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Play Music In A Bar

Do you think it's OK for a professional musician who just happens to be a Christian to perform or play places other than church?

Moderator - It depends on what those other places are.

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 ---Glenn on 1/1/09
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Gordon, I don't know if you've started a blog on here, but the titles are provided by the moderators, not the initial poster. Frequently they are misleading.

Speaking as a musician, you have to get your work where you can get it. I've played in churches, and I've also done orchestral and recital and musical and ballet gigs, too.

None of these have destroyed my faith.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 2/1/13

james, the same people that are in bars are the same people who work day jobs, go to mall but there is just something about a bar, the people change the way they act. mostly because they drink and that is what happens in a bar...drunks If I was looking for a husband I surely wouldn't look in a bar and I know you wouldn't marry anyone you met at a bar.
---shira4368 on 2/1/13

I personally think that the mere wording of the question sends up RED FLAGS. It's almost, Glenn, as if you're saying that you're a musician first, who just, well..."happens" to be a Christian. What kind of songs do you plan to sing in the bars? Evangelical, preachy-lyrics to reach the hordes of lost-souls who frequent such places? GREAT, if so. But, how long do you think your gigs would last if you were ever asked to play there again, if at all?
---Gordon on 2/1/13

Ok, my apologies for lateness. I am legally blind so takes me a while get it together.. here my verses to back up where I am try to explain.
Rom.14:16,Mt.7:6,Eph.4:27, joh
8:44,jam.4:7,8. Rom
Shira4368, it takes me a while but just believe those women should NOT have been keep " give place to the devil" I am try to read a brother says " you can be bible quoter, love God and spiritually retarded as all get out! He means dumb as far as spiritual matters! Amen. Love of jesus!
---ELENA on 2/1/13

I know Jesus witnessed to everyone. the world wouldn't hold all that Jesus did. I never read once where Jesus went to a bar or place of ill repute. there are many places for one to witness without going to a bar. years ago I went with some people to a bar. we were on a bowling tournament. I felt so out of place I left and went back to my room.
---shira4368 on 2/1/13

Brothers & Sisters, kind mission ladies,who thought yes! Let's witness, mingle with the folks at the bar.They were older ladies, for years they gave out tracts, got so "close" with mgt. They give a talk bout Jesus & then take up offering! Well, years went by ( we talking about east coast) 1 day they SET these poor women up! Raped,robbed, assaulted them about 5 was the beginning of the end. They had missions in Boston, New York, Baltimore...helped alot of people but, you can't go in Satan's territory think you going to always suceed.
---ELENA on 2/1/13

There was once a man from Galilee who was told that same thing - that He should not keep company with certain types.

Mark 2:15-17
the Pharisees...said..."Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

If we don't go where the sinners are, how will they ever hear?

I'm not saying that I went on an evangelistic outing, either. I went to play pool. But I wasn't ashamed of my Savior while I was there
---James_L on 1/31/13

james your point is well taken but you...being a Christian have no place in a bar, not even on sunday. if you go into the same bar Friday night, your crowd would be much more aggressive and they would not listen to you quote books of the bible. I am surprised any Christian who is round can fit into a square peg. I know you had good intentions but a bar is no place for you.
---shira4368 on 1/31/13

\\no one is telling anyone about Jesus in a bar.\\
---shira4368 on 12/14/12

I wouldn't agree.

My sister dated a man that runs pool tournaments in bars, and she invited me to play in one.

I took my 6 year old son ON A SUNDAY after church.

My son and I sat for a while at the bar with a couple and recited the books of the bible in order, favorite verses, etc. Everybody there was proud of him.

I also used to play in a 24 hour pool hall, and shared the gospel many times there

People wondered how I could stay awake for 3 days, what drugs I used, where they could get some. They were shocked when I'd say I don't use drugs.

It was a springboard to the gospel, in my opinion.
---James_L on 1/30/13

Romans 14:2 "One mans faith allows him to..." 14:14 "But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean." 14:22 "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves."
---Bike on 1/30/13

tom, I know how you must feel. you have a talent but you can use it for the glory of God. out of 4000 members, surely there are some who are skilled in music. it may be hard to get going but you can sing at churches, revivals and campmeetings. I did that with our trio but thyroid cancer took my voice. we traveled a lot of places. one thing the money isn't good but you would be doing it for God's glory. God bless
---shira4368 on 1/29/13

I played for at least 20 years in bars before I became a Christian,I now am a member of a praise team of a church of over four thousand. I was told not to play in bars because if I did I would be contributing to alcohol sale which is the bar owners main goal. I am torn and want to do what God wants me to do because I have offers to play in bars and venues, buts what's really wrong if I'm a witness, don't drink, and play music with a good message?Don't you think it's total bondage if a church gives you and option that if you play in the clubs you can't play in the church building? Is that compromising your faith really?
---Tom_Shaffer on 1/29/13

Hi, guess what? a look at CNT Job section, a choir which looking for a person to manage the choir & they I said most real huge choirs they need often other musicians & singers who can fill in many choirs now they keep a person as a would do good send your resume and e- mail.I have cancer yet practicing sing. & play for the lord. Thing with me God taught me piano .
Never had a lesson. Piano teacher bad attitude & man(not straight) not kind almost broke my finger being stupid he don't like females. I left. Quit on the spot.I learn to walk away from people like that. Told him JESUS will teach me.He did. Thank God! Keeps me focus!
---ELENA on 12/15/12

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
---francis on 12/15/12

mary, Jesus did hang out with sinners and showed love but playing in a bar has nothing to do with Jesus hanging out with sinners. He didn't do the same thing as sinners did, he witnessed to them, heal them and cast demons out. in the case of the bar, no one is telling anyone about Jesus in a bar. they are participaing in the sin of a bar.
---shira4368 on 12/14/12

Respectfully I must say that Jesus ate with sinners too. He didn't avoid sharing His light and love with them.
---Mary on 12/14/12

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Hi Shira4368, you right!
Bars anything jump off! People use drugs & could bring more trouble than you need or realize.
I sang in bars at at my start.. Too dangerous! was not saved friends took me out of that.They looked out for me. sing now when feel good. sing christian community sing- along it no alcohol & you can sing or poetry, play music.We just like to lift up the Lord. Since becoming a christian be honest I have never charge for sing nor playing but, I will tell you since you need or paymen like N.Y.C. they hire christian musicians for their choirs.They advertize all over the internet. be prayerfull.God bless you. Thankyou Shira it is good how the lord uses you! God is real..
---ELENA on 12/14/12

Do you think it's OK for a professional musician who just happens to be a Christian to perform or play places other than church?
--Glenn on 1/1/09
---francis on 12/14/12

why would you want to play in a bar and then play in church? I don't understand that. you can't work for the devil then work for the Lord. you are either one or the other. you can't be saved and want to play in such an ungodly place.
---shira4368 on 12/13/12

I'm a guitarist in a female band who performs in different bars.. our band really wants to perform abroad for the salary is better. But we always fail during auditions.. I lose hope and quit the band.. For some reason, I converted into a Christian. I became a part of music ministry in our church.. it's been a year and friend ask me if I want to join them (secular).I am a single mom without a job and I am thinking it's way for me to have income .. but my church mates told me that performing in bars is worldly and according to the bible (romans 12:2)do not conform to the pattern of this world. but other christian say, it's ok.. can I be a performer in bar and church guitarist at the same time.
---raiza on 12/12/12

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How much witness would you have if you only play in Christian settings? There are secular bands and orchestras that play in wholesome settings. A bit of Christian music played where non-Christians as well as Christians gather, could open doors for a fruitful witness.

Personally, I think performing at a nice restuarant where alcohol happens to be served, isn't necessarily a compromised witness... as long as you yourself don't drink.

Non-Christians are not really much impressed by the things we don't do. They don't say, "oh, look, that woman wears no makeup, keeps her hair in a bun, doesn't go to movies or anywhere but church....I'd like to be more like her!"

They ARE impresed by love, joy, peace, patience etc.
---Donna66 on 5/15/09

Having been a professional musician for many years and having played in bars, honkeytonks, night clubs, dance bars, discos, fairs, carnivals, etc., we should be conscience of our witness everywhere we go.

Our witness is so important and we can never retrieve it once it has been tarnished. It only takes one person to see us in the wrong place and we have suddenly lost the ability to be able to witness effectively for Christ. It is not worth a few dollars if your very life is Christ.

Ask Jesus where He wants you to play.
---Mark_Eaton on 5/15/09

Betty ... are you saying that no Christian should play in a symphony orchestra?
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/14/09

Moderator - It depends on what those other places are.
That is pretty obvious. A strip bar would be out, but what about a resturant with a bar too?

I would say it really depends on the type of music too. I mean, jazz is pretty harmless, and I have never seen anyone rolling on the floor drunk at a jazz bar. But, then, I have never been to New Orleans either.
---obewan on 5/14/09

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I think it depends on how strong this musician's will or faith or both is. How strong is his relationship with God?

You wouldn't him to falter and then the secular people say, "Ay, he is one of us, not a Christian."
---amand6348 on 5/14/09

Jesus hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes. All the world is a mission field. There will always be those who disagree with the means employed to express the gospel. We're not here to be in a popularity contest. God can use anything-- and he does! Should we be surprised at that?
---Vicki on 5/14/09

Christian,this means to be Christ like ,if this person is close enough to the lord then the lord will deal with this person if this person is playing in the wrong places.
---judy on 3/24/09

wivv, very good answer. I was in sales and marketing, had an expense account wined and dined customers. I was an alcoholic. When I got saved and quit drinking, I couldn't separate myself from my co-workers and customers just because they drank. I used the opportunity to witness and share my testimony. My sales went up by the way. I'm still surrounded by those who drink, especially at golf events. They know me and I still share my testimony when the opportunity presents itself. We must remember that we are in this world, and not of this world. Thanks for your encouraging testimony.
---Bob on 2/18/09

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Only in Christian settings. Avoid the very appearance of evil. (1Th. 5:22) You know that people judge you even though your heart may be with the Lord. Don't give them a chance to spoil your witness for Christ.
---Betty on 2/18/09

Wivv, good thinking...also, when I would socialize with co-worker who go to Happy Hour, I do not drink, so they would ask me to be the designated drive. Usually another Christian colleague and I were the drivers to those social occassions.
---Trish9863 on 2/18/09

Can you be a positive witness in a bar? When in the Navy, (The Sea Bees), I felt my witness was more valuable to the men I associated with, who went to bars than those I didn't know outside the bar, so I went with them to bars. Since they knew I was a Christian and could be trusted, they made me the treasure of their money in case they got drunk or rolled. My testamony with them was far more important to me than to some stanger in the States. Now, my witness is more important in the place where I work, so I don't go to bars. Each case has to be evaluated on the bases of the can I be being a positive witness. My thoughts are, "Anywhere I go, is a mission field." My decision to do something is base on this attitude.
---wivv on 2/18/09

Naulon~ I believe Petra has worked with John Elefante (he has some ties with the band Kansas) and Lou Graham (from Foreigner.) Yes, I've listened to Petra for decades...great band.
---Anne on 1/18/09

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Now Petra I like. Some of their songs we sing during worship. Excellent group.
---Naulon on 1/18/09

Mike~ Do you like bands like 'Petra', or what type of music do you listen to?
---Anne on 1/17/09

Naulon~ Actually I only read the lyrics, and did not listen to the music. I might not like the music either.
---Anne on 1/17/09

Seventh Star lyrics seem OK but hardcore thrash metel isn't my kind of music. I can't get through 15 second of this stuff. Sorry.
---Naulon on 1/17/09

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Mike~ I liked your thoughts. Music can be a passionate and heart awakening way of teaching God's truths. Do you listen to 'Effect Radio?' (It is not your typical Christian music, but very powerful, and straight forward music...not wishy washy.)

Look into the band "Seventh Star." They have an album entitled "Brood of Vipers." Check out the lyrics to songs like "My 96th Thesis," "Be Wary," "Brood of Vipers," "Resistence to Resistence," "Everyday," etc. Keep coming back to talk about music. Thanks.

Naulon~ Please check out the above lyrics too and let me know what you think. (But, have you ever heard of the theory I mentioned?)
---Anne on 1/16/09

This is something that only the believer and his Saviour should decide upon.
---catherine on 1/16/09

This question, and the moderator's response, are very delicately toeing the line of legalism. Let's just look at this broadly: what good is it for Christian musicians to only play their music for other Christians? It's the proverbial "preaching to the choir" issue.

Stop confining Christians to a building called "church" and get out into the world & play GOOD music, not this silly cookie-cutter, nice & sweet, safe-for-the-whole-family junk that gets played on most Christian radio stations.
---Mike on 1/16/09


Well Anne, you know that I'm a preterist so I believe everything in Revelation is already fulfilled.

But as you say, music is a good medium for the gospel and it attracts people to the church. Growing churches emphasize good music in their worship services and a smart church will be on the cutting edge of developing new Christian music.
---Naulon on 1/16/09

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Naulon~ I hope your daughter is bringing inspiration into Hollywood.

When I was a little kid, around 9 or 10 (so you would have been in your early 20's) I remember my mom telling me about an article she read, and I was wondering if you had ever heard this theory. She said she read about where musicians would be God's chosen to bring the gospel to the world.(She mentioned something about the verse in Rev. where it speaks of them having long hair like women etc.) This was when great bands like 'Kansas' were popular.

Sometimes I think if Jesus were here today and he desired certain people to be His 'fishers of men', I can really see him choosing musicians since they have so much passion and soul.
---Anne on 1/15/09


I've got a nephew who's a DJ, a niece who sings in several bands and a daughter in Hollywood who works in a music and movie production studio. All three are believers in Christ and find not conflict working in the secular music business.

There are temptations of course, but we cannot be totally free of temptation anywhere. (Not even when totally alone in a desert is seems.)
---Naulon on 1/15/09

Naulon~ Yes, you're right, we should not pass on judgment. Several of my truest and deepest friends are those who are or were in '12-step' programs.' They are usually sincere from the heart, and have deep spiritual perspectives. Sometimes they would have bands play at AA parties, and I went to one, and they had so much fun without the need to drink alcohol. I thought it was terrific. :)

Do your relatives play spiritual type music? A lot of secular music is very spiritual like Creed etc.
---Anne on 1/13/09


Well, bars are not brothels. I don't drink so I'm speaking out of ignorance of what happens in bars but I know people who frequent bars and they aren't what I call, "people of bad character."

The only thing the Bible talks about is avoiding strong drink and not being a drunkard. I think I'll refrain from judgment in this area.

I have relatives in the secular music business. For newly starting artists, I don't know that playing in bars is avoidable. They all get their start there. Gigs are gigs and one can't afford to be choosy.
---Naulon on 1/13/09

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Naulon~ Have you heard of Christians playing Christian music in a bar? I'm kind of torn about this idea. On one hand we know that Jesus reached out to all seen as 'sinners' (even though in actuality they would inherit the Kingdom of God before the people who considered themselves to be so 'holy' and 'righteous'/ie-Pharisees etc.)

On the other hand, I don't know that Jesus actually was one to partake in environments considered crude in order to get out his message (I'm not sure if He would actually go in bars, or brothels etc.) to teach sinners. Tell me of any personal experiences you have in this area. It would be great to find a way to reach people who are used to sinful habits, to learn about God's ways instead.
---Anne on 1/12/09

Naulon~ I'll talk about music eventually when I get a bit more time. Take care.
---Anne on 1/12/09

I know Christian musicians who were on a church worship team that also played out in bars. They were allowed to be selective with the play list, and did not play offensive lyrics. They also played several Christian songs with every set. They were also able to invite people to church.

I also know a church that was allowed to set up a table in the back room with coke and chips. Troubled bar patrons went there for prayer and counseling. The bar owner preferred that to having them get drunk and hurt themselves. Bars are not always evil places. Some people have only one drink, and eat food and socialize.
---obewan on 1/12/09

Sure I've not no problem with playing music in a bar or anywhere else, provided one lives like Christ.

What kind of music would you recommend be played?
---Naulon on 1/11/09

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Scripture tells us to avoid all appearances of evil.

It all depends on what you call evil.

Bad company corrupts good morals.

Find more scriptures to answer your question.
---donna8365 on 1/5/09

We can never second guess how or where the Holy Spirit might use a person when they are in tune with His voice. As long as the musician keeps himself holy and dedicated to his place in Christ, he can go where the Holy Spirit leads without touching any unclean thing. Who knows a soul just might get saved while at the bar listening to his music.
---BRENDA on 1/1/09

I think it depends on why and what kind of music. I play in church, at funerals, weddings, special community events,and family reunions. I've had great results in all places. Don't you think that everyone needs to hear the word? Church is only one place to do it. We need to get out of our church box and get into the community some how and music is a great way to do it.
---john on 1/1/09

Of course it is okay for Christian musicians to play music in places other than a church. It should be up to the Holy Spirit to guide that person if they choose a place that would lead them into sin. Busybody Christians have no place in telling them otherwise. Neither should the busybody Christians be gossipping about them here.
---Trish9863 on 1/1/09

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