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Landing A Record Deal

By Wisdom Moon on September 28, 2010

Yesterday's post, "Seven Easy Steps to Become A Signed Worship Artist", generated more visits to our site in one day than any other day in the history of AllAboutWorship.com. I find this fascinating. Does it mean that there is an overwhelming number of worship leaders wanting to learn the secrets of getting a record deal? Were people reading it for the entertainment factor?

I'm not sure what the answer is, but today I wanted to briefly share my thoughts on becoming a signed worship artist. First of all, I am not a signed artist, nor do I have a desire to become one. I personally know many signed artists, great friends with great hearts. Being around and somewhat engaged in the Christian music industry for the past several years, I've observed some things. Here are a few myths I'd like to debunk:

1. Getting a record deal will make you happy. I think many worship leaders have a glamorous view of being on a record label. I recently spoke to an artist who said that last year they were on the road, away from their family, for over 250 days. That was with saying "No" to 90% of invites. I could not even imagine being away from my wife and kids that many days.

2. Getting a record deal will make you rich. Another myth of getting signed is that it will make you wealthy (or at least that you will be set financially and won't have to worry about money). That is the farthest thing from the truth. These days the majority of signed artists don't make enough money from music sales to support themselves. With the advance of technology that allows people to download CD's that use to cost $16.99, for only $9.99 with a click of a mouse, the future of the music industry has changed forever.

3. Getting a record deal will make you famous. Although most worship leaders probably would not admit it, one of the factors that attracts us to the idea of becoming a signed artist is the fame and recognition. I believe this is a serious issue today with worship leaders and I believe it goes against what you are called to do if you're a worship leader. We are not called to attract people to ourselves and gain recognition for ourselves, we are called to point to Christ; to help people recognize Him for who He is and worship Him as a response to that revelation.

I don't think there is anything wrong with musicians using their talents to write worship songs. It's the motive behind it that I find issue with at times. Signed or not, I have noticed some songwriters writing songs with the purpose of wanting to get in CCLI's top 100. They work hard on perfecting a song with the fantasy in the back of their minds of writing the next "Revelation Song" or "How Great is Our God". All the while, their songs are not inspired by the Holy Spirit, but by greed and envy.

I would like to challenge all of us who are endeavoring to write worship songs to really check our motives. Step back for a moment from all your dreams and aspirations and take a prayerful, sober look at your heart. I believe there is a danger today in our worship shifting from God-focused to personality-focused. Today's worship culture, with its worship leader focused conferences and products, may encourage that mindset.

Today, I saw an amazing quote on a shirt that said: "Play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back."

I would like to ask you...how can we, as worship leaders, shift our focus from the song (or the songwriter) to the Creator of the universe? From the desire to be recognized for our talents to an unstoppable passion and drive to use our talents and every fiber of our being to point to the Giver of our talents?

Wisdom M.

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Wisdom Moon

Wisdom Moon

Wisdom is a husband, father, worship leader, songwriter, and Founder/CEO of All About Worship. He was born in South Korea, but spent most of his life in Silicon Valley (California), and currently resides in Nashville, TN with his wife and three kids. Wisdom has been involved in worship ministry for over 20 years. For more about Wisdom, visit WisdomMoon.com