Being a servant isn’t usually fun.
At the mention of that word, you’re probably imagining a hard-working person that has a lot of responsibility and little to no freedom. You might be thinking of wait staff at a restaurant, housekeepers in a palace or some other vocation that requires submission to authority. The role of a servant is not what most people think of when imagining ultimate success.
However, it might be the best position you could have.
As musicians and artists, we are constantly asked to serve others. Whether we are entertaining an audience or accompanying worship services, we occupy a role where our needs are secondary to the needs of our listeners. So if we want to be great artists, we also have to learn to be great servants.
In the book God and Gigs: Succeed as a Musician without Sacrificing your Faith, the word ‘service’ has been broken down into 7 key concepts that can help any faith-focused artist fully embrace the role of a servant, while improving every aspect of our careers and relationships.
Here are the 7 Service Steps:
- S – Stay Connected. In order to serve others, you must be remain deeply connected and committed to them. This especially applies to our closest relationships – our families, our faith communities, and most importantly our relationship with the Creator.
- E – Establish your Priorities. You must know what matters most if you want to help others and help yourself to advance in life. The proper application of priorities can set the pace for your growth, but misplaced priorities can delay and detour your progress.
- R – Respect the Business. Any artist that doesn’t honor the ethical and professional standards of their industry will find themselves on the outside looking in. We have to show respect to our clients and peers if we want to represent ourselves in the best possible light.
- V – Visualize your Goals. You can’t travel a road until you have mapped out your destination. Taking the time to work out your vision and values can ensure that you are going where you want to go in your career.
- I – Invest in your Craft. Nothing grows without a seed. If you want your artistic gift to have a greater impact, it will require your consistent and intentional investment into the areas of equipment, promotion and education.
- C – Challenge yourself to Grow. At some point, every artist realizes that there’s more to life than the next performance or creation. When we look within, we can start to appreciate that growth and advancement requires us to step outside our comfort zones to become more than we once were.
- E – Evangelize through your Gift. Our final and most important role as faith-focused artists is to help others to connect to the true Source of love and life. When we connect with our purpose as servants, we can see how our talents can lift others up, and at the same time present a new way of thinking and living.
With a SERVICE mindset, the faith-focused musician and artist can enjoy a fulfilling and successful career while never losing sight of what matters most. The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. sum it up best.
Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve.
To learn more about the 7 Service Steps, check out “God and Gigs: Succeed as a Musician without Sacrificing your Faith“, in which each concept is discussed in much greater detail.