Gospel artistes should be driven by inspiration, either directly from the Bible or other life experiences which they should use to compose songs or other works of art that point to the Lord. Instead of rushing into writing a gospel song or any other work of art, it is important for gospel artistes to be
driven by something inspirational before coming up with creative pieces of art which appeal to people’s imagination, giving them an appreciation of the deeper meaning of the Word of God.
When we look at gospel music, for example, the question of what exactly inspires an artiste into composing a song or coming up with a gospel album should be asked by any music critic.
Inspiration represents the basis upon which an artiste engages with his or her audience or fans in trying to communicate a certain message, learned or inspired by a certain incident or event during their Christian walk.
In Zimbabwe, many gospel artistes claim to sing their music from the Bible and that their music aims primarily to preach the gospel.
Many others who are into book writing or film-making claim to be driven by their passion for the gospel and have produced their works which dwell in certain scriptural topics to help other believers better understand the Word of God.
While gospel artistes may claim to be inspired by the Bible, it is possible that many others are doing their work with the motive of making a profit.
Being that as it may, I believe any gospel artiste should be true to their calling by first drawing inspiration from the Bible or any phenomenal event in their Christian walk which should first inspire them before producing a work of art.
Although it is understandable that gospel artistes should enjoy monetary benefits for their work, their primary focus should be proclaiming the gospel.
Such artistes can rise into successful ministers of the Word of God while at the same time creating a lasting impression in Christians and other non-believers who thirst for the gospel.
I like one hymn writer, Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady, who wrote the popular Christian hymn, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”, which is sung in many different churches today.
According to the Wikipedia, the reverend experienced an incident at some point in his life where he took shelter in a gap of a gorge of the Burrington Combe during a storm in England.
It is said the reverend was stuck in the gorge for hours, which turned out to be his only safe haven as the storm continued raging on.
While waiting for the storm to subside the reverend learned how God has power to protect his people from life-threatening experiences.
Having been inspired by this incident and to show his appreciation for his salvation, the reverend wrote lyrics to the song “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”, initially on a playing card.
If we look in the Bible, King David — who drew inspiration from his life as a shepherd before becoming a king later in his life — wrote verses to Psalm 23 verses 1 to 6 which have inspired many people across the world who now convert the psalm into a song.
From his experience as a shepherd, King David wrote the psalm after learning such lessons as love, affection and sacrifice, which are attributes of God and reflect the beauty of his divine nature.
In Zimbabwe, some gospel musicians are composing very good songs, which are products of their Christian experiences and artistic creativity.
During my recent interview with Bradley Mberi, a manager of an accapella group Firm Faith, he indicated that his group wrote songs after their experiences in different venues like charitable institutions where they received invitations to perform.
Pastor Charles Charamba and Amai Olivia Charamba, are additional examples of artistes who write their songs after receiving inspiration from the Bible or through other personal experiences.
Most of the songs by Pastor Charamba which include “Mviromviro”, “Tichazovei”, “Kana Vanhu Vangu” and “Handidi Naye” reveal the love of God and his goodness while others show the consequences of sin when people reject God.