The other night I performed a concert in northern New England, which isn’t exactly a hip-hop hub. I agreed to do the concert without an honorarium because I had heard and seen deliberate ministry from the organization hosting the festival, and I considered it a privilege to be a part of the event they were hosting. I figured that four hours of driving could be made up for in t-shirt and CD sales, so on a business level I also justified my participation in the event.
When I arrived, I was admittedly a bit disheartened. There could not have been more than twenty people at the front of the stage for the band that was performing at that time. Scattered throughout the room were perhaps another thirty people. Not a huge crowd to work with, and when your stage show is dependent on crowd participation and energy level; it stacks the odds against you when there isn’t a crowd!
I was listed as the “headliner” of the weekend (about 15 bands had performed over the course of two days). Since I had no budget, I did not hire a deejay to spin behind me that night, and went against my better judgment by asking the soundman to advance my tracks. I hate doing that. Hate it. What unfolded over the next forty- five minutes, despite the small crowd and no deejay, was humbling to say the very least.
Not only did I take the stage to big cheers, but the twenty kids in the front row felt like hundreds. They were fully engaged, and gave me their ears when it came time to preach. They also bought a LOT of merchandise!
I was reminded of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. A master gave to several of his servants money to invest. He was most pleased with the servant who had put his talents to work, and doubled his money. He started with a small amount, and he made it grow.
That small crowd deserved my very best, just as any crowd of thousands, so that was what I decided to give them! In return, they gave me their best. The “multiplication” may not result in huge fame and finances, but my hope and prayer is that there will be eternal blessing!
“Father, I pray that you will continue to teach us to be thankful for each blessing you provide to us, and to be diligent in our witness in all circumstances. Amen.”