Musician Jonathan McReynolds, active in the industry since 2012, recently gave aspiring artists several reasons to avoid pursuing a gospel music career.
In a blog post, titled “10 Reasons Not To Be A Gospel Artist,” the Grammy-nominated singer and college instructor wrote there is “not a lot of money in it,” the gospel music industry is “slow to change and embrace new things,” and “it is not unified.”
On the point of the gospel music industry not being unified, McReynolds explained that “stylistic differences and racial tensions” that may separate some churches also impact the Christian music industry.
“There are two distinct sides—at least two. And to be played on one type of radio station almost immediately disqualifies you from being played on the other. 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. And this is coming from someone who has been embraced, to an extent, by both sides, several races and cultures! It is rare! I just want you to know that,” McReynolds wrote.
The 28-year-old artist said he did not write the “10 Reasons Not To Be A Gospel Artist” post to keep readers “from following your dreams” or “dissuade anyone from the Church.” He wanted to answer questions he received in direct messages on social media about having a gospel music career.
Among his “10 reasons,” the songwriter also talked about career motivations, Kingdom representation, and authenticity, citing Bible passages such as Matthew 15, 1 Corinthians 8, and 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 as references for guidance.
Reaction to the post on social media mostly included gratitude and praise for McReynolds’ insight and transparency.
“Thank you for sharing. I am one of those in your DM people lol. All of what you just said was why I never wanted a career in music. But after having three heart attacks and several other life threatening issues, God said to me that I’ve tried church but not Him…” one commenter wrote.
The Chicago native acknowledged his industry success that includes a Grammy nomination, seven Stellar Awards nominations, a Dove Award, and his 2018 album, Make Room hitting no. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Album Chart.
“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.
McReynolds will start his nine-city “Make Room Tour” on September 6 in Detroit, Michigan. Five shows have sold out so far, and three new shows were recently added.