Some years ago we toured Eastern Turkey. It was one of the hardest tours I’ve ever been on. In the van on the way the organiser told us about radical Islamists in the area beating women for wearing the wrong clothes. I wondered how our show might go down there. We arrived in one town to play an outdoor concert and found a hole in the ground in the place where the stage was supposed to be.
Any band or artist concerned with souls will be carrying a spiritual burden. Any band or artist sharing Jesus and praying for conversion and transformation will be entering a spiritual battle. The fight is real. If you’re in this more for your art or “making it” as a band, then you don’t need to worry about that. You might get naturally tired, but it’s nothing like the spiritual burden and battle you enter when you step into enemy territory to proclaim the good news.
Unhappy, unloved and out of control read the front cover of the Time Magazine that year in the UK. It certainly seemed a good description for a lot of the young people we had come in contact with through our efforts to reach young people in the southern borough of London that we lived in.
Speaking truth into the music and art scene today can be intimidating. The gospel is so countercultural. Also, the sense is that everyone’s already heard and are not interested. Possibly one of the more intimidating obstacles is the concept that faith should be a private matter and not to be spoken of in public. Based on this assumption people will say that we shouldn’t “use” the platform of art and music to preach. Or that art with a message is propaganda.
Paul was a radical follower of Jesus. After meeting Jesus, he spent his life traveling the world, kind of like going on tour with a band, preaching Jesus and planting churches. He regularly suffered because of this.