This past weekend I had the joy of speaking on various topics at the Christian Musician Summit in Overlake, WA, near Seattle. It was a very encouraging time, and I met quite a few people who were currently using Worship Matters with their worship team. Great hooking up with old friends and making some new ones.
I mentioned to a few folks that I’d be posting my message and workshop notes on my blog. So that’s what I’ll be doing over the next few days.
In the opening session I spoke on “What is a Successful Christian Musician?” I chose that topic because I know that when we attend large conferences led by highly skilled musicians, we can be tempted to think that we should model our local church ministry after what we see at the event. I wanted to start the conference by acknowledging that most of us struggle in this area, and pointing out that God has a different way of measuring success than we do.
I drew from Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:14-29 to highlight three characteristics of “successful” Christian musicians.
1. Successful Christian musicians don’t all look the same.
2. Successful Christian musicians are faithful to grow the gifts they’ve received.
3. Successful Christian musicians seek to please the audience of One.
Under the last point I shared that ultimate success can’t be measured by comparing myself to what others are doing or achieving. It doesn’t have to do with how many people know my name or how much money I make. It doesn’t have to do with my position, whether I’m the leader or assistant or regular or alternate. In fact, true success can’t be fully determined in this life.
We won’t know how successful we’ve been until the last day when we hope to hear the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Of course, we could never hope to hear “well done” apart from the Savior who bore our sins on the cross, endured the penalty we deserved, suffered the wrath of God in our place, and rose triumphantly from the grave, reconciling us to God through faith in his blood.
His success has now become our success. He is our life, our reward, and yes, our success.
You can download a copy of my notes here.