come out of worshiping God, and so much more blessing can come out of helping others to enter into God’s presence. And in that way true richness and the best kind of fame come into the picture – the richness of God’s love for us, and our witness making God famous.* Note – in my understanding, Church with capital ‘C’ means the body of Christ, and church with a lower case ‘c’ means the local church – ie: the building where we gather to worship.