Monday, February 23, 2009

THE JONAS BROTHERS (Before They Were Stars)

Isa itong artikulo mula sa Christianity Today na naglalahad ng buhay ng mga miyembro ng Jonas Brothers bago sila sumikat nang husto. The surname Jonas rings a bell for me mainly because I have been listening to the album of Christ for the Nations (CFN). Isa ang kanilang ama, si Kevin Jonas, sa mga worship leaders ng ministeryo.

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In 2006, an unheard trio of brothers with the last name Jonas released their debut album, It's About Time (INO/Columbia), into both the general music industry and the Christian market. When it came out, Ignite Your Faith got a chance to sit down with the young brothers to talk about music, faith and appearing on MTV's TRL four weeks in a row.

You might know what happened after that April 2006 interview: The Jonas Brothers' popularity exploded.

Looking back at what they said then suggests the group's career is going exactly like they planned: playing for mass audiences and living their lives as a witness to Christ.

The Band's Mission
Nick: We're going more mainstream with our music. We play mainstream music in the mainstream world. We have a light to shine in the dark world. We aren't saying we're perfect. We also don't want to shove anything down anyone's throat. We just want to be who we are so people can see there's something different.

Kevin: That's our opportunity to witness. People are always saying, "Why don't you cuss? Why don't you smoke? What makes you different?" We ran into a girl today who saw us play at a Jesse McCartney concert. She said, "I just knew you were Christians!" We don't have to say anything. We love the quote, "Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary." To us, that's what we're really about.

Keeping God Involved
Joe: Before we go on stage, we have a lock-down time where we only play worship music and pray to God for 45 minutes.

Kevin: We surround ourselves with Christians, especially on our tour bus because that bus is our home. We walk into a building for a show and maybe 5 percent of the people there are Christians, so you want to have a core group of believers so you can go back to the bus and say, "Praise God!"

Nick: It's an accountability thing as well. When we're on the road together, we have a core group. Our band members are all Christians, our dad's a pastor, and our uncle is an ordained minister. He's like our youth pastor on tour. We keep each other accountable and watch out for each other.

Keeping Each Other Accountable
Nick: There's a point where you just can't be offended by others keeping you in line. It's like, "What I am saying will help you so don't get mad at me. You have to trust me no matter what."

Kevin: There's amazing trust levels between all three of us. We know where we each stand, know each other's breaking points, and know when we need our space. We have a close-knit group of friends. And that's good because things can get weird. You don't know if people genuinely want to be your friend because they like you for you or because you're famous. When I left high school, no one talked to me. All of a sudden we were on TRL, and I got 10 calls from kids at high school. They never called before TRL.

Finding Success
Joe: Even with a lot of fans, we won't let ourselves get big-headed. We know that all this popularity isn't real. These people don't know the real me. We love our fans, but that's not what matters in life. You can be sure we will stay grounded.

Kevin: It's all a God thing. A non-Christian guy at our label said, "There's no way you could work with the Jonas Brothers and not see there's a God."

I think he meant that there's no way we could be where we are today without God. And he's right.

What Nick, Joe and Kevin are saying:
"We are Christians in a pop rock band. Our faith is really important to us and a big part of everything we do." —Nick (FoxNews, September 2007)

"[The purity rings we wear are] promises to ourselves and to God that we'll stay pure till marriage."
—Joe (Details, February 2008)

"Our purity rings are constant reminders to live a life with values. [It's like how] you put a string around your finger to remember to wash your car or take your dog for a walk. Wearing these rings is a private decision that we've made."
—Kevin (The Daily Mail, June 2008)

"[After I was diagnosed with diabetes,] I heard all these stories about kids afraid to tell friends they had diabetes and how my situation gave them courage to do that. I just feel blessed to have a spotlight to share my story. I have this passion to be able to share with young people and be a positive light in a situation that might not be so positive."
—Nick, (DiabetesHealth, April 2007)

Ignite says: Check out the band's diabetes foundation at changeforthechildren.org

"We want to continue being a positive influence. I don't think [having morals in the music business] is a contradiction. It's more of a new way of looking at things. We're trying to be different. It's who we are as people, and it's how we set ourselves aside from people."
—Kevin, (Reuters, February 2008)

Link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/cl/2008/004/37.37.html

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