As an artist manager, I feel like I spend a good deal of time negotiating. Oh not the kind of fist punch negotiations in one of my favorite movies, Fight Club – but certainly a smattering of it. I find myself asking for more money from the label or from a promoter, negotiating for more dates from the agent, challenging an artist to stay home with their family or urging an artist to get out and do more dates. In truth, I’m not a conflict seeker, I’m more of a peace maker - but my job as an advocate for an artist places me in the role of conflict often.
Lately, when I’m weary from the various battles where I have found myself, I’ve wondered what would happen if there was agreement? Know that my world is filled with agreements…. the paper kind - but I’m implying heart agreements. What would happen if parties that worked together would come together fueled by the same passion, purpose, and goal.
In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus encourages, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in the midst” (18:20). I can confess that I gather alot! Meetings, meetings, meetings…..but I wonder how often I gather in the name of Jesus? I’m fearful that I gather in my own name more often than not - protecting my agenda, fighting my battles.
I was lamenting my frustration the other day to Brad, my new neighbor, and his response has challenged me for over a week - “God pours his favor when there is agreement”. My knee jerk response was - “but what if they take advantage of me – what if I don’t get my way - what if, what if, what if”
I talked with a songwriter one day about the 50/50 split of co-writing, and I asked if he had ever felt taken advantage of? His reply was ‘of course…..but in the life of a songwriting career you’ll give more on some days and receive more on others. At the end of the day its better to just go into it knowing its a 50/50 split and not worrying about who did more’.
I love listening to the Dave Ramsey show on Friday to hear couples scream “FREEDOM” after they’ve finally obliterated their debt. I’ve never heard the wife say in any of those calls, “I wanted to do it – but my husband kept spending”. Conversely, each of them have achieved their purpose because they approached it from what they each were going to have to give up in order to make it happen.
So the question I wrestle with today - what if I lose more than I win? What if I serve more than I’m served? What if I’m not seen as the guy with all of the power?
Mathew 16:25 ” …….whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
And so I begin my journey today praying for others to partner with who are called to the same purpose, passion, and vision – that we may find the favor of the Lord on our efforts as we give in more than we get - and serve more than we’re served.