Why We Do What We Do

Marie Wise

A Personal Message from Marie

When I first started this website and Christian Band Help, most of the people who read it knew me personally. You knew not only who I am, but what I am passionate about. Today that is just not the case. This website has exploded, especially in recent months, to the point that I no longer personally know most of you. WOW! That is such a blessing to me. But it has also caused a little confusion about why this site exists – Why We Do What We Do and exactly what it is we are trying to accomplish.  So, today I’d like to introduce (or re-introduce) myself and this ministry…

Hi! My name is Marie Wise. I am here to guide you along the path of creating an extraordinary music ministry.

This journey bypasses (but does not exclude) the typical Nashville way of the Christian music industry. Why? Because for the vast majority of Christian musicians the Nashville way just does not work. From a business perspective it is risky and expensive. From a personal perspective it can be all consuming, affecting your family life and eating up every minute of your time. Most importantly, it might not touch the people you are called to minister to.

Does this mean the Nashville style music industry is bad or evil?

No. Absolutely not. There are many amazing Christians with good hearts working within the industry.  They are doing a good work and God has called some musicians to work within the industry. But for the majority of Christian musicians the music industry is the wrong tool for the ministry we are called to do. The Christian music industry is set up to distribute Christian music to Christians. So, if you do a style of music that is not the best selling style right now or if you are called to primarily minister to people that do not shop at Christian Bookstores and listen to Christian radio stations, the Christian music industry is not a good choice for you. If you want to sell a popular style of music primarily to Christians, the Christian music industry is a tool you should consider using.

Years ago, the only way for a Christian artist to get known was to be signed to a Christian record label. Fortunately for us, times have changed. The power of technology has turned the music industry upside down. We no longer need huge companies to record, market, distribute, and back us financially in order to reach our fans. We have many tools at our disposal such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Pro Tools, download cards, Fanfunding, print on demand, WordPress… the list is almost endless.  Working as a DIY musician is finally possible. This plethora of technological tools opens up almost endless possibilities for your music ministry. Most importantly, these tools allow us to keep our focus on the ministry rather than the industry.

This brings us to a popular discussion… the industry versus the ministry.

In my mind, there is no “versus” because they are two very different things. People go round and round about “being a Christian band” or “being Christians in a band” or if the Christian music industry is a “den of vipers” etc, etc, etc. We all have our opinions and biases on these topics. We can all point to examples of corruption and sin to support our views.

Here’s my two cents… just do whatever God has called you to do and stop judging everyone else.

Sure, they may get it wrong from time to time but let’s face it – so do you. Things you were sure were the absolute right way ten years ago may not seem so right to you now that you have grown and matured. Give each other some room to grow, give each other some credit for getting out there and trying rather than hiding their light under a basket, and give each other some encouragement… music ministry is tough enough without us turning on each other. Enough said, except that you have my permission to hold me accountable to doing this too.

The view around here is that the music industry is one possible tool your music ministry might want to use. The ministry is you bringing people closer to Jesus. The industry does not validate your ministry – in other words, getting signed to a label does not make you a better or worse Christian music minister. You have not “arrived” as a Christian music minister just because you make the cover of an industry magazine. The industry can help you get a bigger platform (more exposure) with Christians. If God has called you to minister to Christians, this larger platform can help expand the number of Christians your ministry has the opportunity to touch.

The majority of Christian musicians will never be signed to a label. Most Christian musicians will never experience fame on a national level. Your name will probably not be a household word. This does NOT invalidate your music ministry. It does NOT give you an excuse to quit either because our goal is not to get signed… our goal is to bring people closer to Jesus using the gifts and resources He has given us.

So, understand me clearly…

YOU CAN have an extraordinary music ministry!

It will probably be the hardest, most challenging thing you have ever done. But it will also be fulfilling if you are doing exactly what God has called you to do.

You don’t know me personally. And, although I have worked with many bands over the years, I’m not famous. I have never wanted to be famous; in fact I have intentionally not cultivated many relationships within the Christian music industry. Why? Because almost every band I have ever worked with asks me this question first: “How soon can you get us signed?”  I do not know people that I can call and get you signed. It is not my goal to get you signed.

My goal is help you create an extraordinary music ministry.

You have the ability to touch people – to being them closer to Jesus. Because of your unique gifts, you can reach people in a way that no one else can.  I want you to achieve your full ministry potential. I want you to do the ministry God has called you to do, realizing that ministry will look different for each one of us. I want you to do your part in changing the world for Jesus!

With that goal in mind, I am giving you the best counsel, information and resources I have. I am pulling in other people to help so they can give you their insights as well. The categories on the right sidebar will help you find specific information you need. The Christian Band Handbook will help walk you through the process step by step. But remember that not every tool we present is right for every music ministry. Use what works for you now and save the rest as something you might want to consider in the future.  We have some really great stuff planned for 2017, so stay tuned. We are looking forward to working with you and seeing what God will do with us together.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at marie@ChristianBandHelp.com with questions and suggestions.