“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26
When we show off our artistry, we can get all sideways with things. Suddenly we get concerned with odd things like what people will think, whether we are amazing, and even how we’ll make money at it. These things start to really affect how and sometimes even if we will continue to pursue our art.
I've even heard artists say or intimate that if no one is buying it, and there’s not money to be made here, then why pursue art at all?
If we can’t absolutely be the best at our chosen art form, what’s the freaking point?
But there’s a simple answer to these concerns.
“The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.” - Albert Einstein
Like many of you, as a young songwriter and musician, I struggled to be as awesome as I thought I could be. I made my music and showed it off. I attempted to be seen and heard. I would dream, start projects, and often never finish them as I figured who would listen besides me anyway.
On the side, ever since my teens, I had helped friends and family make recordings after they found out I did that. Through the years, I figured out how to monetize that after apprenticing under another producer who worked with music ministries that needed recording. As the years went by, something miraculous happened: I realized that by serving others I could realize all the dreams I had about my creativity. It just hit me last week in a conversation with a client that this may in fact be the answer we’ve all been searching for.
The Serve is the Thing
We tend to think we are doing this to make stuff, show off our art, provide entertainment, or provide for our families, but where we should be focusing on is how we can best serve with our talents.
Once I shifted from personal brands like “Eric Copeland Music” to service brands like “Creative Soul”, suddenly my work had more meaning and worth than just for my personal uses. Once my focus was less on me and more on the people my music would serve, everything came into place. God started blessing what I was doing ten times more than when I was just doing it for my one-dimensional self-serving motives.
Now, I’m not saying that if you are doing your own music, or painting, or dancing, then you aren't serving others, but when you focus less on what the art can bring you, and more on what the art can DO, then the world really opens up.
So often, artists make art without having any idea what will happen when they are finished. There’s no focus on how to get in front of people, what to say to them, or even who those people need to be. Why? Because we haven’t figured out the audience we want to serve.
Now of course we’re serving God, but our service to Him is based in how we serve others for Him. That goes beyond just a stock answer of saying we want to serve God with the music or whatever art we make.
How specifically can your art serve others? Is there a group or segment of the church that will really get served by you? Is there a unique way you will present your art that goes beyond the art to service? What stories from your personal experience do you have to tell? You have ideas, words, and real life experiences that others can relate to when they hear them through your testimony, as well as your songs, paintings, writings, etc.
This solves a variety of ills we have with what we are doing ministry-wise. It lets us be more than artists, songwriters, authors, or speakers. Real serving with our gifts lets us make a difference that is above money, power, fame, or even talent.
"Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” - Thomas Kinkade
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is lead producer and president of Creative Soul, not so much a record label as a Christian music service company. We care for, speak to, counsel, produce, and assist Christian music ministries to make amazing music, then get out there and affect real change on the world. Can we help you? http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com
About the Author
- Eric Copeland
- Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com