American Idol Finalists are Worship Leaders

From MTV News:

This season... a large number of those faithful viewers have more than a casual pop-culture interest in the show: They're Christians who are also watching because more than half of this year's crop of finalists — including Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver, Kris Allen, Scott MacIntyre, Matt Giraud and Lil Rounds — either have a strong affiliation with the church or are worship leaders in their communities.

"I think that Christians probably watch the show all the time but maybe don't admit it. But this gives them someone to root for in this cast who is not just talented but also follows their faith, and people want to get behind contestants who align with their views," said Joanne Brokaw, who writes the Gospel Soundcheck" column for the spirituality Web site "Christian music has always had this cheesy label attached to it, and this shows that a Christian singer can have artistic integrity and they are people who can really sing."

I'm sorry. Maybe it's just me. But does participating in American Idol really show someone's "artistic integrity"??

A worship leader friend of mine once asked me for some advice about American Idol. She was interested in auditioning, and I asked her why she would want to do that. What would be the motivation?

And I didn't just mean what would be the few good motivations. I mean what would be ALL of the motivations. How could you protect yourself from pride, from ego, from self-glory? What if you won? Your life would change. Would you want it to change that way? And if so, why? What are all of the things you are truly seeking when you audition for American Idol?

I blogged a while back about my decision making process regarding professionally recording the music I write. I still have not moved forward with that. I am SO hesitant to do so, because I know my own faults and failings. And as many good reasons as I could come up with for pursuing recording (sharing God's gift with the world, enriching and edifying the lives of others...), I can't escape myself and my need to have my ego stroked, to have others like me and my talent, to receive affirmation of my abilities, to become rich and famous... but all for the glory of God, right? That's the loophole, right? If God gets some glory, then its okay if I do too?

As much as I am not a fan of the corporate CCM industry, which exists on self promotion and self exaltation, I am even LESS a fan of American Idol. To me, the name says it all.


Henry said...

And there in lies the real problem . .you worrying about you ... If using the talent and abilities that God has bestowed on you and HE gets the glory and you shine HIS light back into the dark corners of the world .. then you should do that ... Nor do I think any of the IDOLS should shy away from conversations about where their talent comes from ...;)

Ken said...

Great point. I do worry about myself. That was sort of my point. I know myself well enough to try to avoid the traps I can fall into.

My issue with the Christian Music Industry and American Idol is that they appear to be a popularity contest (American Idol especially so). Maybe in a best case scenario they are competing to see who can shine back God's light the best? Or is it really a contest of who can become the most popular? How many fan votes can you garner? How many records can you sell?

After all, isn't it possible to use the gifts and talents that God has given for the wrong reasons? Yes, God gets glory through us, but I think he also gets it in spite of us.

On one hand, I can see how someone who is seeking after God first, and using their talents to glorify him, could be "discovered" or have the limelight thrust upon them. Then it would be up to them to persevere in their intentions and convictions despite the popularity and temptations of pride that have come.

But to be on American Idol, you have to seek them out. They don't come to you. You go to them, you audition, you compete, and you hope to win. My question again is what are all the motivations that would lead someone to seek that?

Henry said...

What would motivate a man to rebuild a wall around a city ? Did it come to him ? or Did he have to go to it ? Point is that where ever you are , what ever you are doing .. God's there .. SO Jesus ? What was the way HE did it ? Where did HE go ?

Ken said...

Interesting. So I guess we shouldn't worry about pride or self seeking motivations? I'm not sure what you mean by "where ever you are , what ever you are doing .. God's there". It seems like a very broad and vague decision matrix. I would welcome your clarification.

But I admit, I do need to consider the possibility that someone might be sent or called by God to compete on American Idol. If true, that would be legitimate. Claiming a calling/sending can sometimes be nothing more than a convenient over-spiritualized explanation used to trump any potentially valid criticism. But again, I admit the possibility.

However, absent a true sending/calling, I reaffirm my original points.

Thanks for the comments and dialogue. Much appreciated!