Sunday Best is a gospel music reality competition that airs on BET and just finished its 5th year on the air last night. Up until the end of last season I didn’t bother to watch it as I’ve felt that the Gospel has been in many cases that I’ve been exposed to commercialized for the profit of men and women and not optimized for the salvation and enrichment of the lives of those who come to know Christ Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Master. What piqued my interest at the end of last season was I just happened to flip through the channel and saw 2 former band mates of mine on Organ and Guitar so I decided to watch. What I saw from the few episodes that I did catch last year made me a bit upset to be honest. I saw singers who were more focused on all of the vocalese and vocal acrobatics they could and less focused on bring an audible message of Praise, Worship, and Gospel to the music that was being represented. This isn’t a knock on the singers as much as it is indicative of the current state of Christian affairs within some of the churches here in the USA.
As someone who’s been behind the pulpit as a teacher as well as playing music for praise and worship, I take Praise and Worship of God through song very serious and don’t like when people want to play games or show off during this time, so what I saw what I saw, I wasn’t sure what to say. Was this show a gospel version of Americal Idol in which people are trying to get famous or was this a show in which people were really trying to follow their passion for the Lord and minister via song? 2 episodes last year weren’t enough for me, so I decided to watch this entire season this year and said that I wouldn’t comment on it at all until I’d seen the whole thing. I will say that some of what I saw this season was (in my opinion) very indicative of a culture that counts becoming famous synonymous with being successful, as if you can’t be an effective Minister of Song or the Word if the world didn’t know your name. But there was something else that I saw, something that made me want to continue to watch this show that I was once turned off to watching…..there was genuine worship and praise among some of these contestants, none much more evident to me than from the 2 that wound up being the finalist, an 18-year old young man named Joshua and an 18-year old young woman named Alexis.
While there was definitely true, genuine worship present, at the end of the day this was a competition in which one person had to emerge the winner but in my mind both of those 2 young people were winners along with an entire generation of young Christians that will listen to their music, go to their concerts, and eventually meet with these 2, because what I saw and felt from a show that was taped months ago cannot be faked or contrived. It was genuine worship and praise from 2 people that are definitely anointed to do what they do. I just hope and pray that they stay in that anointing and not allow fame or anything/anyone else change who they are. In the end, this show produces potential Gospel “Stars” that are going to go out and make music/perform all over the country and potentially all over the world.
One of the things that I really appreciated watching this season was the continual consistent advice given most weeks to the contestants about making sure that they are keeping their lives focused on Christ Jesus and knowing that he is the reason for doing all that they are doing. This is truly the most important part of anything that we do in the name of the Lord or in the promotion of the Gospel be it in Song, Spoken, or any other form. I can say that I will watch next season, but will also say to anyone out there that is looking to engage or is actively engaged in any form of Ministry, make sure that you are in Ministry for the purposes of Christ Jesus, not for self-promotion, to gain riches or favor of men, or for any type of self-gain for you will always gain when you are in the Ministry of Christ Jesus, but it may not be the gain that you are thinking of or at the time you think it should come.