A simple truth about show business is this: If you can’t handle uncertainty and insecurity, get out!
As a full time, self-employed entertainer, I get no sick pay and no paid vacation. No company pension plan awaits me if and when I decide to retire.
As an entertainer, my wife and I do a lot of ministry work. For us, ministry is the same situation. We have no organization which sponsors us. We have no one who supports us.
This means we do not have guaranteed work. There is a need to continually scramble to keep shows on the schedule. There is no way to definitely predict how much money will come in month after month. Right now, as we look at next year, we will have no money unless I figure out way to fill week after week with bookings.
We could do something different. We could settle into an employment situation where a paycheck comes every week and where we know, as long as we show up and keep doing a good job, we will have an income.
The truth is, there are times when my wife and I look at such job possibilities, and the security they indicate, and think that would be nice.
However, we do not think that way for long. We start discussing how we live, and why we do what we do, and realize…we would not be happy doing anything else!
This article is not about going full time as an entertainer or going full time into ministry. I realize, for many, such is not a good choice. It is about the fulfillment and reward of working as an entertainer. It is about the blessing of using entertainment skills in ministry. Whether full time or part time, it is a wonderful thing to be in the business of making smiles, laughter and happiness appear.
Have you ever thought directly about the first and most obvious meaning of being an entertainer? To entertain is to provide enjoyment. An entertainer works to create good experiences for those who watch him or her in action. For those who use entertainment tools in ministry, they are using the creation of enjoyment to convey spiritual truth. This is a terrific thought to embrace and not forget.
Why do we invest in props and equipment? Because they are tools for creating fun and worthwhile experiences for others.
Why do we practice and rehearse? Because we want our audiences to find excitement and delight in our work.
From the standpoint of those who use magic tricks and other entertainment tools in ministry… I remember, when I was a child, seeing someone do a special object lesson in church. I loved it. Suddenly it was not “just another Sunday.” The fact that someone was doing something especially interesting took me out of routine mode and put me once again “into the moment.” It wasn’t just that I liked what I saw. I heard what was being said. While having a good time, I got the message!
Now I love the fact that I might be doing that same thing for present-day children. I believe and hope that the interesting ways I present messages will be embraced and long remembered. It is ministry based on the use of enjoyment to convey spiritual truth. Wow!
For me, this is such a grand opportunity and God-given passion it must be a full time pursuit. It is what I am gifted and called to do.
The financial challenges and insecurities that accompany my calling are worth dealing with. God provides as I do what I am made to do.
Not everyone is called nor equipped to do this full-time, but whatever your situation, whether God is using you in context of secure employment plus being able to share now and then, or you are able to devote yourself full time to the use of your entertainment skills…don’t lose sight of the privilege and blessing in being one who’s focus is on giving people reasons to smile, laugh, clap and cheer while sharing with them life-changing truth.
Stay motivated! There is abundant reason to give our best to this work and ministry!