Pondering The Voice and Our Gospel Mandate
So last night my friend Katie Basden ended her run on The Voice. It was an amazing journey that began last summer. I was with her in Poland on a mission trip when she found out that she was being invited to Hollywood and it has been great fun to watch everything happen. She will tell you herself that it has been a crazy wonderful ride and that she is very grateful for the opportunities she has had and WILL have as a result of The Voice.
I had never watched The Voice before this year. I’ve always been an American Idol fan. But this year I was invested. And it got me thinking…
Whoever came up with the concept for how The Voice works is a genius. They are brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. Think about it…
They gather exceptional talent from all over the country and put them on a TV show together. Then they tell them that we are going to give you a platform to showcase your talent – all we ask is that you get the word out to as many people as possible to watch the show so that they can see you perform and vote for you.
So the contestants are invested from the very beginning as a grassroots army to make The Voice successful. Brilliant! So they begin a campaign to get people to watch who will get people to watch who will get people to watch on their behalf. The contestants themselves provide a very personal reason for literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people to turn on the TV and tune in to NBC from 8-10 PM sometimes up to three times per week. Genius! They organize watch parties. They set up web sites and facebook pages. They get you to follow on Instagram, and Snapchat, and Twitter. They send out emails. They appear on local TV and radio shows – with the intent of getting people to watch and vote.
And then when the live shows start The Voice has figured out a way to sell merchandise by the boat load. They have tied the number of votes that a contestant gets in part to the number of song downloads from iTunes that the contestant has. These are smart people! I can only imagine that advertisers are waiting in line to promote their wares on The Voice. And I can only imagine just how many advertising dollars the show takes in. Somebody should have thought about this kind of campaign before.
Oh wait, they did.
Of course it was in an age when all this technology did not exist but the concept was the same. Jesus gathered around Him 12 guys and he spent 3 years coaching them. He gave them a platform, as the disciples of a famous Rabbi (aka the Son of God), and told them to get the word out to as many people as possible – and tell those people to spread the word. Jesus developed a grassroots movement that very quickly spread across the world because people were personally invested in the gospel. Their lives had been transformed and they knew the power of the gospel to literally change the world by changing the hearts and minds of people. It was a brilliant strategy.
It is still a brilliant strategy. And the only way that the strategy breaks down is if we the people who have been changed by the power of the gospel fail to spread the word. The gospel mandate that we have been given will only goes as far as we take it. So let’s learn a lesson from The Voice and spread the word and get people on board with a mission that will not only change their lives but change the world – one person at a time… as they listen to the only Voice that really matters.