A Different Kind of Fame
When historians write about the early 2000s, there are going to be entire books devoted to musicians and artists.
More than ever before, we’re seeing young people, both inside and outside the Church, passionately throwing themselves into creative pursuits, specifically into music. And it’s no wonder. This generation (by which I mean Millennials and Gen Z) has been immersed in music literally since the day of their births and, thanks to apps like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, have access to the largest library of music in human history.
This generation is acutely aware of the power of music, and they’re not just listening to it. They’re making it, largely because the dream of being the next Jimi Hendrix (or the next Vincent Van Gogh, Misty Copeland, or Meryl Streep) has never seemed so achievable. Aspiring artists and musicians are bombarded with television shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent, and social media and pop culture role models insisting that if they’re talented enough, if they can get enough votes, if they can get enough Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers that they can make it.
And honestly? It’s true. Fame has never been more attainable than it is right now.
But God is stirring up an entirely different longing in the heart of His Church. The longing for greatness is still there, but these artists aren’t passionately pursuing their own fame. They’re pursuing His. God has gripped many people with the desire to “let [their] light shine before others” so that the world would see their good works– their talents, their skills, their creativity –and give glory to their Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 ESV) It’s important to note that these artists aren’t ignoring their talents and hiding them, for fear that they might be tempted to embrace conceit or vanity. These artists are the “good servants” that Jesus taught about in Matthew 25, the ones who recognize the value of what God has trusted them with and resolve to use these talents for the glory of His name.
God is shifting cultural trends and societal pressures in His Church, and He’s starting with the artists, with musicians, painters, dancers, sculptors, poets, fashion designers, filmmakers, playwrights, and photographers. I’ve seen huge numbers of young people choose to make worship– whether that worship is through music, visual art or dance –their full-time occupation. Their hunger for Jesus’s fame isn’t satisfied with a half-hour worship set on Sunday mornings. They want this to be their actual profession, and they’re reorganizing everything else in their lives to make it happen.
You are living in this moment in history.
Are you just going to carry on with business as usual, to foster the same habits you have for decades, or are you going to answer this call?
There is a call upon your life as a creative. I don’t care how young or old you are. The Holy Spirit is willing and able to work through you. To paraphrase Revelation 3:20, He’s standing at the door of your heart and knocking saying, “I will pour out. I will do as much as you want Me to do, as much as you ask Me to do,” but He’s not going to violate your freewill. It takes action on your part.
So go to the secret place. Do it today. Take your notebook and your sketchbook, take your guitar or violin, and stay there as long as it takes to connect with Him.
Answer the call.
“A Different Kind of Fame” this blog was written and posted with permission by Justin Rizzo.