In my years overseeing weekend services and events, I’ve been involved with many conferences, speakers and concerts. The majority of them have been fantastic, and the reason they were is that the teams putting them on understood the “why” behind the event. For conferences and speaking events, the objective/purpose is often obvious – with Christian concerts, things can get a little fuzzy…
I’ve been involved with dozens of concerts over the years, and – as long as you go into an event with a real understanding of what Christian concerts can and can’t do – they can be very effective. The key is to recognize your “givens…”
First off, Christian concerts are NOT evangelical in nature. The primary crowd that will attend will be made up of:
1. People from your church;
2. People from other churches.
With the exception of people like former American Idol contestants and the like, there will be virtually no name recognition and very little draw for those outside of the church community.
Second, it won’t be cheap. I’ve been amazed and perplexed over the years as I’ve seen many church leaders assume that a well-known artist will travel and play for free or at a deeply discounted rate. The rationale is that it’s “a good cause” [which is likely true]. However, virtually EVERY event that Christian artists play at are supporting churches or other good causes. The artists make their living through concert fees and merchandise sales, and have expenses, crews to pay and families to feed, just like anyone else.
That being said, I am still a fan of Christian concerts. They are great for firing up [and showing appreciation to] the “home team.” While we don’t want to create subcultures that exclude non-Christians, neither do we want to eliminate music that glorifies God and encourages other believers. If the event is well planned and well attended, funds can also be raised to support missions, food banks, etc… #creativeworshipideas