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Editorial: One people united under one God for the same mission at the Dove Awards

“Fall in love with Jesus, not what you do for Jesus. What we do for Jesus might change, but if you love Him, it doesn’t matter what you do.”

Tiffany Hudson, 54th Annual Dove Awards

There’s no denying that there is something special about the Dove Awards. Each year, renowned artists and creators from around the world gather in celebration of another year of accomplishments, growth and ministry.

Down the length of the red carpet at the 54th Annual Dove Awards, there was nothing but union and encouragement among artists. You see a group of people following God under the same mission.

“To give people a voice to worship God… that is the core for me.”

Chris Tomlin

There is so much more in these creators and this event than what meets the eye. There are moments of doubt, joy, defeat, praise, uncertainty and growth that occur between the moment they step off the stage at the end of the night and the moment they return to the red carpet a year later.

When asked the question, “What has God been teaching you this year?” Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Brooke Ligertwood replied:

“That I need Him… more than ever. That I have such a long way to go to be transformed into His likeness, but that He is so merciful and such a good Shepherd.”

Brooke Ligertwood

For Contemporary and Gospel Music artists, their work is a means of ministry and a way to live out humanity’s calling to love God and love others, no matter what.

“The Lord can and will use you in whatever season you’re in… We all have that version where our flesh gets to us, the enemy gets to us, but the Lord will use you exactly where you are,” said upcoming artist Olivia Lane.

We look to influential Christian artists as pioneers in ministry, vocation and personal worship. From our perspective, those in the Contemporary Christian Music world have “made it big” and become successful with what they have created.

However, it is easy to place a wall between “us” and “them” because their work for the kingdom of God is under the spotlight – although in reality, much has also gone unseen. The one thing we forget is that we are all called to the same purpose in Christ.

No matter what your work looks like, together we form the body of Christ under a unified mission. If we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, God uses us in extraordinary ways to the audiences around us.

Long-time Dove Awards returner and award-winning artist Chris Tomlin gave advice to young artists that applies to all journeys of faith.

“You’ve got to know ‘Why am I called to do this?’ when it comes to this kind of music – it’s different. It has to start out of a heart of ministry and seeing God’s people worship the Lord. It comes from a different place and that’s what keeps you in it and going for it,” said Chris Tomlin.

On Oct. 17 a community of believers stepped off the stage of the 54th Annual Dove Awards at Lipscomb University to continue building the kingdom of God alongside believers from around the world. Next year, on Oct. 1, we will gather again to celebrate what God is doing across the world.