A streetcar winds its way through downtown Zurich, Switzerland heading for the Central stop to mark the birth of a new movement among Christian pop musicians called Central Music. This new movement was started by Agape staff working in Switzerland at the end of October.
Their motto: “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone be the Glory) – a phrase used by musicians and artists through history to honor God by offering their work back to Him.
Their vision: a worldwide movement with thousands of pop musicians who put God at the centre of their lives and their music. Their Art Manifesto defines the scope and stands in stark contrast to the attitudes and focus in the music industry.
Central Music aims to create a network of pop musicians and music students and offer them practical tools and opportunities to enrich their music and themselves as artists. Jonathan Schmidt, founder of the fledgling movement, sums up their intentions, “I truly believe that the ego-centric pop music business needs a more Jesus-centred culture.” To this end, Central Music plans to offer workshops, small groups, masterclasses, courses, concerts and jam sessions in clubs.
Letting Go of Jealousy and Envy
Schmidt emphasizes that this is not just another “network of Christian musicians”, but it is a “Christian network among musicians”. “More than ever, it’s important that musicians have a meaningful, livable perspective for themselves. This includes, for example, values like keeping your word and not pushing yourself into the forefront at any price. I’m talking about letting go of jealousy and envy and learning to be happy for other people’s success; or about connecting with other people with unconditional love as true friends instead of running them down.”
This is how the vision of the movement says it: Thousands of musicians allow God to define their art and themselves. God is recognized as the source of their inspiration and an affirming friend and important counsellor.
Author: Florian Wüthrich / Tracy König
Source: Livenet.ch / Campus für Christus / Agape Europe
The Art Manifesto: a Shared, Global Statement
Johnathan Schmidt, himself a passionate songwriter and drummer, talked with numerous musicians (both seasoned professionals and young, emerging artists) to get input and share ideas about the shape and focus on the movement. The result is a unique Art Manifesto. This self-declaration for musicians who want to put Christian principles above personal success.
Starting in Switzerland, Schmidt envisions a worldwide movement. “The manifesto gets at the heart of what so many musicians are thinking about and longing for. That’s why I believe that we’ll have thousands of signers in no time.”
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– I live as a child of God (and, as such, my identity is rooted in Him and not in people’s acceptance of me)
– I enjoy the current state of my art (knowing I’ll never reach perfection)
– I won’t stop striving for something new (because creativity is the nature of God)
– I take care of others (and the music comes second)
– I know that results are relative (which means that you can’t measure success or failure)
– I go all the way for excellent art or excellence (because going halfway means going nowhere)
– I lend my talent to God’s global symphony (no matter where or what I play)
God works powerfully in missions through disability and not in spite of it.
What is your superpower?
Empathy is about giving the gift of true, engaged listening.
During this time of global pandemic, if there is a word worthy to underline – and which brings to light thousands of people’s selfless commitment to risk their lives and serve unconditionally with their time and resources – it is the word generosity.