“Tomlin is the undisputed king of worship music” - a recent article on CNN.com states.
The CEO of CCLI, Howard Rachinski, is quoted in this article stating that, “In 2012, CCLI paid out $40 million to artists and musicians, and Tomlin got a healthy slice of that pie. Churches around the world used 128 songs he wrote or co-wrote last year.”
Rachinski also says in this article, “our best guess would be in the United States on any given Sunday, 20 to 30 million people would be singing Chris Tomlin's songs.”
The numbers don’t lie. The stats are amazing, to say the least. I encourage you to read the full article to get the full picture, like how “he’s sold 4.2 million albums, had 6 million digital downloads, a number of sold-out tours...”
When you hear these figures, what is your reaction? Is it jealousy? Envy? Anger? Rage? Discouragement? Criticism?
Why is it that many of us have these reactions when we hear of other Christian songwriters or worship leaders being successful? I know I am guilty of having these feelings in the past towards some of the successful worship leaders/artists. However, I’ve realized that that is not how God wants us to react and feel.
He does not call us to build our own little kingdoms. We are all called to work towards advancing His Kingdom. We are called, as the Body of Christ, to work in unity, to support each other, to cheer each other on. And, to celebrate when others in the Body of Christ are recognized by the world because of what they are doing for His Kingdom.
I am so tired of seeing tweets and blog posts by Christians criticizing megachurch pastors, Christian artists, and other Christian public figures, because they are "successful". Success does not automatically equal compromise.
When we see someone like Chris Tomlin getting a platform bigger than any of us could ever imagine and hear that his songs are sung by over 20 million people just in the U.S. on any given Sunday... Instead of feeling envious or critical, let’s celebrate! Let’s celebrate that an ordinary man, like Tomlin, is being used by God to impact this generation through worship! Let us die to our pride and our own selfish dreams and look at the bigger picture. It is all about Him!...Jesus! If what that person is doing is helping spread the Gospel and is making Jesus' Name famous, we should all rejoice!