What is the Purpose of a Gospel Concert?

What is the purpose of a Gospel concert?

I’ll be posting my own answer in a couple of days; the answer is foundational to another post I’m starting to put together.


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18 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. the purpose is three fold-
    1. to clearly present the Gospel in music.
    2. to provide the Church (the people) with God-honoring music that doesn’t have to be screened before the kids listen to it, that promote a sanctified, holy lifestyle, and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.

    3. to provide an alternate for the world’s entertainment. Remember, it’s ok to have fun as a Christian!!! It should be fun, but also spiritually challenging. We should leave the church or venue saying ” God is a good God.” We shouldn’t be praising the group, and how flashy they were. Our purpose is to POINT PEOPLE TO CHRIST!!!

  2. Sell Records?

  3. I think it depends, somewhat, on the venue. If I bring a group in to do a concert at our church, I expect them to be more ministry focused… especially on a Sunday. I have no problems with them being entertaining (telling jokes/”cutting up”) as long as they are giving the majority of their time to the ministry side of these songs. I expect them to speak (whether through testimony or song) to the needs of people. I do expect them to be somewhat focused on presenting the gospel. At the same time, I think they should come across as very professional (in their sound and presentation). Truthfully, I expect no less from the groups than what our congregation expects of me as their worship leader (or minister of music… whatever you would like to call it). I expect the group to provide a deep and meaningful worship experience.

    I do think that it is different if I pay $50 to go watch the Gaithers. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a ministry side to that as well. However, I expect to be entertained. In fact, I don’t go to those concerts because they are deep and meaningful worship experiences. I typically go because it is great music and an extremely enjoyable experience. That in itself can minister to some that are hurting. The vast majority of the songs have great spiritual truths in them that can (and do) touch lives. However, I don’t go expecting much spiritually from most Thursday/Friday/Saturday concerts… especially those that are in big buildings that I had to purchase tickets to go see. In fact, I would argue that most people make the decision to go to any concert (especially one that is away from their home church) based on the quality of the singing and how much they like them… not whether or not the group will sing or share something that will enhance their walk with Christ.

  4. I always figured the purpose was to sell tickets, sell products, and take in a nice profit.

  5. good point, steven. you have to sell to stay on the road. i got caught up in my typing that i forgot to mention that. but if people like your music, and you honor God with it, God will bless it. thanks.

  6. Don, it depends on which way you look at it. From the artist’s viewpoint – as much as it is about delivering good music to the people, it is also about selling products and making a profit (sometimes selling tickets if it’s not a free concert).

    From the viewpoint of the listener, it really depends on them. Many go because they love the group and want to have a nice, enjoyable evening listening to gospel music. Some go because they love gospel music. They may not know the group all that well, but still want the experience of enjoying the show. I believe that not as many go to be spiritually motivated as some would like to believe. I do believe that it can happen once you get there, but I do not believe there are many depressed and unhappy people going to concerts looking for relief.

  7. I agree with Mr. Mann – the purpose depends on the individual/group. Personally, my children and I attend gospel concerts because we enjoy the music. However, I enjoy the music because of its spiritual nature. The children enjoy the music because they simply like the sounds of the music.

    Along with Mr. Mann again, the music can touch a person once they are there. They may not go looking for relief, but I do remember a time that my son was in a lousy mood before an L5 concert (he was 13 at the time) – after the concert, he was feeling so much happier and apologized for his attitude.

  8. Can I cut and past what Andrew said? LOL!

  9. paste…not past.

  10. i agree with all. but i believe our PRIMARY objective should be to glorify God in what we do and give the gospel out. The Great Commission hasn’t expired. Everyone has been called to do that, whether they are a singer, a lawyer, a nurse, or a teacher. A Christian’s primary goal is to spread the Gospel. What better way to do that than through the wonderful avenue of music? Martin Luther said, “Preaching is the chance for God to speak to His people. But music is the people’s chance to speak to their God”. Gospel music is fun. It should be. Artists need to sell to stay on the road. So sell all you can. stay on the road. But don’t forget who called you, and why you are called

  11. but don’t get me wrong, WE SHOULD HAVE FUN WHILE WE’RE THERE

  12. I’m going to see the Booth Brothers this weekend and plan to be fully entertained and fully touched by God’s hand thru their music. My 7 year old is going b/c they are entertaining and I thank God for that. An SG concert is always fun!

  13. amen to JD

  14. I agree, it depends on the groups giving the concert.

    For me when I go to a concert, I want to be entertained through gospel music. I want to watch the performers on stage and believe that they believe what they are singing about – the love of God. I want to feel God’s presence during the concert. I want to leave the concert having been fully blessed.

    The purpose of a gospel concert, to me, is a chance for Christians to be with other Christians and listen to music and be blessed. Also to win lost or uncommitted souls to Christ. Of course all the artists have product tables for you to help support their ministry by buying their products. I see nothing wrong with that.

  15. Yolanda: “Of course all the artists have product tables for you to help support their ministry by buying their products. I see nothing wrong with that.”

    Exactly.

    Growing up independent, fundamental baptist – I heard many of the accusations against the “profession” of gospel music. There is a great hypocrasy in these attempts to point at what Yolanda mentioned as something that would suggest they’re not in it for God’s glory.

    I’d like to see someone get up and say, “Let’s stop supporting missionaries, let’s stop giving preacher’s paychecks, let’s throw all of our fundraisers out the window… after all – it’s for God’s glory. Who needs money?”

    Foolishness.

    Sorry, this was a tad off topic.

  16. All gospel concerts are different.
    I wait until go to the concert.
    A gospel concert that seems to be more of an entertainment variety would let me praise the Lord that God has some wholesome entertainment on his side.
    I go to another gospel concert to see and hear the testimonies in word and action. It would go home saying that was “church” tonight.
    I would think the early days of southern gospel was the later focus of the groups that barnstorming the countryside from church to church.
    It just a simple as that if we could throw away the read a book becoming an “expert” analysis of every single point of southern gospel music from laying down the extension cord to stacks and tracks.

  17. I think this is a great question and I’ve really enjoyed reading everybody else’s answers. I find myself agreeing with most of the responses and thank you Daniel, for bringing this up. It has helped me to evaluate what I look for in a Gospel concert.

  18. Wow! Yu’ll gat wonderful answers. For me a gospel concert is an act of evangelism, reaching out to the un-regenerated and also the lost one’s drawing them back to the body of christ. Also a gospel concert is a kind that glorifies Gods name in praise and worship because his name is praise and he alone is ready to be praised. Hallelujah..

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