“Playing the ministry card”

From the entertaining Jonathan Sawrie, an insightful take on a potential problem of too many self-proclaimed ministers in song:

Here is what I’ve noticed – countless times.

A gospel performer is on stage and all is going pretty well. The singing is good (most of the time), the crowd is responsive, some humor is intermingled with some very encouraging songs. The goal seems to be being achieved. Then, and most often I think, as some way of making sure everyone knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are there to “minister” to these good folk – I call it playing the ministry card - they say something to this effect: “I know a lot of you here tonight are going through hard times. Sickness, financial problems, a marriage situation, etc., etc.”. Oh, they can get very specific.

Every time this happens I can’t help but think of some poor soul out there who is going through one of these difficult times (in fact, most of us are), who hasn’t smiled or laughed in three weeks, and just as they were beginning to relax and enjoy themselves a little, they are reminded of the very thing from which they needed to escape.

It’s like they get hit in the back of the head out of nowhere with a 2×4. I want to scream out, “Yes, and they had probably almost forgotten about it until you brought it up again! Thank you!”

His conclusion: “Why can’t we just shut up and sing?” Read the whole thing. (Hat tip, NG)

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Comments

  1. Gayla wrote:

    Once again, I agree 100% with Jonathan Sawrie! Most people know that I am a devoted Melody Boys Quartet fan, and that I even work for the Quartet. Therefore, I can admit that I am prejudiced. However, I truly believe Jonathan is one of the most wise insightful gentlemen in the “bidness”. He is also an incredible talent that is truly missed in the full time Quartet World today. Jonathan is a great deal like the old E. F Hutton commercials…when he offers his well considered and voiced opinions everyone should listen! His public resignation letter when he left TMBQ should be the model that all are based upon! However, understand, he is like the younger generation Les Beasley and Charlie Waller…do not ask his opinion unless you absolutely want to know the truth! “Our” Industry is better because Joanthan Sawrie sometimes shares his opinons and talents.

  2. Mike McIlwain wrote:

    Doug,
    I had to agree with Jonathan when I read this a few weeks ago. I understand that the entertaining group is wanting to minister, but Jonathan makes a good point about the audience wanting to forget about their troubles. If the group is ministering in a worship service, then that is a different situation. More singers need the ability that Jim Hamil had when it comes to reading a crowd and determining what they need.

  3. Kyle wrote:

    This will be interesting to watch unfold….

  4. wackythinker wrote:

    “Why can’t we just shut up and sing?”

    Well, maybe some are called to be Christian entertainers, and other called to minister. Maybe some feel they need to do a little of both. Maybe the Lords said something like, “there are people in the audience who are going through tough things. Some may be here to escape; some may be here looking for hope. Some my be here to escape, but they need to be reminded of the Hope in Me”

    Just a wacky thought.

  5. john masters wrote:

    I don’t mind the attemps at “ministry” as much as I find appalling the 501c3 status of groups and promoters. Calling a business a ministry simply because it takes money from church people is just not right.

    A band of gypsies in a Prevost does not a ministry make. This sort of stretching will prompt president Hillary to try to take the tax exempt status from real ministries like local churches and faith based groups that actually “minister.”

  6. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    If a person walks into a service carrying a burden, why does that person have to leave and go back to carrying that burden when he/she can give it to Christ to carry. As much as many want to believe it, our job is not to sing, it is to spread the Gospel of Christ. Some just happen to use melodies as a vessel. If that person doesnt want to carry the burden anymore, maybe the meaningless gibberish at the end of a service can enlighten that person as to where to lay the burden down. Instead of throwing your hands in the air and thinking “Here we go again with that Christian non-sense”, perhaps you could pray for the people that are going through the rough times. Then again, thats just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  7. JE Butler wrote:

    When I go to a concert - especially those that are ticketed, I DO NOT want to hear a sermon. I hear those at church.

    I fully endorse “shut-up & sing!”

    JD Sumner had it right.

    AMEN

    JEB

  8. Eric Melton wrote:

    Keep in mind that there are some people though that want to come to a concert to hear good music that entertains. Any way that you slice it that still remains fact.

    I am a Pentecostal minister myself and I do some evangelism throughout the year. I am very serious sometimes more so than what people like. I have often been labeled as being too startchy. But believe it or not, there are non-Christians that listen to this music. I know of a Southern Gospel radio station DJ that once told me “I don’t even claim to be a Christian I just love quartet music!”

    Let me give you another true story that I have told many people. I am not going to hide behind a fictitous name here and talk about others and name theirs. I will tell you who I am and who I am with.

    I was raised in North Central AR and my 2 brothers took me every other Friday night to Little Rock at Barton Coliseum to see pro wrestling. (I was a huge fan for years) In 1995 after my move to Nashville I discovered on TV that Nashville still had the Memphis territory wrestling that came to the Nashville Fairgrounds every Sat night. During the first time I went to the Nashville wrestling show, this gentleman sitting on the same row at Ringside that I was sitting on kept staring at me. Finally when they took the first intermission I asked the guy what he was starring at. His reply then startled me when he says “Are You In Gospel Music? I shyly replied not thinking anyone there would knew me “Yes”. To which he said “I love the music! I subscribe to the Gospel Voice Magazine and I have seen your picture. Then a lady turns around from the row in front of us and says “I was at the Gold City concert last weekend and I love listening to Solid Gospel.”

    It just proves that there are some that still love to encouraged and entertained. The great thing is we still have an undying message. I agree I would not want me to be lifted up. It is not about us, it is all about Christ. Not about our egos or personas. However the truth of the matter is we should still be professional, and do things to the best of our ability that God has blessed us with.

    But the truth of this matter is a percentage of people that come to see their favorite Southern Gospel group are the same ones that will go the Wrestling Matches and scream their heads off by when a Masked Wrestler hits the other guy over the head with the chair. They have in both venues laughed and been entertained.

  9. jbb wrote:

    Maybe the person sitting there doesn’t really know what to do, so they need to be “ministered” to. You never know, it may be their first time to a concert and they need to hear the word too. Christians need to be reminded also. It’s hard to forget your troubles, but, we can be reminded who to turn them over to.

  10. BaritoneJP wrote:

    Most groups don’t have their own venue in which they can structure the service, they have scheduled dates that are part of a larger service. If not, and that service is only taking place as a singing venue, then I agree. To quote, “shut up and sing”. Then choose songs that have the message that the Spirit is leading to communicate. However, if the group is there as a part of a larger service, then it should be up to the group to find out what role the Pastor, Music Minister/Leader wants them to have in their service. If it’s to minister in song, then sing. If the group can be used in more ways than just singing, then follow the Spirit.

    I would add as a thought … if your songs don’t have the message you would like to convey … then you need to look for songs that do …

  11. Ben Harris wrote:

    Jonathan has an interesting point. If we as artists only bring up the bad to get people into a somber mood, or on the point of tears simply from thinking about all the hard times, then I must agree that we are very likely causing more hurt. If however, the Glory of the Lord is clearly in attendance and His spirit is seen and felt, I can guarantee you that experience is jubiliant and will also be a great release from the troubles and heartaches of this old world. Knowing the difference is where many artists fall short. Telling about your dead grandmother and how she rocked you on her knee just before she passed away, maybe a touching story, and may bring tears to the eyes of the audience, but I am not so sure much is accomplished for the cause of Christ. Paul said to edify the church, and that means to build up the spirit and the vitality of the members of that church. Having a time where the troubles are vanished by song, laughter snd good Christian entertainment is all within the confines of doing His work. It edifies the people and in doing so, cause them to think in a more positive way about seving Him. Have you ever heard a good minsiter tell a funny story and the next minute use the tenderness that light hearted moment has caused to drive a point home? He used entertainment to get your attention.

  12. Revpaul wrote:

    #5 Def,
    You say,”as much as many want to believe it, our job is not to sing . . .”
    Then why bother to sing at all. If our job is evangelist, then let’s just preach. You may not agree, but here’s the distinction I make: if I advertise a “concert” I expect singing and my audience pays for singing. If I announce a church service, then I’m ready for preaching and ministry, and the audience expects that. Seems simple to me. I like to end a concert with a song and ashort invitation. I like to end a worship service with an invitation and a song!

  13. Rod wrote:

    How about we allow the HOLY SPIRIT to move all by its little self and get out of the way because most of the time we ARE in the way…Why can’t we let the words to the song prick the heart or the melodies soothe the soul…Enough Said.

  14. Rod wrote:

    ? after soul ooops

  15. Revpaul wrote:

    Rod #13,
    You say “allow the HOLY SPIRIT to move all by its little self”. The Holy Spirit’s an IT, huh? Just a little slip of the tongue, I’m sure.

  16. Rod wrote:

    Yep…Sorry

  17. Grigs wrote:

    EricMelton, after reading your post, there’s one deep, thought provoking question that I must ask…

    Did Jerry Lawler rassle that night? :)

  18. Brittni wrote:

    I agree with the thought that some are called to be Christian entertainers and some are called to ministers, but I have to point out that each will always include a bit of the other. If you’re a Christian entertainer, whereas preaching a sermon might not be your goal, uplifting the name of the Lord still is. Any time the name of Jesus is mentioned you have to think of as an opportunity. True, several people may have come to forget their problems. But is forgetting a good thing? No! Solving is a good thing and when you know the answer to their problems (that’s Jesus for any who aren’t following my line of thought lol) don’t you think it would be ridiculous not to share it? You don’t have to turn it in to an hour long invitation to make it effective. But I believe every service should ALWAYS include an alter call or at least a prayer time. Otherwise what’s the point of you singing about the Lord in the first place?

  19. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    #12 - I understand your point and the point of most everyone else here, but I still say there is nothing wrong with a 3-4 minute invitation at the end of a song service. I believe there are too many people who are worried about getting what they want instead of delivering something that is pleasing to, and in accordance with, God’s will. Remember fellow Christians, it’s not about you.

  20. Radioguy wrote:

    J-D Sumner once said “If is takes you longer to introduce the song than sing the song, you’re singin’ the wrong song”! I too get tired of all the talk at concerts. Please please give us an hour and half of singing, not 50 minutes of singing and 40 minutes of talk.

  21. cdguy wrote:

    I remember long ago, my brother & I went to see the Bill Gaither Trio. In those days, a big part of the concert was hearing the stories behind the songs. In that 2 hour concert, my brother counted they sang only about 10 songs (and only parts of some). While we enjoyed the evening, we went away disappointed there wasn’t more singing and less talk.

  22. BUICK wrote:

    I loved a few of the insights.
    -RevPaul: “Seems simple to me. I like to end a concert with a song and a short invitation. I like to end a worship service with an invitation and a song!” Great point.
    -BaritoneJP: “if your songs don’t have the message you would like to convey … then you need to look for songs that do …” Excellent thought.
    -RadioGuy: “J-D Sumner once said ‘If is takes you longer to introduce the song than sing the song, you’re singin’ the wrong song’”! (similar to BaritoneJP) and still an excellent point.

    I hate it when a choir does a cantata and then the preacher is expected to preach. If there isn’t a message in the music, then sing something else. Music ministers. It doesn’t require a lot of talk to help the music to minister. We’ve all been there when the long introduction dulled the impact of the song.

    This is different from saying that there should be no MC and no talking. I went to a concert by a highly respected singer who had recently left a quartet and in his program, all he did was sing. I would have appreciated A FEW words once in a while.

    But I also attended a concert by a different soloist (many years ago) that turned out to be a fund-raiser for a children’s ministry in Europe. We were subjected to very amateur theatrics (as of SS troops had stormed the concert hall and were holding us hostage), a l-o-n-g financial appeal, an offering was taken (on top of the tickets) and then we were harangued because we hadn’t given more. I felt like it wasn’t the SS troops who had held me hostage!

    Anyway, I digress. I just want to compliment the insights of those I quoted at the top of this post. Some great perspectives - made with well-chosen words.

  23. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    The thread has gone from discussing to much “Preaching” at concerts to “Long song intros”. They are two totally different things. I couldn’t agree more with the fact that there is too much talking about the next song and how granny reacted to it at the last concert. Thats where things get bogged down and come to a crawl.

  24. Eric Melton wrote:

    Grigs wrote:

    Did Jerry Lawler rassle that night?

    Yes Grigs he was at the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena many times. It later became known with some of the wrestlers and fans that I was in Gospel Music during the many Saturday nights I attended when I was not at a concert or out riding with a different group for the weekend or doing evangelism.

    I used to back to the dressing rooms and talk to Bill and Jamie Dundee, Sir Wolfie D, Rock and Roll Express, Jerry Lawler, Tommy Rich, Doug Gilbert, Tracy Smothers, The Armstrongs, Buddy Landell and many more. Buddy Landell thought it was most interesting that I was in Gospel Music and he often replied how much he liked certain artists. Interestinly enough a local promoter Terry Rice who ran PowerSlam Wrestling at some of the local hotels and skating rinks promoted a few Southern Gospel shows in Southern KY. I met other fans in the buildings that I often saw at some of the concerts and one family that frequented the wrestling shows came to NQC a couple of years.

    Again it is well meaning people who wanted to be encouraged and entertained. I do agree with the ones that have posted and made mention treating things different in a worship setting. I agree and believe wholeheartedly that we need to be sensative to the leading of the Spirit. I am one of the old fashioned Pentecostal campmeeting preachers but it does not mean that Christians should not have fun as well.

  25. Ricky Cole wrote:

    People have the choice to buy a ticket. They have a choice to leave when the altar call (if it even goes THAT far, anymore) is being made. IMO, if you want to hear GOSPEL music, then you’re probably gonna hear a GOSPEL message. If you don’t want to, there are plenty of entertainers a WHOLE lot better than any talent in Southern Gospel who will give you every ounce of “shuttin’ up and singing” entertainment if you’re willing to pay for it. This is probably one of the dumbest theories I’ve ever heard. I figure if anything, people would engcourage the opposite of this. I can’t say that I’ve really seen that ministry card too much. If you can’t take the heat, stay away from the fire.

  26. rzrbkman wrote:

    I saw Heirline in concert one time and I was very disappointed as I had gone to the concert to hear a group that had a couple of pretty good radio songs, but instead all I got was several sermons of how Ernie liked beans and taters and taters and beans. Too much talking, not enough singing.

  27. Leebob wrote:

    Here’s a novel idea…why not allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. I mean truly lead you. Not lead you because you don’t know what else to say, but direct you what to say.

    I have seen in our concerts where my brothers were thinking “where is he going with this?” and yet God has specifically pointed out an individual and inevitably that person has approached us later and been blessed by the “ministry” that some of you loathe. Will God minister to the individual to the chagrin of the multitude? Yes He will!

    If He will cause Lazarus family grief for four days to reach 12 thick headed disciples then He most certainly will bring “misery” on a few poor wretched souls for 5 minutes during a “concert” to reach an individual.

    I just swayed myself to the other side of this issue while thinking about what you people have said. Once again this site is good for something. Thank you Doug.

  28. Shut Up and Sing! wrote:

    If a dozen songs don’t convey the gospel, I doubt anything untrained ministers can say will make a difference. What are we saying when we say that we need the preaching too? Can it be that too many of the songs are just entertainment and fluff and don’t have strong theological content?

  29. Leebob wrote:

    Shut up and SING…….TOTALLY TO TRUE!!! BTW - who are you calling untrained?

    #26 - beans and taters, taters and beans hardly qualifies as ministry =)

  30. Robert wrote:

    I’m on the “shut-up and sing” bandwagon and have been for years. The only exception I have is how I’ve seen a lot of groups do. They sing and entertain until the very end of a concert and then present the gospel. Jonathan Wilburn gave a awesome invitation the last time I saw them before he left. He said more in 5 minutes than I’ve heard some preachers say in an hour.

  31. A. Nonemus wrote:

    Well, Eric Melton,
    Your talking to Buddy Landell musta done some good, cause he preaches now. Totally straightened his life up, quit drinking & pilling and does a fairly effective job preaching.

    Here is what I learned from people like Sawrie and McCray Dove among others when I was singing. There ain’t a thing wrong with being a Christian entertainer. Sing your songs, entertain, and LET THE HOLY SPIRIT DO THE MINISTERING! And as far as what someone said about helping people resolve their issues, all I gotta say is NO WAY! Let the professionals handle that (ie, minister or some type of counselor). You get too involved in someone else’s problems and you’re opening a huge can of worms.

    Ray Stevens had a comedy song out that has nothing to do with all this but he said “I play my piano and I sing my little songs”. FOLKS, JUST GO SING YOUR LITTLE SONGS, and realize that the bottom line is that 99 people out of 100 that you sing to are usually saved, church going people. And usually, that one person that isn’t is gonna wind up majorly turned off by what we perceive as “ministering”, they find it as “having religion stuffed down their throat”. And I learned a long time ago that most of the time, to make someone realize they need salvation, if you give them good entertainment, lots of times you can sneak salvation into it. Bottom line is they come to salvation and you haven’t driven someone away from church permanently by forcing religion down their throats.

  32. quartet-man wrote:

    #31 The haircut song? :) Don’t forget he later wanted to sing and dance and be a pirate in the pirates of penzance, We won’t even get into the bass singing of Virgil Dooright. :)

  33. Bari-Tone-Def wrote:

    #31 Christ left the 99 in search for the 1 that was lost. Are we not to do the same?

  34. A. Nonemus wrote:

    Oh yes friends and neighbors we are The Dooright Family.

    Broadcasting over the airwaves
    from Nashville, Tennessee

    Reach over and turn up your radio
    and we’ll bring our music to ya

    And purdee soon you’ll shout Hallelujah!

    GREAT SONG!

  35. Brian wrote:

    #31 “lots of times you can sneak salvation into it”. I think thats a very interesting theory. In my opinion, it’s flawed, but hey my opinion only. Aren’t we supposed to be bold when carrying the Gospel? It isn’t forcing “religion” down someones throat. Presenting the Gospel in a well thought out, consise manner is not “religion”. I pray we do not present the religion, but that we present the Gospel. There is a big difference. With that being said, many Churches today preach religion first and Gospel second. God forbid that I should ever follow that path. Religion doesn’t save, only through the shed blood of Christ are we saved and I hope that is the message that is coming across, whether by song or sermon. Just my $.02.

  36. Leebob wrote:

    #31 A. Nonemus amazingly brings up another good point: “FOLKS, JUST GO SING YOUR LITTLE SONGS, and realize that the bottom line is that 99 people out of 100 that you sing to are usually saved, church going people.”

    Just where do sone of these groups come up with these outlandish numbers of saved souls? It reminds me of the days that Longview would have a revival every year and have 5000 souls saved. After 25 years the town has been saved 5 times over. Talk about your rebirth.

  37. thom wrote:

    #11 - Ben Harris - you nailed it. I can’t say it any better.

    I have been attending and promoting SG singings/concerts for quite a while now and my experience has been this: When the group/singer is truly filled with the Holy Spirit of God and allowing The Lord to be in control there is a discernable realism to the music and the message that is not present in those groups who are just in “the business” for personal gain.

    I respect and admire those who allow the Holy Spirit Himself (not “itself”, “himself”) to dictate the song selection and direction of the program. My gripe is with the groups that you can go see this weekend, then go see them 6 months from now and hear the EXACT same program, the same songs in the same order, the same jokes, the same intros, the same teary eyed moments in the same places, the same hand gestures at the same time, etc, etc.
    I know you have to plan to a certain degree - and I know groups want to sing their latest and greatest songs, etc, - BUT in my opinion - if the Spirit is truly leading there should be SOME level of spontaneity indicating that things are unfolding under the impulse and natural flowing of the Lord.

    what say you?

  38. My Question For THOM wrote:

    In regard to post and I’m quoting, “I respect and admire those who allow the Holy Spirit Himself (not “itself”, “himself”).

    Are you saying the Holy Spirit has shown you “His” penis?

    I can’t help but wonder what you must think of Jesus when he compared himself to a mother hen gathering “her” chicks under “her” wings. Did Jesus mean he was a female? Of course not, it is a figure of speach. That is one of the problems with the “holy” fundies who claim that every word in the bible is literally true.

  39. My Question For THOM wrote:

    Before the spelling nazis come out, I just realized that I made a typo in post 38. It was obviously “speech,” rather than “speach.”

  40. A. Nonemus wrote:

    RE: Brian #35,
    Presenting religion/the gospel message in this context is the same thing. We’re just splitting hairs.

    However, as flawed as that might be in your thinking…all I can say was that at one time I WAS lost and at one time I WAS a sinner…still am a sinner for that fact!

    But I vividly remember when I was lost and someone would take what their concept of “going boldly” and I would get the feeling I was having a set of ideals forced upon me. In fact, if a lot of people would get out of their “holy ivory towers” and just try to sit and talk to people and listen to what THEY say, you’ll find a lot of people that were turned off by religion/salvation because someone was dogmatic in their views or being so holy and saying :well, you’re lost and if you don’t get saved, you’ll bust hell wide open”…we all know that you must accept Christ and ask for salvation and forgivess, but a lot of times we have the opposite effect of what we’re trying to achieve simply because of the way its presented.

    Here’s a little tidbit for you: about 6 weeks ago, I was at the little doner here in my hometown sitting with a bunch of old timers drinking coffee. All of them left but one. He and I got to talking and he said that he heard I was a gospel singer. In our conversation, I learned from this man that he hadn’t been to church since he was a teen-ager and had no desire to go because the last time he did, the preacher told him to come on in, but until he hit the altar and got saved, it wasn’t gonna do him any good. And during invitation, 2 women sitting behind him told him that he needed to get down there and make thing right or he was going to hell. After that, he never darkened the door step of a church except when he got married.

    Some I listened to his story. And we talked some more..and more…for about 2 hours. We left together and in the parking lot, I shared with him how I had felt the same way, but how one day I met a very humble and loving preacher that showed me that God didn’t want to banish us to hell, but how He loved us so much that He gave up His only Son, and that if we asked, in simple child like faith, that He loved us enough that he would save us to spare us from an awful place called Hell.

    And you know what? Right there in the parking lot, I asked this man if He wanted to accept Christ, in child-like faith. YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID? He said he always perceived God as this big bold authority that had the attitude that He would only love us if we were all saved and that he never realized that His love and compassion was for everyone, not just “His select few”…and right there in the parking lot, He and I prayed the sinner’s prayer and that man accepted Christ!

    And all I did was listen and not judge him. That’s my 2 cents(and then some).

    DOUG-SORRY THIS WAS SO LONG. BUT I HAD TO TELL IT.

  41. A. Nonemus wrote:

    Sorry for the typos. I forgot to spell check.

  42. CLN wrote:

    Some of you folks don’t realize what just singing and some comedy and God’s word in song will do. There’s just as much ministry to putting a smile on one’s face as there is preaching. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been uplifted by a good gospel song or good gospel concert, and I didn’t have to hear any saccharin-sweet testimonies, “this-song-is-just-for-you-and-your-trial” intros, or anything. I remember the lyrics to songs a whole lot more than I do the words from a sermon or testimony. If God moves, then God will move and we all will be blessed by it. In the meantime, I think gospel music should be more concerned about seeing smiles and people uplifted by the music itself than trying to force tears, shouts, amens, and hand-raising.

  43. Brian wrote:

    #41…I hear you and I think we are saying the same thing. But when you are ” having a set of ideals forced upon you”, that is not the Gospel, that is religion. Church folks in their “Ivory towers” is not Gospel, that is religion. There are folks that are dying lost everyday because of religion.
    In your reply you are assuming a lot. You assume I take the same dogmatic stance and that I yell and scream from the stage / pulpit / and put on some Holier than thou attitude and nothing could be further from the truth. I can’t save anyone, the Church can’t save anyone, the Pastor can’t save, the song can’t save, the sermon can’t save, ONLY through Christ…
    But all in all I think we are on the same page.

    #42. Then why do we do it at all? Just to give some temporary escape from your burdens? Now, I think that is great but there is so much more. If that is all we are after then why bother. Tell them they can go to the movies and get the same thing. The problem is, when they leave the movie, they leave the same way they came in. We can offer so much more through Christ. You don’t have to leave the same way you came. Christ can take that temporary escape and make it a permanent peace. If we are just sitting back and waiting on God to move, then why bother with any of it? That is not what he has directed us to do.
    Lastly, I cannot remember, ever, having a Pastor in a Church tell me, just sing a concert and don’t do an invitation. They almost always, want and require an invitation to be given. Sometimes they wish to give it, which is fine, but never have I heard one say, just forget the invitation, if God moves, then we will all be blessed by it. Bottom line and I will quit, the women at the well didn’t leave the same way she came. After an encounter with Jesus she was changed. They don’t have to leave the same way they came.

  44. FormerDJ wrote:

    Spot on Jonathan! Can the Holy Spirit not reach people any way He pleases? Can He not reach them as easily through a well written song as He can through an overly-rehearsed sermonette? If you are called to preach, go preach. If you are not and you are truly called to sing about Christ, please SHUT UP AND SING.

  45. thom wrote:

    to #38 - whoever you are hiding behind your anonymous monicker - you are way off base, way off. Yes, Jesus was Male, God is the Father, also male, and the Holy Spirit is the Jesus present with us in spirit form. All Male - according to the Bible, God’s Holy, Inerrant, Infallible Word. I believe it all from Genesis to Revelation.

    If you want to believe something else, that’s up to you.

  46. CLN wrote:

    #43….Southern Gospel for me is more than a temporary escape, it’s a part of life to me. It’s a consistent peace and I don’t need preaching in a program to have it. I watched a group the other night that literally demanded 3 times that their crowd of 50-60 let out a holy shout at the top of their lungs. Awkward. After the 3rd time, I believe the folks shouted just to shut him up. Is that the spirit moving? I don’t know.

    If we don’t expect the Holy Spirit to move in a concert, then we’re underestimating His power. There wasn’t one lick of preaching on the Greater Vision Quartets dvd, and tears were flowing and the emotions ran high. Nothing was forced whatsoever. Trust me, just singing and a good time in a nice, relaxed, Christian atmosphere can do a lot of things.

  47. My Question for Thom wrote:

    So, Thom, (or whatever moniker YOU are hiding behind. I’ll bet you also believe that men are superrior to women and that the earth was created in seven 24 hour days. You, sir, have your head in the sand.

  48. Jim2 wrote:

    Uh,
    Anybody who’s been reading this blog for more than a week knows who “thom” is. My question to “my question to thom” is where do you draw the line on deciding which parts of the bible are true and which parts we “fundies” are fools for believing? Seems like an awful convenient type of faith IMHO where I get to stand in judgement of God’s motive for including certain passages.
    That thing about adultery? Figure of speech. Man after God’s own heart? Anthropomorphism. Literal flood? Worldwide legend. 10 Commandments? Outdated legalism.
    C’mon, It’s all true or we are wasting our time and lives believing ANY of it.

    (in case that isn’t clear, yes, I believe in a literal 7 day creation)

  49. thom wrote:

    wow - you #47 - you are really showing your ignorance now. thom is my real name and I don’t argue with dimwits just for the sake of arguing. you seem to have some agenda other than posting comments about southern gospel music which is what this blog is about - in case you haven’t noticed. you may say i have my head in the sand, but you need to get your head out of the prison of ignorance - - i could say something else, but, i’ll leave it at that.

  50. Harry Peters wrote:

    To number 37 (Thom) Here’s what I say. I believe a well planned program is essential. The Holy Spirit can also lead while they are planning it. As far as a “filling of the holy spirit” having to be spontaneous? I doubt it. Of course, I don’t believe in preachers who just “wind ‘er up and let’r fly,” either. Too many times that is just a cop-out for not studying and planning.

  51. cdguy wrote:

    I know a guy who owns a Christian music store, and only sells “live” recordings, because, he says, “they are annointed.” I guess he thinks God can’t annoint singers in the studio.

    Little does he know the only thing you hear that was really recorded live is the audience.

    I’ve been in some recording sessions where I definately felt the Holy Spirit’s presence. And others where it was all craft. (Or at least I felt it was just craft. It could have been that my heart was not in tune with the Spirit at that time.)

    We used to have a minister of music who appeared to have the attitude that the Holy Spirit needed to tell him by Thursday morning, if He was going to move on Sunday morning, so it would be printed in the bulletin.

  52. quartet-man wrote:

    #51 God is all knowing and could easily know what was needed on the following Sunday morning in time to put in the bulletin. Too many times people try to put God in a box and think if they just show up and wing it they are being sensitive to the spirit. I think it is laziness at times, lack of planning, or misunderstanding. I would much rather ask God to direct me in decisions while planning the service, but be open enough and flexible enough to sense being prompted to do something other than planned if He so desires and to give me the skill and give everyone who needs to know the same knowledge to sense His leading. You see, God is more than capable of taking things a different direction if we make plans and He has others.

    To take your idea further. Why plan on having a particular service time or at a particular church. Why not wait for the Spirit’s leading in what time for everyone to meet and where? So, see, some idea of what is going on is a good thing as long as we don’t stand in God’s way should he want to take it another direction.

  53. Ricky Cole wrote:

    #50. Tell me that is your REAL name!

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