Hey everyone!!! With BET’s Celebration of Gospel just premiering and the Stellar Awards quickly approaching, I can not help but ask the above question. Why isn’t the gospel community demanding that the hosts of these shows be a representative from their/our community? I am a bit saddened to see that hosts for both events have no or short ties with the gospel community. To know that such a large platform is not being used to help someone within our community is both disappointing and upsetting. There are three things I can hear and see as a reason why they conclude that someone outside the community is best to host these events, so I am going to discuss those reasons below.
The first reason I can think of is the argument that these events want to be inclusive and engaging with those outside of our communities. The question then arises, why is it that only gospel music events have to be engaging and inclusive? Do not get me wrong, the message of gospel music should always be inclusive and engaging, but that is not what we are referring to. What is being referred to is, the hosting and participation aspect? Now as spoken in this blog before, I do not see an issue with people outside of gospel music singing at the events, but to have them host is unacceptable because of the many capable men and women in the gospel community that can be used. There are so many people within the community who are devoted to the Christian message who deserve an opportunity to be used on a national platform, specifically for these events.
The second reason I can think of is the argument that without the use of influential stars, these events will not be successful. Not only is this not true, but it is an insult to those who have a deep love and connection with gospel music. The reality is, most people who I know that watch gospel music events are fans and advocates of gospel music, so the host is not necessarily vital for the increase of ratings. I also think because of this non-inclusion of people within the gospel community, it is actually deterring people from tuning in because it takes away a sense of authenticity when it comes to the event. The core audience for Celebration of Gospel and Stellar Awards are gospel music lovers, so that is the audience they need to ensure are being reached.
The third reason I believe people would argue is the factor of sponsorship and advertisement and how these hosts draw in big name sponsors. My response to that, is if major corporations such as McDonalds and All State are sponsoring gospel tours, I cannot see it being difficult for them to garner advertisers for events that have already proven to be successful. I think the key is in the marketing. If marketed and presented correctly, sponsors will not only see the potential earnings from using these events as a platform for their products, but also will realize the positive image it will create for their company.
So going forward, I challenge those in charge of the programing for these events to seek out those in the gospel community to host gospel music events. Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow Pentecostal Perspective’s Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Opinion. God Bless!!!