This is a popular saying these days, mostly because Nashville has exploded in growth over the last decade or so. Let’s just say my commute time from Franklin to the LifeWay headquarters has almost doubled in time since I moved here. I can understand why — Nashville is an amazing city and has lots of opportunities for people to find a great place to live and raise a family. We feel blessed to live here.
But traffic problems are not why I am saying, “Don’t move to Nashville.” I’m talking to people who want to be artists and songwriters and think they have to move here to follow God’s design for them. It’s just not true because moving to Nashville might be the single biggest mistake you could make.
If you find yourself thinking, “If I could just move there and get plugged in to the industry, or meet a few of the right people, then things could open up for my songs or my artistry” then, you are set up to make the “Nashville mistake.” This town is full of people who have done that.
Impact in ministry happens in context, and your context where you are is where it is happening now. If you leave it, there are no guarantees you will have the same impact somewhere else.
You know the fool-proof way to know you are where God wants you to be? It’s easy – it is where you are right now. God has the power to move you at any point, to wherever He wants you to be. You don’t have to go anywhere to find His will. It is with you right now, today, where you are.
There is a time when you should move to Nashville… or somewhere else. I heard my friend and veteran songwriter, Michael Farren say once, “You move to Nashville when you absolutely have to in order to continue doing what you are already doing.”
The next time you feel the urge to move – to Nashville or anywhere else — make sure it is not to escape something where you are now. The truth is, your problems will move with you. Move because He is drawing you to a new assignment – not because you are fed up with your current one or can’t think of anything else to do. A change of scenery won’t automatically change your circumstance. The worst thing you could do when you are in a hard situation would be to “force quit” your current assignment and unnecessarily delay what God is really trying to teach you where you are. Remember, you don’t fail God’s tests or bypass them – He just keeps giving them to you until you pass them.
If God does move you to Nashville, we will gladly welcome you. Just be sure you allow plenty of time for your morning commute.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book (checkout his latest book: Worship Essentials). In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family (and his two new grand-babies). Visit MikeHarland.com to keep up with all that Mike has going on.