Why performance is not a curse word

A guest post by musician Vaughn Henry on performance and ministry

13082632_1185753524792982_3878222610914297369_nNote from Allen: 

This post is used with permission from Vaughn “V.Keys” Henry, who originally shared this on his personal feed. It was minimally edited and adapted for this blog. Vaughn is a talented multi-instrumentalist who has worked with some of gospel music’s finest artists, and currently serves at Upper Room Ministries in Miami, FL. His current project, #Clarity2016, is available on iTunes


To all my gospel musicians, dancers and artists serving in ministries…

Please stop saying, “I don’t perform; I minister.”

I need you to know that every time you get on that stage, it is a performance and should be treated as such.

Usually people who say that can’t minister or perform! We use the “I’m a minister, not a performer” card as an excuse for our lack of preparation for the almighty sovereign God. Saying you are ministering does not give you an OK to sound or look bad while doing so. In fact, people get distracted by bad performances of a song that really does minister.

Some people in the church have given the term ‘perform’ a bad connotation. But performance is not a curse word. It is a sub category to the category of minister.

If you get on a stage and sing, you are performing. If you get up there and play, you are performing. If you get up there and dance, you are performing. In your performance, the content that you are singing, playing or dancing to is what ministers. The words and lyrics are what minister to the people. Our performance is the presentation, so we should always strive for excellence!

It isn’t the notes that give life to a broken situation.

It isn’t the dance moves that heals sin’s sickness.

What can penetrate the heart is the Word.

And so, as we perform our songs, we should present them in an excellent way that will allow the words to minister to someone.

Practice and perform well so that the spirit of God can use you to minister effectively.


What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Vaughn that performance and ministry can co-exist? Why or why not? Share your comments below. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Why performance is not a curse word

    • Accurately stated, Greg. I think what is interesting about the question is that in a sense, God is never in need or looking for performance from us. He simply desires our trust and our faith in him, and our works, including our songs and music, aren’t part of that equation. However, those in our congregations often require the motivation of our musical performance in order to sense God’s ability working through us. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!