Grammy-nominated gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds, who has a successful Billboard chart-topping career in Christian music, recently released 10 reasons why people should not join the gospel music industry.
At 28, McReynolds already has a well-established career in the music industry along with a part-time job as a college professor at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. He took to his blog this week to address all the people that continue to message him about their own aspirations of getting into the gospel music industry.
"The quality, integrity and potency of gospel music is not affected by the top pop artist or the state of hip hop. It is entirely based on the people that make up the gospel music industry itself. We aren't tainted by things external, only by things internal--not by what comes in, but what is put back out (Matthew 15)," he wrote, prefacing the article before listing "10 Reasons Not to Be A Gospel Artist."
The "Not Lucky, I'm Loved" singer explained that he wrote the article because he wanted to make sure people understand the realities that come with being a gospel singer.
"I am certainly not complaining about this amazing life and career God gave me, but I write this, because these ten things will discourage you, expose you, waste your energy and money if you are not called to this," he wrote.
Among the 10 points, McReynolds listed several realities he's encountered, such as: "Not a lot of money in it," and "It is slow to change and embrace new things."
"It is small," he also pointed out. "If you are looking for incredibly large audiences, gospel is not the surest way to do it."
If you attend a McReynolds concert, the young music minister always purposes himself to be honest with his audience and in the article, he followed suit and was brutally honest.
"It is not unified," he said of the gospel industry, despite Jesus' call to unity in Scripture.
"It may hurt you to find that there are very few opportunities (and very few plans to make more opportunities) to bring the Church and it's artists together," he revealed. "And this is coming from someone who has been embraced, to an extent, by both sides, several races and cultures!"
"I wrote this article to help ensure we don't keep filling our stages and pulpits with people who were not ready for it. This job will shine light and magnify all that is right with you and all that is wrong with you. The best way to be a mature, strong Christian artist, is to be a mature, strong Christian," the gospel singer concluded.
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, McReynolds shared how he handles his own success. He pointed out that on the path to achieving goals, some people can unintentionally lose sight of what's most important.
"I think normally with successes, life gets crowded with a lot of stuff," he told CP. "It's a lot of noise, it's a lot of things that you want, things that you're after, things that are around, things people say. We need to just stop and make room for your actual relationship with God."
McReynolds believes "some of us have to completely reorient things" and become intentional about a relationship with God. On his own journey, the singer said he distanced himself from constant social engagement with friends, recently created a prayer room in his home and made more room in his schedule to spend time with God.