I must confess that I get very weary of content that’s labeled Christian. It is not because I don’t support work that can inspire people or bring the Good News in new styles or formats. Instead, it is because I constantly worry that products labeled “Christian” might not stand up to what I believe should be the best coming from people who serve the best; God himself.
I don’t know if any of you guys ever watched a variety show that was big several years ago called “Showtime at the Apollo”. They had a segment on the show called “Amateur Night” where unknown, unsigned artist would perform and the winner was chosen by the response of the audience. But if your performance was too bad, you could get booed off the stage and not even make it to the final judging. The booing off of a performer was made even worse by the tap dancing clown who would come from the side of the stage to escort you off. Talk about embarrassing! But one thing that became clear was that if the contestant sang a gospel song, no matter how bad they were, the audience would never boo you off because of their respect for the song you selected. As you can imagine, more and more contestants chose to perform gospel songs knowing that at the very least they wouldn’t be booed off of the stage.
Now, this is a problem for me on so many levels, but the problem to me comes from people giving a pass to someone just because they stand under the banner of faith! The quality of their content should be held under the same scrutiny of any other product that you’re asking people to support in the marketplace. This type of “pass” causes us to loose a spirit of excellence and the most important ingredient for greatness: DISCIPLINE.
For too long we as Christians have handed people less than valuable content and expect them to purchase and support it just because “Jesus” is stamped on it. So after time, culture expects sub-par content from the Christian community.
Now, some of you may say that it is strictly economics that doesn’t allow the Christian community to present ideas that can rival those from multi billion dollar companies. To some extent, yes. But that is not the end of the problem.
The discipline of achieving the best comes from a work ethic that can’t be compromised because you’re a Christian, but instead should be strengthened because you are a Christian. If your pastor just decided that because he was “full of the spirit” he doesn’t need to study for his sermons, I guarantee you his congregation will be effected by his lack of preparation. It is prideful and unfair to the people that sit in the pews for them to get crumbs, while the world prides itself in preparing a whole meal.
You MUST become a student of the best. Study the greatest in the field you’re trying to produce in. If they are Christian or not, it doesn’t matter. Learn the craft, and help the kingdom.
If we serve an excellent God, we should do excellent work. Period. On time, high quality, next level creations that won’t allow the world to give us a pass, but will point them to the glory of our God in Heaven.