From The Road: Jackson, TN

I played on a stage just outside the entrance to Pringles Park , the stadium built for the Jackson, TN Jacks.  A radio station was there.  Veggie Tales’ Bob and Larry were there.  Fans of Christian music were there.

But so were many non-Christians.  And I wondered how “Faith Night” looked to them.  And as I did I began wondering if I should do shows like this again.  Should I throw out shows in shopping mall food courts as well?  I’m just thinking – and maybe that’s my problem – maybe I should just take my check and go home – but I’m wondering how this kind of taking-church-public show is different from praying on a street corner.  Just wondering for now.

The ball park does the show to increase attendance and make money.  The radio station increases listenership and might even get advertising money from the ball park.  I get paid.  But I’m unable to do what I do well in this setting.  And I’m uncomfortable trying to.

What I do is like the musical version of a family meeting.  It’s not about “yea Jesus” or “every head bowed, every eye closed”.  It’s about having fun while provoking us all to think about what it means to follow God and not just believe in Him.  It’s an intimate conversation.  Serious at times.  Light at others.  But a dialogue with other Christians always.  It’s an effort to preach to the choir until they leave the loft and serve outside stained glass walls.  Feels out of place, like a bad fit, to do that publicly as non-Christians are winding through the crowd of “Do the Jew” and “Property of Jesus” shirts worn by Christians with their hands raised.  Very odd.  Not a show built around communication.  Didn’t fit me.  Seemed pointless to me.  Fun, but pointless.

Got me thinking more about what Andrew Osenga and others have touched on here.  What is the point of Christian music…for me?  I sometimes wonder, on days like this, if it isn’t just about making money off of Christians and making Christians feel like evangelism is taking place because of the money they spend.  I’m wondering.  Wonder with me.

I know I did this show for the money.  I confess.  I “needed” it.  And when I sell my house I won’t need it as much.  So I probably won’t do this kind of show again…unless I find a better reason than bill paying to do it.