So for those of you who may not know, I am a youth pastor at my church. This month our youth ministry will be focusing on being missions minded in the areas of music, sports, fashion and movies/media. I've personally been on a study about the Christian's role in the arts...pretty interesting. I've run across a subject that everyone probably has to deal with when talking about representing Christ in the arts. The subjects are fame and entertainment.
My concepts of fame and entertainment are really starting to change. God knows that my heart is pure and that He continues to purify it. But I'm starting to see fame and entertainment more as a tool and a mission field (respectively). I used to be very much against fame and "Christian" entertainment and entertainers. Let me explain my views about them now.
First let's talk about fame. What is fame? Fame is simply being well known. Being famous is being a person who's well known. Now I know that pop culture has portrayed fame as a certain lifestyle with certain benefits. And the truth is that when people become famous they tend to lead lifestyles of excess, glamour and so on. But as a Christian, we must separate being famous from excessive living. If we don't, we will always see fame as an enemy. Is fame an enemy. I thought so at first until I read that God planned to make Abraham famous. Now if you're a Christian and you're reading this, you probably understand that the reason for fame is simply to exalt the name of Christ. So that brings me to this: if fame has a purpose then fame is simply a tool. If fame is a tool, then it should be stewarded properly. But the mismanagement of a tool doesn't make the tool bad. It is the person who stewards the tool that will determine whether the tool will be used for good or for bad, for God's glory or for self glory. Now I don't believe that we as Christians should seek fame. In fact we should do as Jesus did and make ourself of NO reputation. (Um...that's pretty hard to do by the way.) I think that if God desires to loan us the tool of fame, then praise His name. If not, we are still content. But as we are being content, I also think that we should do our VERY BEST to cultivate our talents as a form of worship to God. When we do this, I believe that God will take us to wherever He wants us to go. If it stays local...cool. If it goes national and international...cool. It's up to Him because it's all about Him. Sometimes that's hard to accept, especially when my flesh gets mad and wants to go on a promoting frenzy. (I'll talk about promoting on another post.) I've really got to leave it all in God's hands, even though I know that this is partially my livelihood. It's hard man.
Moving on to entertainment...
"Seriously, do Christians need more entertainment?" I've asked myself that question many times and the answer has always been NO! But recently I've seen this in a different light. I still don't think Christians need more entertainment. I believe the body of Christ needs to focus on being who we're called to be so that we can change the world. But does that mean that Christians should not produce things that entertain others? I've been looking at entertainment from the perspective of art. I think this is something important to note about art. Art is meant to be enjoyed. Some people make art. Others are entertained by it. But if it's good art the maker and the admirer will both be entertained by it. They'll gaze at it, think about it, examine it, be amused by it, enjoy it...they will be entertained. Actually the definition of entertainment is an amusement or diversion provided especially by performers. Good art is amusing and will divert you from whatever you're currently focused on. The question is: what is my art communicating? Where is my art leading people? In any event, I've come to the conclusion that good art will entertain to some degree. As a minister, my goal should not be to entertain people. My goal should be to lead them to a deeper relationship with Christ. But again I think that using the talents and resources that God has given me in order to engage people is definitely a good idea.
So that's what I'm thinking about fame and entertainment...for now. Feel free to comment.