The desire to write this letter was birthed months ago, as I joined millions in watching your movie “Never Say Never.” I was inspired in ways that honestly I just wasn’t expecting.
After watching, it was obvious to me that God has entrusted you with the metaphorical 10 talents of which the Bible speaks. Not 1, not 2, not 5. You possess raw musical talent like few we’ve ever seen, along with the charismatic personality and competitive drive to maximize it. You got the 10, and you are not burying it. This is why so many are deeply inspired after watching your film.
Your relationship with God is authentic, and I BELIEVE He is proud of the way you have used your influence thus far to serve people and make a difference in the world. I am sure that you have encountered some religious people that are not quite as optimistic as I am, and many completely against the music you are making.
I would like to say, as a pastor, that I believe for you to be right in the middle of mainstream music is right in the middle of where you are called to be. You are a natural born entertainer.
God has called you to impact the music industry, but where is the learner’s manual for how to do that? As a Christian who also happens to be the most famous 18 year old on the planet, you face a challenge that few have navigated.
How do you effectively follow Jesus in a career like yours? The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. It is going to be hard. Just consider all the famous entertainers who have started their careers in the name of Jesus, only to drift away.
As someone not in the industry, but who deeply cares about the people it influences, I would encourage you to consider 2 things as you create your art…
1. Tell the truth about the human experience
Often in pop music, the gap between the lyrics fans hear and the lives they experience is so wide that they assume something is wrong with them. Too many artists sing of a life they aren’t actually experiencing, while fans dream of this illusion. Choose words that speak truthfully to our common journey.
2. Progressively move into deeper themes
There is nothing wrong with singing about the emotions that come with young love and romance, but we desperately need art that also captures the courage, grace, and sacrifice required to keep those relationships going. Beauty, goodness, and truth have endless layers of depth, so lean on the Creator of all three and continually imagine and create at deeper levels.
Thanks for already making memories for our family through your music. I am a huge fan, and I pray that your “good deeds shine before all men, that they might praise your Heavenly Father.” #swag #LiveFully