by Mark Matlock
Q. I love to sing and want to use that gift to reach mass audiences. But my parents say Christians should only sing for the church—not to the world at large. What do you think?
A. As long as you live with mom and dad, I think God tells you to honor their rules. If they've drawn a line here, I don't see a God-honoring way to cross it.
With that said, I think singing for either Christian or secular audiences is perfectly valid. I've known lots of great worship leaders and singers who exlusively lead Christians in worshiping God. What an honor to be able to lead Jesus-followers in worshiping the King.
But lots of great Christians also influence the world for Christ through their music, outside the church. I've always liked how Switchfoot's lead singer Jon Foreman describes himself: "I'm a Christian by faith, not by genre." He's simply saying a personal faith in Christ shouldn't determine where his music is played. Whatever you do, ask God for these things: opportunities to bring him glory, the commitment to work hard at improving the gift he's given you, and wisdom about when and where to let your voice fly.
Mark is the founder of WisdomWorks Ministries. You can learn about his conferences, read movie and music reviews, and more at planetwisdom.com.