In the book of Matthew, Chapter 22 in The Bible, we can read what I believe is one of the most important things that Jesus teaches: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Did you get that? Every other law that God would give us hangs from these two: Love God and love people. It’s as simple (and as difficult) as that!
I strongly believe that when believers gather together and sing songs – songs that praise Him, songs that are honest prayers, songs that declare truths about God, songs that encourage each other to live lives that are worshipful to God – it can help us connect with God and with one other: Especially if we sing with sincerity, conviction and even some abandon. Music can help us to fulfill the Matthew 22 challenge. But there’s more!
I like to relate the Matthew 22 passage to what we read in 2 Corinthians 5:18 from The Apostle Paul: “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” It seems to me that this ministry – the ministry of reconciliation, or, reuniting God and people – is a full-time ministry for all believers. It’s not just the people who have titles (like pastor, missionary, college minister and “worship leader”) or who get paid to do Church stuff who are in ministry. Ministry is for all of us! And this full-time pursuit is to love God and to love people. Connection and good relationships – both vertically and horizontally – are key.
So really, our job as music leaders is to be ministers of reconciliation: To use music to help people enter into, maintain and deepen right relationships with God and with one other.
But what happens when we step off the platform? Does our ‘ministry’ stop there?
“When I’m in the plane, on the way back to Nashville, I’m still in the ministry of reconciliation.”
“I tell you what, there is no more fun way to live than when you walk into any situation – whether it’s 20,000 people to hear you sing or just a room with my wife and my kids…, an airport, a restaurant, wherever I find myself…[I say to myself] “Love God, love people … How do I do that? How can I be a minister of reconciliation now?”
This video excerpt is from a recent interview with legendary Nashville artist manager Mike Smith, that was recorded as part of Mike’s online artist management course.
More info from http://michaelsmithandassociates.com