from Patrick Scholes, President @ Ardent Records:
rec'd 1/31 @ 2:10pm


Tension. I think if we ever launch another record label we're going to call it tension records. You see I think in our business, and probably most every facet of the Christian walk, as we experience it here on earth, there is by default a tension - or at least there should be.

We are committing ourselves to walk a perilously thin line that forms a triangle between art, commerce, and ministry. Take away any one factor and you have changed the focus of what makes up the Christian record sales business.

Take away commerce, it's purely a ministry of art. Take away ministry it's the mainstream recording industry. Take away art, and you're left with the business of ministering - which too can be done well or out of balance.

Point is, when it comes to the Doves, or #1 radio hits, or #1 sales chart position, my position is that we should never be comfortable with "how it all works." I'm from Memphis and we tend to look at things pretty simply down here. Basically I figure if I am comfortable with any aspect of my family, spiritual, or professional life, I am probably out of bounds somewhere.

Do we enjoy being nominated for Doves? You betcha - most ever nominations this year. Are we disappointed if we don't win? Yep - haven't won one yet. Do they help our artists careers? Not sure yet...(see above). What keeps us going regardless of the awards? The knowledge that peoples lives are being impacted by the gospel presented in our artists recordings. What keeps us in business? People buying those records, of course.

And so it goes that there must be a tension in all that we do. So Frank (Breeden) take it as a compliment that I remain "tense" about what all the Doves are and do for our industry. I will say this: having been exposed to the mainstream industry who knows of no such tension that includes ministry, our CCM industry, human foibles and all, at least has a heart for communicating the hope of the gospel at it's underpinnings and that comes as an encouragement that we should all gravitate toward in our own personal search for walking the line.

End of philosophical pondering for now. Tune in next week when I tell you about an other idea that could come along side the Dove awards, the Olive Branch Festival where all the nominated artists get together, no winners or losers, just a concert to celebrate...... Thanks.

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