What I know about… music and faith by Paul Colman

Paul Colman

It doesn't matter what kind of music you play, musicians who live in Australia and are ambitious about their music have to start looking for other markets. There are only 18 million people here.

If you want to take your music to an international level, you have to start looking outside Australia. You can live here and spend your income flying back and forth, or you can find a more central point, like America. I wish I could stay in Australia and do what I do, but right now, living in America means I'm living in the biggest market for music in the world. The reason for moving there is an economic one.

Leaving family and friends to live there was a big, hard decision. You know that the grandparents of your children are missing out on their growing up, so there is quite a cost associated with it. You've got to be really serious about what you're doing. But it forces you to be convinced about what you're doing as a musician and you try and make the most of it.

I don't differentiate between my vocation and ministry. I don't think that way. I may be own my own, I may be wrong, but I think in everything I do I'm ministering to someone. I'm ministering to God when I'm on my own, or someone else if I'm with company. My marriage is my number one ministry, kids two, parents three and then my vocation ends up being something like number ten.

I'm a person made by God, I live on this planet, so I need to make a living. I also want to do something that counts for eternity. Whether I'm talking to someone down at the shops or talking to a journalist on the phone, or with my family, or playing in front of 80,000 people, or 500 people, I see everything I do as ministry to God or someone else.

I don't pigeon hole things and think "this is entertainment, that's my job, this is a day off, that's ministry, this is a holiday, that's a mission trip, this is hanging out, that's witnessing'. I find that way of thinking makes me very fragmented and confused. But if I just wake up and say to God "I give you my day, my life', then try to love everyone I come into contact with as best I can, that works best for me.

The challenges of being a Christian in the music industry are the same as being a Christian if you're a plumber.

I don't think being a follower of Jesus and playing music is any different to being a follower of Jesus in whatever job you do. The same temptations are there " the temptation to think you're something you're not, the temptation to be a workaholic, the temptation to take your eyes off God. I just think you have to be on your guard, stay strong, and have people around you that you are accountable to. That's why I don't travel on my own.

For me, the biggest danger of being on the road is forgetting that my music is a gift. I’m constantly being flattered and moving and operating in my gift. Separating that gift from my character takes God's grace.

Paul Colman currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Rebecca and his two children, two-and-a-half-year-old Katherine and 11-month-old Elizabeth. His parents, extended family and friends still reside in Australia.

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