Christian Music Bands Playing at Bars

Discussion in 'Worship' started by Wynteriii, Apr 16, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm in a Blues-Alternative Christian band that is trying to make the band into a ministry.During practice someone brought up the possibility of playing at local bars. I spoke in opposition to it and found myself against the rest of the group. They repeatedly brought up how Jesus went to those who were drunks (this being one of my main concerns, us playing at a bar that has had a history of wild "drunk-fest"s) as their defense.

    I would like to know your thoughts on this issue of Christian bands playing at bars.
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    First, if you have a conviction, that's a sign not to do it because it might violate your conscience,
    unless you are convinced otherwise by Scripture or evident reason (to paraphrase Mr. Luther).

    Assuming this is paid, are we earning off of a God honoring trade?

    What about causing others to stumble?

    Do any of the band members have struggles with sins of alcoholism, licentiousness (remember there is often dirty music, dancing, stories, etc. in bars).

    What does Christian band mean? Is it worship, or entertainment? Are all songs full of good doctrine?

    Yes, God goes to sinners, and in a lavish way to those whom He has chosen, and he greatly blesses repentance. But that's a far cry from undiscerningly going to dens of iniquity to entertain sinners for money.

    All this to say,
    it's hard to see this as a normal activity to advance the Kingdom, perhaps as a one off experience with specific leading, with the right circumstances.

    But generally,
  3. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    I don't understand. Is there a problem with bars?
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Christian blues? How does that work?
  5. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

    Wouldn't blues be the same as a lament? It has biblical precedence.
  6. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Just some possible insight and opinion.

    Most of the ordained ministers of the Gospel I know wouldn't have the time to play in bars. Plus, most of the ones I know have found a need to avoid certain things to be men above reproach. I know a lot of players at Bars. It is a place that entangles and can strangle. It isn't someone's home or place of residence as Matthew's venue was. Jesus wasn't hiring out weekly or monthly to perform for anyone. And to be honest I have a hard problem seeing this as being an outreach. A Bar is not going to pay you to be an outreach. I wouldn't if I owned a bar and if I had a specific purpose in selling as much booze as I could legally. If you want to go minister to patron's of bars just stand outside and do what the people at my Church do in Broadripple, In. They go stand in the local area of the Bar Venues and Pass out Gospel tracts and my Pastor does open air preaching along with others who share their testimonies. I have met a few people who have come to Christ through the ministry.
  7. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I may be off here but the idea of your band "being a ministry" like some kind of church service or teaching para church thing may be the problem. Why not practice and get good at being "just" a very good band that makes a living or a few extra bucks on the side? Of course the cautions already mentioned here should be taken into account and the type of bar you mentioned "drunk fest" is a concern that should be taken into account.
  8. littlepeople

    littlepeople Puritan Board Freshman

    You should let the owner of establishment you gig at know what you are up to. Many would not take kindly to it. Remember that you are in their employment so-to-speak, you have to be thoughtful about what you do on their dime. With that said, when I played regularly, I did have some opportunities to speak with people about the gospel. I've had many more as a patron of bar/grills than as a performer though. Playing a gig can be an exhausting experience, and there's only 15 min. at most between sets - and lots of distractions. It just doesn't work very well as a platform for evangelizing.
  9. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I agree with Earl on both points. Well said.
  10. A5pointer

    A5pointer Puritan Board Sophomore

    go for it, be light..............
  11. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Did they quote chapter and verse, or are they just regurgitating some vague argument they have heard from other musicians?

    I would take this opportunity to do a Bible study with the Band and nail down exactly what you believe. This will help the band to solidify a 'mission' which is key to having any kind of ministry.
  12. matt01

    matt01 Puritan Board Senior

    As someone mentioned above, you should be aware of what the establishment is paying you to perform. They probably won't be having you back if it is a ministry.

    By the way, off topic, but you seemed to be very involved: student in a couple of programs, trainee minister, budding musician...[If I recall correctly].. do you sleep?
  13. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I can sleep after I'm done being a student. Well at least for awhile.

    The reason I brought up the band being a ministry is because of are desire to soon take over one of our churches worship services. I had to paint the picture for them of us playing for inebriated people Saturday night, clean up the music a bit, and lead worship the next day.

    I kind of feel like "Debbie Downer" a bit because of second guessing the band. I continually correct the band when the put musical excellence over actual worship and doesn't necessarily need musical excellence.
  14. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    They are right to want the band to be about musical excellence rather than worship. Imagine a Christian who juggles for entertainment being told it's wrong that he juggles to entertain people rather than to lead them in juggling-worship. That is what I think of when I read statements like this.

    That being said, I would also be uncomfortable with providing entertainment in an environment of drunkenness and debauchery.
  15. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    When was juggling considered worshipping?

    Never the less, I understand your point but since we talking about music, I meant worship in a musical sense and musical excellence in a musical sense.

    For example, tribes in Africa that only have a broken drum to lead Christians in worship is far better then someone showing off their musical prowess during a service.
  16. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It may take us down a rabbit trail, but personally I do not see any difference between juggling in worship and a Blues-Alternative band performing in worship since neither is commanded for worship in Scripture. I feel differently about simple accompaniment that is focused on aiding the singing -- I don't agree with that either, but at least it serves some circumstantial purpose. I say this as someone who for several years played in "worship bands". However, to avoid hijacking the thread, let me just say that regardless of what you believe about worship music, it is not wrong for your bandmates to want the band to be for music entertainment and excellence rather than worship. It is perfectly lawful for a band to be about music. I do, however, share your discomfort about the environment they want to play in.
  17. matt01

    matt01 Puritan Board Senior

    I must be missing something. Are you referring to your band leading the music during the worship service, or leading the entire service? Even if just the music, which is worship, I don't understand a blues-alt band doing this,
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  18. newcreature

    newcreature Puritan Board Freshman

    My brother plays in a Christian rap band and they have done a few bars. They play to a younger crowd and they don't make any real money off the gigs, but it is really good music and the crowd enjoys it. I enjoy his music and sometimes play it at home or in my car. The lyrics are usually sharing his testimony and telling how God can deliver one from a life of sin. Still, it is a bar, not a worship service and there is the fact that a number of patrons may be engaging in sin and debauchery as they partake in the music. This is a difficult choice to make. I would definitely not do it if it bothered my conscience.
  19. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I should clarify, as far as I know the band will be a blues/alt Christian band. Right now, we play mostly my hymn/spiritual adaptions (I'll Fly Away, "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down"). When we lead worship for a service, we take everything down a few steps if not play the songs traditionally ("Amazing Grace"). So we are a worship band during the service but when we aren't playing to lead worship, we play our original Christian Blues/Alt songs. While doing this, we give testimonies, present the gospel, and afterwards stay to talk to those who still have questions.

    I'm thinking about a resolution to my dilemma, perhaps ask the band that when they wish to play at bars we ask them to not serve beer. If they comply then we won't ask nor accept payment.
  20. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    Drinking beer is not a sin only drunkenness is.
  21. matt01

    matt01 Puritan Board Senior

    What if they serve whiskey?

    Seriously, I don't see this as being very realistic. Bars/clubs make their profit by selling alcohol. Why would they want a christian band to perform, when that keeps them from conducting their business? Drinking beer is not sinful in itself, so I don't understand the point.
  22. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    Umm, seriously?

    Two things:
    1) Good luck finding a bar that will cease serving alcohol for a night to comply with a band's wishes. Bars exist to make money.
    2) If you refuse to perform in an establishment that serves alcohol, you're close to suggesting that alcohol is evil. Don't do that.

    Speaking as a fellow Christian, if I owned a bar that served as a musical venue, I wouldn't let you do that in my place of business.
  23. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Good point. I doubt I would have a "Christian" band play at my bar. I would have a band that consisted of Christians but I would hope they played just plain old good music that is pleasing to the patrons and The Lord. There is a time and place for everything and a bar In my most humble opinion is not a place to play music that wishes to draw people into worship. I rather hear "Gimmie 3 Steps" in a bar than "Amazing Grace" and I rather hear "Amazing Grace" in a church and not "Gimmie 3 Steps".
  24. DeniseM

    DeniseM Puritan Board Freshman

    I find it very interesting that all of our personal preferences are being posed in a worship thread. If there is ever a time when God's preferences are to be fully prescribed, it is in worship. Our own preferences just don't matter here. The question should be what would the Lord choose to hear sung in His churches.
  25. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    In regards to my proposition, I'm not expecting bars to except it. If some do, then so be it.\

    Yes I agree, drinking is not sin. Drunkenness is. The goal of the bar owner, in my mind, is to get as many drinks in a patron without breaking the law.

    Another thought, how do we know that the money we are paid with was not earned from giving someone who has a drinking problem a drink?
  26. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Be careful. You guys are seriously dating yourself with the "Three Steps" reference. :lol:
  27. Mathetes

    Mathetes Puritan Board Freshman

    It's an interesting question...I think there's a place for Christian music in the secular sphere - after all, it's one way of getting the gospel out - but it's questionable whether playing in a bar is the way to do it. I suppose not all bars are packed with fall-down drunks who start rumbles at the drop of a hat. Some bars are classier than others. On the other hand, the owners would probably for sure nix any attempts at onstage preaching and "bible-thumping."

    My hope is that God leads you to such a place, where your music can get the gospel out there, without throwing pearls to swine. I'm a musician myself, but so far I'm only working on songs and recording a demo, which is a slow process for me. Once I'm done I'd like to have a band, but as for venues, I'm not sure. I've never been good at booking gigs or anything like that, so who knows? Maybe there are Christian booking agents or promoters in my area who are willing to take on a new, unproven act. One thing's for certain, it calls for a lot of prayer and wisdom.
  28. JoannaV

    JoannaV Puritan Board Sophomore

    Noooo...that would vary between bars. Sure some bar owners want each patron to buy as many drinks as possible each time they visit. But that is by no means the goal of them all. Others want to be the place that the same people buy a drink or two in every night. Or every week. Those people might not come back if there were drunks everywhere.

    Off topic, but I miss proper pubs!
  29. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm being bias and shouldn't label all the bars that exist. I'm saying that for the past 5 years 2/3 bars have repeatedly over-served people, sold to minors, have drugs being used inside the building, and fights. The 1/3 bar just opened 2 months ago. All three are a few steps from a highway.

    Never the less, we do plan to expand are gig territory, which could include more bars if they can convince me that their side of the argument is better than mine.
  30. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    Anyone else care to comment?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page