When Junior Robinson was asked if he was a praise and worship leader he politely replied “No” and explained that he is an evangelist. I guess the clue is in the name, Gospel Singer! Over the last few decades evangelists have been given the push by conference speakers and that doesn’t just apply to preacher evangelists, that applies to singer evangelists too! Praise and worship leaders are household names and a good stock of ‘praise and worship’ CDs is commonplace, but how often to we hear The Gospel sung? How many in the UK can even name a Gospel singer?
The Christian conference culture has massively influenced what we read and listen to, so much so many evangelists, preachers and singers alike, struggle to eat and very few can survive on their ministry without other income. When you attend a conference and see the mass of CDs and books available, just try to find an up to date book or CD on The Gospel! I’ve watched whole congregations mass book flights and hotels for a bless-me week in Toronto, buy the CDs, books and fly home… to another conference! The conference industry has created many careers, but it has also near killed gospel initiatives in the UK. However, I’m pleased to report that a fight-back is under way.
This month I visited the Gospel Summit where Independent Gospel Artists showcased their abilities. Compared to the Christian Conference Industry this event was minuscule, just as Samson was before the Philistines! The UK’s Gospel artists are getting together and fighting forward, that the Gospel may be preached! These people have a message and a mission, but they also have struggle so before you rush out and buy the next conference speaker’s CD or book, please look at what the Gospel artists can offer. Your purchase will provide you with a great gift for someone who doesn’t know the Lord and help an artist get on his or her feet to preach the Gospel too.