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Contemporary Christian Musician's Survival Manual
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There are many books and seminars available today which can tell you how to be successful in the business aspects of being a Christian musician. Now there is a book that addresses how to be successful spiritually when dealing with the issues unique to being in CCM.

I recently authored a book entitled “Contemporary Christian Musician's Survival Manual: Biblical Principles Applied to Common Issues Facing Contemporary Christian Musicians" (printed copies available at http://www.lulu.com/content/10529). It speaks to these subjects in a practical and tangible way without degenerating into vague generalities or getting lost in the details. It's for the professional musician as well as those just considering performing Christian music. As the back cover says, it's "a guide for those in Contemporary Christian Music or those who wish to be..." The topics range from secular music, deciding whether you’re ready to perform Christian music, choosing band members / leaders, authority structures, staying “in tune” spiritually both individually and as a group, to how to handle business issues (just to name a few).

A lot of different events served to bring me to the point of writing this book. After having played in several professional CCM bands during the 70s and 80s touring the USA and Canada as well as appearing on television shows such as The 700 Club, I recently got back into CCM. The same questions that I had wrestled with in my teens were still being faced by Christian musicians today. There seemed to be a huge need for spiritual guidance on the issues specific to being a Christian musician which was not being met. Everybody was still just making it up as they go….including me. I needed to answer these questions which had been rumbling around in my head for all these years.

A critical flaw in CCM today is the lack of a Biblical model to follow on how a Christian music group should function. Since there is no model, each person try’s to figure it out as they go and that’s why so often it becomes a “train wreck.” But God HAS provided us with a model! It is the same model which He gave to any group of Christian’s who are seeking to do His Will and spread the Gospel as a body. The model is The Church! That doesn’t mean that the same offices and functions which are in a church will exist within a Christian music group. But it does mean that the same principles which apply to churches concerning spiritual growth, authority, responsibility, our relationship with the world, and interaction between members apply to Christian music groups as well (1 Corinthians 12:27). This concept is central to my book.

I reference the scriptures extensively in this book and I really consider it a practical Bible study for musicians. My intent was to find out what God’s Word has to say about these things and not have it be just me giving my opinion. I also quote several of the most respected and experienced people in CCM on their views on these issues to provide a realistic balance on the subjects.

I hope that my love of CCM is evident throughout, but some parts are strong medicine. I don’t expect anyone to have a “lukewarm” reaction to this book. I think people will either say that it’s a bunch of legalistic garbage or that it provides real insight into the heart of God on these matters.

Below is an excerpt from the book:

Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called

Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ

“It seems that the first thing a musician wants to do when they become a Christian is find someplace to play Christian music! You have the talent and the desire so what else do you need, right? It’s perfectly natural for someone who loves playing music to want to express their love of Christ using their gifts. And given the popularity of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), it’s also understandable that Christian young people want to emulate the musicians they see on music videos and hear at church and on the radio.

CCM is big business nowadays. The Recording Industry Association of America states that it accounted for 6.7% of the total albums sold in 2001 (over 920 million dollars in sales). 80 million people tune into religious radio every week. And more than 800,000 tickets were sold at Christian music festivals in the summer of 2002. 1 Add in associated publications, product endorsements, and sponsorships and it all adds up to a multi-billion dollar industry. But it’s still a ministry, isn’t it?

I praise God for the way He continues to use CCM to bring people to Himself! However, the CCM road is littered with the burned-out husks of those who jumped into it without a clue of what they were getting into. While Praise leaders in churches deal with constant turn-over and conflict while trying to provide music for their services, those who volunteer their talents often find their faith shattered instead of built up and leave disillusioned. Due to the popularity of CCM, more and more bands are being formed and many of them have more to do with ego than serving God. These bands seem to break-up with even more frequency than secular bands. And in their wake, band members and their followers struggle to keep their faith. Hopefully, this book will help prevent some of these implosions.

While my book doesn’t have all the answers (there is only one Book that does), it does provide a Biblical foundation for how to deal with both the everyday and conceptual issues of being a Christian musician. Anyone in CCM (or considering it) should find it a helpful tool in establishing and maintaining an approach to performing Christian music that is not only pleasing to the ears but pleasing to God.

Buy a printed copy of the book at http://www.lulu.com/content/10529

Contact the author at

Cover photo courtesy of Phil Grindle