|Pompi is arguably Zambia's number one artist at the moment.|
|If Pompi is number one, Abel is definitely number two!|
The music scene in Zambia is quite interesting at the moment. Arguably the most popular musicians right now are two fellows, Pompi & Abel Chungu. Both professing Christians. Pompi, a recent convert, has just released a number one album where he is talking about his new found faith in Christ, albeit in undertones. Abel on the other hand is full fledged, I believe he is or was or studied to be a Youth Pastor and know for certain he leads worship at his church. His album is number two on the charts. They have caused quite a stir by performing or ministering at night clubs saying that they are using the opportunity for the promotion of the gospel. Here's what I make of it all:
The FACT of the matter is that Jesus Christ commanded us to go into ALL the world and preach the good news (Matthew 28:19). The FACT is that we are to make the most of every opportunity to preach the gospel (Colossians 4:5). That we must be like Jesus, who spent his time with sinners, is an undeniable FACT (Mark 2:13-17). FACT: Even Paul said, he became all things to all men for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Why then must these guys STOP ministering in clubs?
1) It is a contradiction i.e. it doesn’t make sense.
While it is NOT a contradiction for a Christian to be found among sinners, after all how else will he/she share the gospel with them, it is a contradiction for a Christian to be found in compromising acts, situations and environments even if it is in a bid to win over the lost. It is NOT a contradiction for a ‘green person’ (who cares about the trees and stuff) to be found with people who cut down trees in a bid to win them over. However, a ‘green person’ accepting to give a speech at a Timber-Company-sponsored-and-run campaign wouldn’t make sense. The platform might very well be huge but you cannot ignore the contradiction and a loss of credibility is bound to ensue.
2) It is dangerous.
Like one preacher said, “The strongest, wisest and most godly men who ever lived, all fell to sexual sin. I am not stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon or godlier than David...” These guys are human. They cannot go into a place where there are loose and scantily dressed who are dancing provocatively and are not only inviting men but even flat out approaching men to have a ‘nice time’ with them, without feeling the pull of temptation. And since the temptation is there to sin physically, despite all the eyes on you, what more mentally where you can wander off with no body ever knowing? Even in their thoughts they will be tempted to play out encounters with the lewd women they see. I don’t think God would have you spread his word at the expense of your purity and testimony both of which will be compromised if you yield to the temptation. When Joseph was grabbed by a lustful and half naked woman, he fled! He could have taken that opportunity to show her the error of her ways. He could have said, “I’m not going to run because greater is he that is in me…” But he literally RAN out. Why? He wasn’t going to give temptation a tenth of a chance. To go into a club to do evangelism is to assume you are stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon and godlier than David. I would not be so bold!
3) It is not necessary.
There are ENOUGH opportunities in less compromising places. What about those who say, "clubs have one of the largest assemblies of lost sinners?" They say, "it’s a golden opportunity to speak to so many lost people at one time." Well, that may be true but there are infinitely less compromising situations where you can minister to a descent crowd of people. These guys are popular musicians who can pull crowds. Have they tried holding open air concerts in the different neighborhoods of Lusaka? Have they tried holding a concert at the Agricultural Show or Trade Fair in Ndola? Have they tried going to places such as Arcades where musicians can set up outside under a shelter and sing? Have they tried schools, churches, restaurants, youth groups, malls, community halls, parks, etc? It is just not necessary to go into clubs; all the places I’ve mentioned are TEEMING with people and would do fine and keep them quite busy in ministering that they’ll never have time to hit the clubs. And many of them would not require them to spend their own money.
4) It is not effective.
I would be both ARROGANT and FOOLISH to deny the possibility that someone can be saved after hearing Pompi or Abel or whoever else minister in a club. It is possible and while I would be skeptical, I wouldn’t out rightly refute someone who claimed to be saved through such an endeavor. But we must be real. People in a club are NOT in the sort of frame of mind or overall state to be reasoned with. And gospel preaching (and when I use preaching I mean or its forms, music included) is to wrestling with someone’s mind. It’s to reason with them. If they can’t hear you because the environment is too noisy or too distracting or because they are not in the mood, you're wasting your time. Pack up and try another time. You may be saying it's worth it for even one person who hears. Well, you're right, but wouldn't it then be even more worth it to go and minister in a place where you are sure more than half are paying attention? Clubs are definitely not the place for speaking to people’s minds, apart from their very nature; the people themselves are there for fun. They want to have a good time, not be told to change their ways and so on. Look, going into clubs is one way of doing it, but I’d advise these guys to throw their energies into more effective ways of doing it. There are much more conducive places and environments where they can effectively share the gospel.
5) It is not feasible.
If you preach the true UNADULTERATED gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in a club, you WILL be thrown out, If not by the clubbers themselves then definitely by the owners of the club or function that invited you. The people at the club have gone there to have a nice time. They’ve gone there to drink, party, do drugs, crack unwholesome jokes, indulge in sexual encounters and so on. If you are going to preach the gospel (and again I use preach generically) you will condemn such behavior and call it sin and invite them to amend their ways. They will not take it kindly and will send you out. If you go there and say, “Jesus loves you, accept him as your Lord and Saviour,” then you are not preaching the gospel. This is the gospel: that what we do, think and say is sin and offensive to God and that even before we are born we are sinners, etc. If the sin part is absent you are preaching something else.
Let me end by giving a personal testimony. I get in front of people with a guitar to sing from time to time. I recall singing at a school one night. I sang a simple song which is really a prayer. “Lord I wanna yearn for you, I wanna burn with passion over you and only you.” Everyone seemed quite sobered up by the song. However, right after I was done, some students came up to talk or sing or something, I can’t really remember and one of them while speaking made a mistake and in the same way one would say, “Sorry” or “I beg your pardon”, the student cursed. Most of the students broke into uncontrollable laughter and I have to tell you it broke my heart. I had sang my heart out, I had spoken before singing about what the song meant. I had told them about the importance of yearning and desiring for God and everyone seemed sobered up but barely five minutes later, they were all laughing because someone cursed. It killed me. I still had to sing a song or two and when I got up I stood before them broken and I made it very clear how I felt. I poured my heart out and moved on to sing my next song.
Now that was one person, who cursed once. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go into a club and stand in front of a half drank, half naked and fully rowdy and wild crowd to minister the gospel in the TOUGH medium of music with a heart that sincerely wants to see these people saved and changed while they dance, sing, laugh, curse, drink (and everything else) away. It might not be impossible but it will certainly be close to impossible. And I doubt that you would manage to leave without a broken heart and tear filled eyes each night you try it.
“Yes but nobody said it would be easy”, you might be saying. To which I reply, why go through that when there are more effective, safe, feasible, sensible ways?