Gospel Soundcheck

Gospel Soundcheck

New company formed to inspire Christians – and I vent a little

I got a press release this week with this lead – I’ve removed the name of the artist and the ministry, as well as some details, because I really am not venting about him, per se:
“Platinum-selling Christian recording artist Mr. Nice Guy today announced the formation of The Mr. Nice Guy Company–a new entrepreneurial venture with a mission to proclaim and demonstrate the values of the Kingdom of God to the world–as well as, AnotherWorshipMinistry–a 501 (c) (3) ministry designed to give Christians tangible opportunities to serve the poor. ”
Uh … does that mean, exactly

The press release explains:
“While the Mr. Nice Guy Company will focus on inspiring and equipping people through products and live events, AnotherWorshipMinistry will encourage people to respond to God’s love in very practical ways, by serving those who so desperately need it.”
I think that it means they’ll do concerts and sell stuff. I also think it means Mr. Nice Guy will travel and do charitable work; this fall he’s going to an Asian country where “he will help provide quality healthcare and education services to handicapped [Asian] children, disabled as a result of exposure to [nasty chemical] left over from the spraying of [another nasty chemical] during [a very nasty war].”

WARNING: I’m about to vent, and it really has nothing to do with Mr. Nice Guy, who is a great guy, I’m sure. This story just struck a nerve and I need to let off a little steam.

How many different charities do we need, and how many more opportunities do Christians need before they get off their butts and serve “those who so desperately need it”? Are we waiting for the right celebrity give us our marching orders? Or do we think that by forking over money for a CD or concert ticket that we’ve done our part?
Want to “proclaim and demonstrate the values of the Kingdom of God to the world?” Babysit for a single mom. Drive your neighbor to the doctor. Rake your neighbor’s lawn. Use your turn signals in traffic. Talk nicely to the grocery store cashier.
Want a “tangible opportunity to serve the poor?” Go volunteer at your local food pantry. Invite a family over for dinner. Clean out your closet and give the good stuff to the Salvation Army.
Every time I see a celebrity setting up a new ministry I wonder how thinly we can spread our charity and why we don’t somehow work together instead of working on our own. Why can’t a celebrity lend his name and support to an existing charity instead of setting up a new company and planting his name firmly on the masthead?
You know what should inspire Christians? Christ, not a celebrity’s company.
Anyway, sorry about the rant. And again, no disrespect to Mr. Nice Guy. But I’m curious to know your thoughts on the subject.

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Dave Weiss

posted July 31, 2008 at 11:45 am

I love it when you rant. Makes me think you were listening to a Todd Agnew CD (little inside joke, sorry folks). Seriously this is good challenging stuff. I guess what I would say is God put this incredible tool in this world to take his message of love and hope to the world and to meet the needs of the community. He called it the church, the body of Christ. No not the building, the people. The individuals who gather to worship have not done our duty by arriving at a building once or twice a week. The idea is to live a life of worship and to take the good news to a hurting world. That’s not just telling people about Jesus, the real good news comes when we tell people about Jesus AND demonstrate his love in tangible ways. That there’s a church in the community should be good news to that community, not just so there is something to do on Sunday but because there is a group of people in the community to care for it and meet it’s needs. That’s what being the body of Christ means, that’s what Jesus did and that’s what we need to do if we are truly going to be Christ followers. I pray that Mr. Nice Guy was led by the Spirit of God to do this new thing and that God will use it mightily to light a fire under someone. If it does that, it’s worth it.

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Joanne Brokaw

posted July 31, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Thanks, Dave. I hope I didn’t come off too cranky …
I LOVE that you mentioned Todd in your comment. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Todd Agnew, his last album was … really … heavy. I mean, he just called the church out on so many things. It was good music, but man, did it serve as a wake up call. I saw Todd perform in the fall of 2005 and haven’t really been the same since. He asked a simple question during a show: if Jesus showed up on Sunday morning, would we let him in the church? He’d be barefoot and be bringing along a band of followers that included whores and drunks, some of them probably still under the influence.
Wow. I wrote a blog post about it way back then, which you can read on my website.
Anyway, ever since then, I’m kind of touchy about the whole “let’s start a ministry!” trend. Hey, how about if we just do stuff every day, without the press releases and formal company!
Yeesh. Dave, you got me going again, my friend.
host of the Gospel SoundCheck blog

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