Should A Gospel Artist Perform In A Night Club?
This is a recurrent question within Christian circles which never quite gets the consideration it deserves. Therefore, I hope to help us answer it with much clarity and depth instead of the typical yes or no answers. While I am under no illusion that this post will put the topic to rest, I do hope it provokes more discussion. So, come on, let’s interact in the comment section when you finish reading.
Wikipedia defines a night club as an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night. It can have a stage for live music, dance floors, and booths for DJs to play recorded music. Some nightclubs employ bouncers to determine who qualifies to enter according to dress code or some other criteria, and some clubs or DJs stick to a particular genre of music.
In addition to loud music and dancing, other activities in a night club include drinking, mingling, making out, and maybe occasional drug use. Just the kind of place a Christian artist shouldn’t perform at, right?
It is unlikely that a gospel artist will be invited to perform in a nightclub. Firstly, club owners want to satisfy their customers and most gospel songs are unlikely to appeal to nightclub clients. Secondly, gospel or Christian music has an agenda. It is one of Gods’ kingdom propaganda vehicles. That is why many gospel artists have as their mission to proclaim God’s love through their music. So, a gospel artist will almost always not only seek to entertain but will also try to share the word of God.
It is also unlikely that a serious gospel artist would patronize nightclubs for the sake of clubbing, because of the activities that go on in such a place, some of which are against Christian living.
Seeing therefore that it is practically impossible to have a gospel artist perform in a nightclub, whether such an artist can or should seize that opportunity remains mostly an intellectual (or theological) debate.
But maybe let’s suppose that for a strange reason, a gospel artist gets such an opportunity. Maybe a club owner decides to humor you with an invitation for a live performance. What should you do?
Turn it down because a nightclub is an unholy place where you might get polluted or attract criticism if Christian brothers see you around that vicinity? Or seize the opportunity to further your mission as a gospel artist?
What would Jesus do? The famous question when we don’t have a direct scripture to tackle our situation at hand. Would Jesus turn down an invitation to perform at a nightclub?
Because Jesus received criticism for associating with sinners and wicked people, I believe he wouldn’t reject such an opportunity. Of course, we know he didn’t join the sinners in their wrong-doing.
In the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 where he responded to such criticism, Jesus stated that a good shepherd will leave 99 sheep to go look for the lost one, and he doesn’t stop until he finds that one and brings them back to the fold.
In the story of Zacchaeus, where Jesus also received criticism for associating with a sinner, he replied, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10. On the same subject in Matthew 9:12, he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
If Christians believe that nightclubs are hubs for sinners and sinful activities, shouldn’t that be a perfect ground for an artist to perform and propagate the kingdom message? Perhaps in the crowds is a lost sheep. Does it do much good that Christian music circulates mostly within the four walls of our churches or Christian gatherings?
Some people believe that among the nightclub fans are desperate and validation-seeking men and women who hate the activity yet need it, maybe to fill some void in their soul. What a fertile occasion to present them with an invitation to give their life a meaning through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Which brings me to the kind of performance a good gospel artist would dish out.
Entertainment for the sake of it would not make a difference. Minister your song, and then administer the gospel message, and challenge the people to believe in Jesus for salvation. If possible, give out your card or the address of a Bible-believing church around for follow up. Then leave, instead of staying around to club.
What about the temptations to drunkenness or lust and sex that might overcome an artist in a nightclub? To ignore that possibility is to be careless. The Bible says let him who thinks he stands be careful, lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
Permit me to talk about motive here before continuing with the possibility of falling into sin.
Your motive for deciding to perform in a nightclub will determine how you conduct yourself there. If you hide a desire to club under the umbrella of wanting to preach the gospel, your desire will surface in the things you indulge there. If you also see the opportunity as a means to market yourself beyond the church circle, you might compromise your standards to please this potential market.
Back to temptations. Now it is good to guard against temptation. But not to the extent where you become so rigid that God cannot move through you. Examples abound of Evangelists who’ve felt led by God to preach the word to women of the night in their places of work, some successfully. Such acts come at considerable risk; which is why it is not advisable to jump at every opportunity, or claim a spiritual maturity level that you don’t have. It is wise to be sure you’re being led by God and you know exactly what you should and shouldn’t do.
What about other Christians seeing you go in or come out of a night club? Let me paraphrase 1 Corinthians 8:10. “Suppose someone sees you, a gospel artist, going into or coming out of a nightclub, might he not be encouraged to violate his own conscience if he is spiritually weak, and begins to visit clubs and indulge in activities that are against God’s instructions?” It is therefore vital to consider how your actions might influence others.
There are times however, where ignoring other people’s opinions can be the right thing to do, as Jesus did with the religious Pharisees who criticized him for associating with sinners.
To wrap up, an opportunity to perform at a nightclub can be a rare chance to minister to people you might never meet anywhere else. Your conduct, performance, and the message you pass across on such occasions could be the first seed which begins the gradual spiritual transformation process of someone.
The risks of yielding to temptation and tarnishing the image of Christ and his church remain and should be considered.
For those who are wondering what I’d do, I look forward to the opportunity to win souls for Christ in a night club or any other club for that matter.
God bless you,
AkuBai is an award-winning gospel artist with the vision of impacting humanity and touching souls through music. She is an ordained minister of the gospel and leads Impact Makers for Humanity, an organization which builds competencies for sustainable development and extends compassionate support to vulnerable communities. She currently resides in Cameroon’s capital city Yaoundé. Visit www. akubai. com to learn more and search “AkuBai Quotes” on YouTube to watch her weekly motivational video series. Connect on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @AkubaiOfficial