Before starting Limitless Ministries, I was the Sales and Marketing Director for Christian Copyright Solutions, one of only a handful of companies that provides blanket copyright licensing to churches. In that role, I had the opportunity to speak with leaders serving in some of the largest churches and ministries, to some of the smallest.
At the end of each presentation, I would receive a variety of questions…with a variety of attitudes about the topic.
Some had a clear understanding that copyrights are important for churches and ministries and wanted to know specific “how-tos”. By helping them with an understanding of copyright principles, introducing them to the various blanket licenses that are available and assessing their ministry’s activities, this group was easy to help.
Others felt strongly that the Church should not have to deal with copyrights because, after all, copyrighted music was being used for the glory of the Lord. But, when we talked about the music creator needing to be paid so that great music can continue to be written, and when we looked at how pastors and others are paid as they serve the Lord, most of these people came to an understanding of the importance of copyrights for the Church.
Others, threw up their hands in frustration and announced that they would have to limit what their ministry could do. This is the group that really got to me. After just hearing a presentation about how the Church is blessed with blanket licenses that simplify the copyright process, these people “opted out” because it was a topic they just didn’t want to deal with. The folks in this last group were part of the impetus for me to start Limitless Ministries.
We serve an amazing, unlimited, all-powerful God! And He has said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7) Whatever we wish. Now, I understand that the context of the “whatever” is that which is in keeping with His will. But, as ministry leaders, we cannot afford to have a defeatist attitude…Our mission is to bring people to a saving knowledge of the Living God!
There are so many crazy things going on in the world today and so many of us feel that there’s not much we can do about it. The truth is, we can live and work in the places God has planted us, to bring those in our circles of influence to a knowledge and love of Jesus. Each of you who serve in ministry are already doing that. And, I believe that, as we all work individually, the Lord can and will bring vast numbers to Him.
As this relates to copyrights…There are great blanket licenses available to churches. You may need to get one to ensure that you’re covered for one specific activity–such as a children’s concert–and realize that (because most of these licenses cover thousands of songs for a full year) you are now free to expand your ministry in many dynamic new ways–like playing music at social functions, having a youth open mic night, piping music into your facilities, Christmas caroling on the town square, hosting wedding receptions, etc. Blanket licenses are a wonderful opportunity for the Church, and they help us to engage in those activities that can really help us impact our ministry, our culture and our world.