September 2004 CJA Network Newsletter Featured Article

Eric Copeland 

(For the Creative Soul) 
 Big God...Little Creative People

So, you're sitting there planning your next strategic move. The one that
 will propel your obvious talent to the (drum roll please) "next level".
Perhaps it's that CD project that, once it's done, will simply show the
 world how it cannot possibly ignore what God has given you to say. Maybe
 it's the praise song or church solo that will finally influence the music
 director and/or pastor that you indeed have a talent the church can get
 behind and support. Or maybe it's that leadership role you know you're
 entitled to, because of your months in prayer, practice, and dieting have
 made you more humble, more diligent, and much better at what you so.
To this I say: Yay! Good! Way to go. You got serious about your craft and
 your talent, and what God has given you to do, and finally it may just pay
But (there's always a but to these emails isn't there?), what if, it doesn't
 work? What if the A&R guy says, "It's good, but it doesn't say anything in a new
 way. Keep at it!" What if the music director pats you on the back and the
 pastor moves onto the sermon without acknowledging the song? What happens
 when the leadership position goes to someone else, that is very qualified
Suddenly, you feel like, "What's the point? What does God expect me to do? I
 certainly can't break into the industry, or be special in my huge church, or
 get gigs at the churches in my town even!"
A wise industry sage lately shared this with me recently: "The Kingdom of
 God is vast, like the universe, and the Christian Music Industry is a tiny
 little speck in the vastness of God. Yet so many Christians spend so much of
 their energy trying to focus on that little speck of this huge universe of
 God." And that goes for anything we see as the "ultimate" for our talents (a
 record deal, a church position, a solo, etc.).
How many times must I type and you read that God made us "uniquely" to serve
 and share our individual talents for His Glory. We have to realize our
 talent was meant to be used in the way He set before us, not JUST the way He
 set before Michael W. Smith or your music director.
So what does this mean? What, you want answers?? OK, let's get into it:
Matthew 6:33   But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all
 these things shall be added unto you.(NIV) Or, "Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
 I know, that's an obvious one. But when you wonder where you are to turn
 next, you HAVE to take some comfort in knowing that the all-powerful One who
 made you is worthy enough to invest your thoughts, your doubts, and your
 creative energy in.
Instead of spending your energy on "how do I impress the industry, the
 church, the booking agent, or the leadership, our focus needs to be, how can
 I improve on what God has made me in this season.
Ecclesiastes 3
 1   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the
 2   A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to
 pluck up that which is planted (KJV)
This may be the time for things to happen just like you dreamed. Or, it may
 be a season in which you learn to be a better songwriter, a better singer, a
 better head of your household, a better spouse/parent, or a better leader.
Sometimes this comes through hard times. But this is the way of God. And He
 is smarter than you!
It's a large universe out there. Look up at the stars tonight and realize
 that the Creator of those stars made you to do something incredible for Him.
There's only one "next level"...and that's HIS level.
How about going for that?
Eric Copeland