Tag: Jim Ranger

Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Worship Leader Jim Ranger
Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Well, I don’t know how many of you watch “American Idol”, but I do. Last night there was both a Worship Pastor named Jim Ranger, as well as another church pastor auditioning. I don’t remember anyone of the judges ever saying before that they think that a person’s position in a job qualifies them as talented or not. It’s NOT in the rules for auditioning. Since when did a person’s vocation (or religion) qualify as an excuse to not judge impartially? What happened to Jim Ranger?

The story begins:
Avril Lavigne was a guest on the panel of judges for the evening. Incidentally? She showed up wearing a hoodie with devils horns on the top of the hood.

It was time for a Worship Pastor to take his turn to audition in front of the panel of judges.

As soon as Jim Ranger, the Worship Pastor at a church, was finished singing (And he did do a fantastic job) Simon Cowell, who is always brutally honest, said that he liked the audition and that Jim had an authentic voice.

Next to take her turn to judge was Avril and she piped right up and said rather derogatorily, “You’re married and you have three children and you’re a Pastor? You know, to become a pop star, you know you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road…But, I do think you have a good voice.”

We can see right away that she is judging him, not on his voice, because she said she thought he had a good voice, but rather she judged him on the fact that he was a Christian Worship Leader.

It bothers me that Avril Lavigne would judge according to his vocation rather than his skill as a singer. The whole point of American Idol is to judge them on their singing skills, not whether they feel they can make it out on the road away from their family. I suppose we will chalk the comment up to her young age and forgive her.

When it finally came time to vote, Simon was first and answered with an enthusiastic “Yes”. Next in line to vote was Avril. She doesn’t even look at Jim but rather looks over at Carla (Judge #3) and says, “I’m sorry, but I have to say no.”

Sadly, Carla picks up on Avril’s negativity and agrees with her comment by saying very doubtingly, “I don’t know how you…um…really can do everything at once if you were to go through with this, how you really can be dedicated to your church.”

What I find strange is why, all of a sudden, are these judges basing the audition upon the person’s vocation rather than their talent?

Jim did finally get the 3 votes he needed to qualify for a golden ticket to go to Hollywood but, a very strange thing happened immediately after that on the show. Simon turns to Avril and says, “I love the fact that we’ve officially got a devil on our show.”

In my opinion, truer words were never said. How apt that it would be this particular night that a devil would condemn a Christian. It kind of gives us something to think about.

Have you noticed that there have been quite a few Christians who have been auditioning for American Idol in the last couple of years. The ones that stand out to me are David Gokey, Kris Allen and this year Tasha Layton and Jim Ranger.

I know there is a lot of talk going around about how Christians should not be going after fame and fortune but, on the other hand I see how churches expect their Christian Worship Leaders to perform their duties getting no recompense for doing it. There are people who say that they should do it for nothing because their reward is in heaven, but even the Levites were set aside to perform the work for God and were paid to do it.

I Chronicles 9:33 says Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.

Numbers 18:21 (kjv)

21. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (NIV)

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8. Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9. For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10. Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12. If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14. In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

In order to lead in Christian Praise and Worship we as worship leaders should be exempt also from secular jobs in order to spend time in God’s presence. How can we lead others into Christian Praise and Worship if we are not spending time with God in worship daily? I know some people think that to lead in Praise and Worship we just need to gather a couple of songs and sing,but this is not true worship. We are not to be the entertainment section for the church rather we are to be gatekeepers to the Holy of Holies…..okay so I’m going off on a tangent 🙂

I don’t understand how anyone can stand back and say that these people are wrong to try out on American Idol and hope to try to provide for their families. What they know is music, and they are good at it. If we don’t want them going to “the world” to make a living then maybe we better start considering how we are supporting them as a church.

Is it any worse for a Music Pastor to get a job singing non-Christian, secular songs than a Pastor who tries to provide for his family by working in the material world such as banking or politics etc?

I really think that we as Christians should stop judging what other people are doing to make their living and keep an eye on our own lives.

What do you think?

Sharron

You can view the audition here.

(originally posted on 28th January 2010)