What do Broadway and Christianity have in common? Heather Headley. Heather Headley is a Trinidadian pastor’s kid, who, while performing on Broadway and winning Grammy’s, also maintains a steadfast love for Jesus.
Headley just returned from 11 months in London, England where she has been “trying out” The Body Guard on audiences. On Friday, October 18, Headley came to Wheaton College to perform and talk about her experience in the entertainment world. Her message:
“We need Christians in every field. They may not say ‘God, God’, but they are there.”
Headley’s message manifested itself into the question, “Are Christians able to honor God in secular cultures?” Headley would say yes, and, furthermore, she would claim that it is a necessity. After moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana, Headley stumbled upon the entertainment world through what seemed to be an act of God alone. After nearly losing the opportunity to audition for acceptance into Northwestern University, her high school principal had her flown privately to Chicago.
After her acceptance to Northwestern and spending some time there, she was called to Toronto to perform in The Lion King, the musical. Throughout her story, she kept reiterating “[it] was not planned, but [she] [kept] seeing God’s providence…He is providing.”
Although God kept opening doors, she had an itching question, “This can’t be it, right? Can I honor God on Broadway, or doing something without the words ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ in it?”
Headley has found immense fame and success in her career thus far and continues to praise God through her performances. So how do other Christians participate in this movement without serving as a missionary or becoming a pastor? She claimed, “Some [Christians] are going to have to go out there and know that [they] have a great front of people who are teaching and praying for [them] so that [they] may go out into a different culture and can roar.”
While, yes, some are called into missions or other church-related fields, there must be a group of Christians in secular fields throughout the world. Headley claimed, “[Christians] can change the way people think, and those people can wonder what [they] are about.” Not all Christians need to be proclaiming the gospel on the streets in order to reach people.
It is in the way they act and set an example that can get people thinking. Headley continued, “we [Christians] are the way to getting to some people who would never get to God or go to church.” Without Christians being in politics, journalism, entertainment, and other secular environments, people are losing the chance to come to Jesus. While it is important to be growing within the church, Headley reiterates that it is crucial to bring others into the church through behavior and example.
Some may argue how difficult it is to maintain a grounded faith while being in certain secular areas–look at Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry–but Headley claims, “[Christians] can still maintain who [they] are” by letting all of their works and achievements be an act of worship to God, “even if [they don’t] say ‘God’. ”
Christians do not need to be strictly outspoken and overbearing about their faith to be heard; as the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Christians in today’s culture have the opportunity to worship and honor God in all they do; not just work in the church. As it says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” God has the ability to call anyone to any vocation, and as Christians, we are to follow God’s calling making “fishers of men,” while honoring God in all that we do.
Who are we to dictate who may come to Christ through our works?
(Photo courtesy of HeatherHeadley.com)