catapult magazine

catapult magazine


the music industry


May 09 2006
09:19 am

Hey, are we still talking about this? I check in too rarely, meaning I want to respond to a million things at once. I have, as a Christian and a person who considers himself a businessman at least from the theoretical perspective, have thought of this idea of investment for a long time. I, from a different angle, want to borrow money so that I can go into what I believe is my calling, that being a cafe-owning barista who has close connections with a farm/artist community. But this, like releasing an album, takes a crap-ton of money which I don’t have.

So the alternative is, like you have suggested, convincing fellow Christians to buy shares. We all know people with money tied up in the stock market or what have you, so the question is why to the give their cash to some slick haired suit instead of us long-haired rebels? One big reason is, as silly as it sounds, trust. People don’t trust that they will get a return on their money. Now, I could put out a laundry list of problems I have with this, not beliving in a perpetual growth economy, the fact that God forbade the charging of interest, etc, but the fact of the matter is that people want at least relative certainty that they will get a return on their money.

So you have to make them trust you. There are three steps that I have thought about that can increase the trust level. First, now, in the pre-commune days, I live a life of frugality. I work hard and am trying to save money, so when the time comes, I can say to people, "look, I am responsible with cash, now give me yours…please." Second, you need to come up with a good written business plan that you can present to people. This means figuring it out for yourself. Will your band ever be financially sustainable where people will actually get a return or is this more of a Waterdeep missions idea where return can be placed more on the back burner? (On a side note, Waterdeep is perhaps the most talented band to come out of the CCM scene ever. I’m not surprised they didn’t make it). And third, you need, as you are doing, to foster communities. You will do a better job convincing people that you know to trust you with their money than total strangers with whom you have no relationship.

And on a final side note, it isn’t just the artists who are suffering because of lack of community and worship of the green calf. The fact that members of a church body shop at Walmart instead of with the hard-ware store owner who is a deacon in their church, and then give him "benevolence" when his shop goes out of business is appalling. The business norm of meeting and focusing on the bottom line of efficiency etc. is important in running any business, but as Bob Goudzwaard points out, Christians must strive for simultaneous normativity. Answering to all the norms presented us at once, and supporting the members of our community whatever their vocation is.