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9/12/2005

WILL WORSHIP FOR CASH

I ran into an artist in the airport this weekend who told me he/she/they were working on a "worship" record. Turns out this artist was allowed by his/her/their label to make two "substantive" records that would not probably sell well or get played on the radio (one because of the other obviously) IF he/she/they would make a "worship" record between the two. A "worship" project that is not "substantive" would be guaranteed to make the label enough money to make up for two not-so-well selling projects.

Vomit. Is this "worship" movement a "move of God" or a move of capitalism?

21 Comments:

Anonymous Amy said...

You didn't really update on relief efforts....

And you need to come to Falwellville (Lynchburg, VA) again.

9/12/2005  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm sure it started out as a move of God but got turned around by Satan.

9/12/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Update on relief efforts coming for tomorrow. I thought two posts was enough for me today. I actually ran out of words. Thought that would never happen ; )

9/12/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I guess someone would have to define "move of God" for me first. I really don't know the answer to the question I asked but I lean one way heavily.

SG

9/12/2005  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

No surprise there. That's what radio stations are playing and people are singing in church. I personally enjoy the church singing part, but hearing nothing but worship music all day on the radio makes me turn it off and put in a CD. I realize that labels have to make money to pay the bills, etc. but personally I wish they were motivated differently. If labels quit putting out the same old stuff, then eventually the radio stations would play what is put out or they'd all be "oldies" stations soon. I just keep prodding the station I listen to so hopefully they'll play the good stuff soon.

Beth

9/12/2005  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow.... that's just perverse and sick....

9/12/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I believe I'm the artist Shaun is talking about. Since I met him in the airport and we talked about my worship record... And you know, it made me feel pretty terrible to have to agree to it, just to be allowed to make the record I knew I needed to make. However, I've been surprised by how much I've enjoyed having to make this album. I do believe that what man intended for evil, er, money, God intended for good, at least in the context of me making it. Just thought I'd throw that out there for thought. I'm pretty sickened by the whole business aspect of it myself, but even in the midst of my own cynicism, God has revealed some more of Himself to me, and for that I am grateful. Still, I do wish radio would play the records I KNOW I was called to make...

9/12/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I in no way blame the artists making "worship" records btw. In this particular case especially since I believe this artist can and will make a creative worship record without covering Open The Eyes of My Heart and I Can Sing Of Your Love Forever - Instead, my guess we'll get some new songs we can all use to talk to God together.

What grosses me out is the HAVE TO part of the story. Yuck. HAVING TO make something because it's trendy and commercial is just gross when that something is this something. But I don't know why that's gross to me. So I posted about this and honestly am asking, is this from God or from capitalism. Now an artist pre-empts me with what I believe is the correct answer: both. ANd that's the bizarre part of this business. Try as we might to whore out ministry and music it still affects lives, reformed minds and makes God famous. It's like God's teflon or something. We just can't seem to screw this thing up totally, just partially.

btw, I'm buying this worship record because I like this artist. But I still wish, selfishly, that a "substantive" CD of another kind was up next. Oh well. That's why I'm a fan and not a label exec.

-SG

9/12/2005  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Okay sorry ya'll but when it comes down to HAVING TO that's when I'd be quiting my job or finding another record company. That's just wrong to make someone make a record simply because of capital or sells or something. That's one thing I am displeased with in the Christian market is the way record companies sway their artists (makes ya'll sound like slaves). I say let the artist make their music and see what happens. Ever wonder what would happen if someone said something in their record that provoked the church to do something instead of feel safe?

9/12/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Yea yea, but there's this thing called a "contract". An artist can say NO but the label can reject any OTHER kind of record they deliver and the artist would have to foot the bill for that rejected record AND the label would own that rejected record and it could therefore be held for eternity by the label and never released. There really is no recourse for an artist wanting to do what they want if the label really wants to say NO. If an artist is independently wealthy he/she/they could just sit it out, not record, and wait for new leadership to take over the label. But most record deals would never expire until the artists quota for X number of records was fulfilled. Not making any record really nothing. The best thing to do is what the artist in question in this post has done: make a great worship record that technically fits into that genre but stretches it an invigorates with some new expression of corporate worship. Turn the curse into a blessing while submitting to the label and saying what is true in a beautiful original and authentic way. I think this artist will do that well. He/She/They always have IMO.

In short, there's no quitting a label.

SG

9/12/2005  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Geeze, they've just got ya'll pinned down don't they. That bites, it means to me that you can't really make the music you wanna make. It is enough to make you yak.

9/13/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

LAbels are equally bound too. THey can't make us make great music and that must be frustrating as well. Once they sign an artist they're stuck marketing and living off of whatever that artist is able to create. ANd creation can't be forced or controlled all that well. Imagine your livelihood hinging on some creative type's come-and-go creativity. That's a scary way to live. What if that guy you signed to make five albums can't seem to make himself created something as good as those first demos you signed him on? What if he just decides, as creative types sometimes do, to go in a direction different from what you signed him as? Labels can be stuck too. It's a marriage - the label artist relationship. If either partner wants to make the other's life difficult they easily can.

SG

9/13/2005  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Right, I get it now but it still makes me wanna yak.

9/13/2005  
Blogger Michael Nease said...

I think it definately pends on the heart of the individual making the music. It doesn't matter what kind of short lived success a pseudo "worship" album has if the heart of it isn't truly glorifying God. And the fact is, it's not a worship album at all if it's not worshiping God. Words don't mean bull.

However, God can use anything for His glory! But we need to ask ourselves if we're really making these things for what we say we're making them for, or if we have alterior motives. And as always, the age old truth that while man looks at people from their outward appearance, God always looks at men from their heart. So, while with much of this, we'll simply need to leave it to God to be the judge, we need to be sure we don't forget what Jesus did when he ravaged the temple market!

My two pennies worth. :-D

9/13/2005  
Blogger Dave Haupert said...

"Because money cannot buy
a husband’s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife"
Derek Webb

Shaun,

You bring up a good question- though I don't think the artist in this case is doing something that compromises his/her faith, just more of a creative energy then anything.

But why does God still use Christians who are pimping Jesus for their own gain and wealth for His kingdom? I think the best answer I found is in Isaiah where God uses the gentile Cyrus to free Israel from slavery, and not His own chosen people. It shows that He will still accomplish the tasks He's promised even if the people are so wicked that it seems they don't deserve it. I'm just glad we serve a God who keeps His promises even though we don't deserve Him to.

9/13/2005  
Blogger Mary said...

Shaun, as a singer/songwriter who is beginning to share my music and have thought about recording a CD, it is interesting to hear your thoughts about the Christian music industry. Not that I am close to a record deal or anything, but you mentioned things that are good to know.

In my emergence into the music scene I am finding it difficult to know how to label myself. To a certian extent I don't want to use the Christian label because I feel it automatically turns people off who would otherwise listen. Yet, I can see the benefit because it would automatically introduce the music to Christians. I don't know if you've struggled with this as well, but I'd like your thoughts.

9/13/2005  
Anonymous kat said...

"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

Motives. You never know what peoples real motives are. It's like nailing Jello to the wall. We could spend a lot of time trying to evaluate, but maybe we could spend our time better on other things.

I'm thankful that Shaun asks these questions. They are questions that need a voice, but I just pray that we shloggers would respond to things that offend us, differently than the world does. Please don't read this blog or the comments and just walk away, indignant, annoyed, aghast. Be moved to pray, intercede, for the decision makers, the artist and the listeners. Pray that whatever the motive, God would receive all that He deserves.

9/13/2005  
Anonymous kat said...

Oops. I forgot to add that the above scripture is from Philippians 1:18.

9/13/2005  
Anonymous keith said...

"It's like nailing Jello to the wall."

C'mon, that's not too difficult.

9/13/2005  
Anonymous matthew paul turner said...

Shaun,

let's face it--this type stuff is just the beginning of the Christian music industry's problems...

Matthew

9/13/2005  
Blogger Eric Coomer said...

All I can say is AMEN to that blog.

9/13/2005  

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