Breaking and Entering into the Christian Music Industry

Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on February 1, 2010

We’ve been asked occasionally, “How can I break into Christian music?” The answer to that is, breaking and entering is illegal, but if you diligently prepare yourself to be the best you can be and accept the small opportunities, the Lord may surprise you by breaking down some doors for you and placing you where He wants you.

Of course this doesn’t mean you just sit back and wait for something to happen. You need to be involved in music ministry in some way to gain the recognition that leads to open doors. Did you notice the similarity in each of our stories above? All three of us were playing or singing in church when the first small steps began. You saw this in some of the other writers’ stories too.

This is a key: Write for your local church instead of for imagined big projects. Server your local congregation.  You know them and they know you.  If your songs work for them they may work at large.

Matt Redman
A great sign that part of your calling is to songwriting is when those around  you recognize and affirm that calling on your life. In an ideal situation it will be a leader in your church who plays this role.

The Bible says "Put off selfish ambitiona nd striving." We can't emphasize this enough. We’ve met so many people who are constantly frustrated because they have put God in a box. Instead of faithfully serving their local body and letting God promote in His timing, they are anxiously  trying to “make it happen.” Get their songs out there, get published, get famous. The highest goal should be to help people fall in love with the Lord.

Mark Altrogge recommends:
“If your song works within a local setting, then send it out to the churches that you’re a part of and see if it takes off there.” That’s what happened to him. “I Stand in Awe” was as great a song on the day he finished it as it is now, but it had to have that first hearing in humble surroundings for God to open up the path for it. It spread until it was picked up by Integrity and recorded on a Bob Fitts album, and from there it went all over the world.

Philippians 2:13 (NIV) says,“It is God who works in you to will and to do what pleases Him.” And this is not always a comfortable process. Jimmy reflects that  some of his own most used writing has come after some of his hardest lessons. He quotes Psalm work He wants to do through us. 32:8, 9 (New Living Translation): “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Bob Fitts has said that he hopes that writing good songs doesn’t mean that you have to go through hard times, “but… I kind of think it does.”

The Lord is the Master Potter.
He keeps working me over,
shaping and reshaping me.
Sometimes He has to break me first.
I must admit I dread those remodeling jobs.
 But the truth is I’m lopsided and I leak.
 I want to be a strong, beautiful vessel,
 full of the praise and music and
glory of God. So I say,
 go ahead, Lord;
 fix me.

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