"In the middle '80s," Peacock recalls, "everyone sort of had the expectation that would happen. I tried to write in such a way that there would be material that was compelling, interesting and inviting to people who don't know Christ, as well as having lyrics that resonate with the youngest of believers."

While all of these initial recordings were of the highest quality, none of them connected with the unchurched the way his label expected them to do. Peacock has since given up his quest to be a missionary to the world just outside the Christian subculture.

With ==Kingdom Come==, Peacock is addresses the church directly, instead of primarily reaching out to the world. "I think with this record, everybody's figured out now that [reaching the un-churched] is not what God is calling me to."

Although many expected to Peacock to become one of Christian music's most popular performers, God had other ideas. For many reasons, that probably makes more sense now than it did at the time, God moved Peacock into being an in-demand producer, and a mentoring songwriter. This move probably saved his family, and possibly even saved his life. "They (Sparrow Records) didn't sign me to be a producer," Peacock admits. "They signed me to be an artist, and they put everything they had into that. At that time (back in the beginning) I didn't know that I have the Epstein Barr virus, or that I can contract mononucleosis very easily with too much stress. Travel just totally disables me."

"I think they were just as disappointed as I was. I guess what I do, just reaches a smaller audience."

"Their (original) vision for me was very much like {{Amy Grant}}'s, which was really the only model they had at the time. Here was somebody who was equally prepared to love the church, and go into the mainstream culture. I remember, at that time, how I was asked to be the opener on {{Amy Grant}}s' "Heart in Motion" tour. But I had to turn it down because of our family."

This was the beginning of Peacock's realization that God had something very different from the "Amy" model for him. The combination of his health risks, and his commitment to his family, made it impossible for Peacock to ever play the role of a male {{Amy Grant}} for the masses. "I can't go the distance with you guys," he said at the time "in the way that you need to produce that kind of success. That's not who I am."

{{Charlie Peacock}} was never meant to fit into the Amy model mold. But really, who else is? Like Grant, Peacock is unique, and uniquely qualified to fulfill an individualized role for God's kingdom. He may not be a Christian pop star (whatever that is), and his work as an artist might not cover the stadium-sized audiences reached by the Grants and Smiths of this world. But the ones he has touched, he's been touched deeply.

God's hand has always been on him, helping to build character in His servant. And instead of becoming a music business casualty - like so many others before him - Peacock has lived to tell the tale of his journey, and write about his experiences in such a way that he can now help others avoid the many deadly pitfalls of an oftentimes merciless business.

==Kingdom Come== reveals that Peacock has his eye on the prize, and his priorities straight, which makes him the perfect candidate to help lead Christian music down the right paths, shining a light on the path of righteousness that anyone can take. Even Christian pop stars.


Congrats to Charlie for his nomination as Producer of the Year in the 31st Annual Dove Awards. For complete coverage of the Dove Awards - click here!




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