The characteristics of a true Gospel musician

The practice sessions are lit, the band, the acoustics, it’s a beautiful experience. Sunday arrives and the scene is set, he holds the microphone, lifts up his hands and the congregation joins in the worship. He is the guest “artiste”, invited by the church to ‘perform’ during the service and during the worship concert thereafter. Monday beckons, the gospel musician goes to the studio to record their latest single, in fact, they are working on their album. However, he was at the club, drinking with his friends on Friday night, hurling insults at every person within his vicinity. But the night ends, and he wakes up the next morning with a hangover and a woman he has never seen before on his bed side. The idea that their spiritual life keeps sinking irredeemably is an indisputable fact. The cycle continues…. an on and off relationship with God from Friday to Monday which consequently affects their output.

What most people never understand, is the fact that singing for God is NOT a ‘performance’; it is pure ministry! There is little difference between a pastor and someone who has dedicated their lives to spread the gospel through music. In my opinion, gospel musicians have a much greater audience and reach compared to a local church pastor. Isn’t the thought of this mind blowing? The fact that the spiritual fate of most people in the world could lie on a gospel musician? Think about it, some people have not visited the door of a church in years and their only ‘hope’ of hearing about God’s love could only be through the music that is playing in their car or a public service vehicle (Gospel music) of course.

Allow me to boldly state that some of the music on our airwaves purporting to be Gospel is lifeless, carrying only empty ghosts instead of the Holy Spirit. I can’t emphasize this enough, music is powerful! Music can influence the heart and soul more than how mere words can! Gospel music needs… NO! It HAS to carry the spirit of God. A true minister of God through music should:

  1. Spend a lot of time in God’s presence through prayer and reading the word

Isn’t it surprising that a lot of gospel musicians just go to the studio and sing whatever they ‘feel’ without consulting God. Having a great voice or talent does not necessarily give someone the qualification to minister through music. A musician who does not spend time in God’s presence has no difference with any other random singer. Too harsh? No.. 🙂

2. Fast regularly

I like how Myles Munroe puts it in his sermon – Understanding how to fast and pray efficiently. Fasting helps clear out all the gunk and messiness that clog up our spiritual ‘pipes’ through worldly distractions and pleasures. In that way, we are able to hear God clearly. Moreover, fasting involves denying the body food or pleasures in order to focus entirely on God. Fasting is not only paramount to Gospel musicians by the way. 🙂

3. Live and lead by example

I become so embarrassed and ashamed when I hear that a certain Gospel musician is cohabiting with their significant other, insulting others at the club, fornicating, or is in a compromising situation. What makes the difference between that musician and the person he is supposed to minister to?

4. Let the Holy Spirit inspire their lyrics

Most people may not know this, but the demonic world usually uses a technique known as back masking in order to add hidden/subliminal messages in popular songs. We all know that the Bible was written by people who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is, therefore, very important for gospel musicians to have their lyrics inspired by the Holy Spirit. The songs written should carry God’s presence. Listeners should be healed from diseases, bondage and strongholds. That’s what makes the difference!

Above all, let discernment be our guide in composing and listening to Gospel music. It should edify us!

I will be back with a final post on the Kenyan Gospel music industry.


With love,



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