A Southern Gospel Parable

Author unknown (I adapted this)

A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired.

As they moved along a conveyor belt to be burned they struck up a conversation. The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travel all over the country.

“I’ve had a pretty good life,” the twenty dollar bill proclaimed. “Why, I’ve been to concerts by Luciano Pavarotti, Britney Spears, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.”

“Wow!” said the one dollar bill. “You’ve really had an exciting life!”

“So tell me,” says the twenty dollar bill,”where have you been in your lifetime?”

The one dollar bill replies, “Oh, I’ve been Southern Gospel concerts–groups like the Perrys, Greater Vision, and Mark Trammell Trio.”

The twenty dollar bill interrupts, “WHAT’S SOUTHERN GOSPEL?”


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10 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. Whew! Cold, but very true! 🙂

  2. Yep, if you’re lucky to get a dollar bill.
    People don’t consider once what it cost to be in a traveling music ministry.
    On an hour-by-hour basis, most groups are being paid in offerings what is below any certain state’s minimum wage for one person. How in the world can that be split with 3 or 4 group members???? Those of us in the ‘part
    time’ ministry are lucky (no,blessed) to be able to eat and fill the gas tank with the usuall offerings withour using one’s personal income on any certain weekend.
    Just to have a vehicle fit to travel in and carry sound equipement or pull a trailer, plus getting a good sound system, one’s looking at paying at least $10,000-$15,000, usually more. Then you have matinence of gear and vehicle to pay for down the line.
    And do the ‘weekend warriors’ ever make that back from the offerings?? Very rarley.
    But, we’ve brought it upon ourselves.
    Yes, I’m sure that there are many skeptical people who will complain that gospel groups want nothing more than a poor person’s money. Yes, there have been many who have taken advantage of concert goer’s down through the years, so they have to be carfull of who and what to support.
    But regardless, Jesus tells us, ‘give, and it shall be given’. See, artist are living by that promise in the Word Of God when they go out each weekend, beleiving that He will move through His people to assist maintaining a ministry. Groups share their talents, time, energies, and (indirectly) their money with the audiences. We’ll be happier when it can be a mutuall sharing, audiences giving to suppport what was given to them.
    The obstacle that I see is this: people don’t evaluate Southern Gospel music as a mission field as important as, say, a forgin missionary. Yet, there are just as many lost people here in America’s churches and concert halls that need to be reached. Gospel music is a very effective way to touch them with the Word of God.

  3. Well I must say God has been very good to us over the years, but it’s not a “get-rich-quick” industry, by any means.

    You go some places and get well above expenses covered; you go other places (traveling for hours) and would be way in the red if it weren’t for product sales.

  4. True Tyler. But in this area of Ohio that I’m in, such dates in which you sell out of product and make up the travelling cost are very sparse.
    Of course, this whole thing depends on where you live. Southern Gospel ,logically, is supported by fans better in the south.

  5. Believe it or not, we’ve actually (in some cases) had better success offering our product on a donation basis. That may not work with a top group, but it would be interesting to watch them experiment sometime.

  6. Tyler, I’m just enjoying this dialouge going on.

    Yes, I’ve seen that also. But it’s not very common. One’s group/solo ministry/etc./ is very blessed if this is the case.

  7. Well, when Daniel’s away we gotta talk about something! lol

  8. Indeed, we do. I’m suprised that it’s just the two of us thus far.

  9. I’m here! I’m just waiting for Daniel to post something new!

    Here in the Ozarks, the people are more welcoming to groups that sing the “convention songs/standards”. That’s because most are senior citizens. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like it, I actually love it when quartets sing the old stuff. But am merely stating a fact.
    I’m glad to see that there are a few young folks like me who love SG. Unfortunately, it’s not common around here.

  10. There’s not many young Soouthern Gospel fans here either, Matt.
    My favorite ‘style’ would also be the convention songs. Gold City’s “Campmeeting” CD is one of my favorites ever.
    Yes, the amount a group recieves in the love offerings depends largly upon the condition if the audience likes them or not. For example, it dosen’t sound like the Crabb Family would have recieved as much in a love offering in your area compared to the Dixie Echoes.
    I often wonder why people still call them love offerings, anyway. Many times it seems like a hate offering.