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Church of Christ member Paul Jolley joins Janelle Arthur in ‘American Idol’ Top 9

Two of the nine remaining contestants on Fox’s “American Idol” are members of Churches of Christ.
We’ve reported on finalist  Janelle Arthur, a member of the Oliver Springs Church of Christ in Tennessee.
But we just learned about finalist Paul Jolley, who grew up at the Seven Oaks Church of Christ in Mayfield, Ky., about 30 miles north of Jolley’s hometown of Palmersville, Tenn.
“He was real involved,” Seven Oaks minister Josh Ketchum told The Christian Chronicle. “He led singing some for us. He did a lot of activities with the youth group. His family is active in the church, and they are very good, down-to-earth people.”
Paul’s parents, Jeff and Fran Jolley, remain active with the 270-member church.
“Paul has been very driven in his dream,” Ketchum said. “He has always, as long as I’ve known him, had this aspiration of having a music career.”

  • Feedback
    Glad to know this. They are two of my favorites.
    Jackie Dewoody
    March, 15 2013

    Just curious. Could either one of these brother or sister in Christ able to use their full complement of musical and singing talents where they worship as they do in their secular pursuits?
    Mike Nance
    March, 15 2013

    Interesting question, Mike.
    Several folks on the <em>Chronicle’s</em> <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151584039096834&set=a.83579936833.99565.11127431833&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_comment” rel=”nofollow”>Facebook page</a> suggest that singing a cappella has probably helped these young people develop their talents.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    March, 15 2013

    Yes, that is a good question. When I was singing in the high school chorus; we had to compete in the Music Festival each year. You could get an Excellent Rating or a Superior rating. We had to sing the ones we practiced and then there were two that we had to do at the end which was given by the judges. One was called “sight reading” of which we had to sing that we did not practice. The other one was one sung Acapella. The one thing that Acapella did was show the quality of the voices. So, since there is no “command” in the Bible that states anything about the piano being a sin, it would seem these two young people should be able to pursue a musical career.
    March, 15 2013

    I am sure they use their talents that are appropriate for worship to the fullest extent during worship.
    Having a gift or talent, doesn’t necessarily make it appropriate to exercise that talent during worship. I have many talents that would not be appropriate for worship but that does not stop me from giving God the glory that he gave me those talents. It also does not stop me from using those talents outside of worship where they are appropriate.
    March, 15 2013

    We assemble to worship God, not worship a talent. If we leave a service saying “How good Paul sang today!” then we missed the whole point. It is all about how good God is today. Keep focused.
    Bob West
    March, 15 2013

    As a gospel preacher, I have many talents that go unused in our worship service. I have degrees in accounting and animal science. When will the church of Christ ever catch up with the main stream and have an accounting or animal science portion of our worship service??? My talents are being wasted!!!
    Oh! What’s that?? The worship service is not for showing off our talents? You mean it’s not all about me? It’s all about God?
    O the bitter pain and sorrow
    That a time could ever be,
    When I proudly said to Jesus,
    “All of self, and none of Thee.”
    Yet He found me; I beheld Him
    Bleeding on the accursed tree,
    And my wistful heart said faintly,
    “Some of self, and some of Thee.”
    Day by Day His tender mercy
    Healing, helping full and free,
    Brought me lower while I whispered,
    “Less of self, and more of Thee.”
    Higher than the highest heavens,
    Deeper than the deepest sea,
    Lord, Thy love at last has conquered,
    “None of self, and all of Thee.”
    David Baeder
    March, 16 2013

    I am embarrassed at headlining CoC members who are making it on pop culture shows, as if it was something newsworthy. To me, it doesn’t speak well about CoC values.
    B Kinnard
    March, 16 2013

    March, 17 2013

    Hmmm. I Corinthians 12-14 as well as others suggests it is in fact about using our talents in, during, for, as and in response to/of worship. Am I misreading Paul’s admonition to the church about utilizing their talents in the life of the church? Accounting and animal science both have their place in the kingdom. Otherwise, they are nothing more than secular pursuits devoid of spiritual value. A huge waste of our talents otherwise and useless to the kingdom. How those are applied to worship would be a product of guidance by the Holy Spirit. However, I can’t see how the expression of worship utilizing one’s musical talents falls shy of scriptural support. Regardless, Romans 12:1-2 defines worship as an event that refuses to be held captive by an hour or two a week. It would seem that worship occurs while doing the booksr, feeding the livestock, singing on stage, in the school classroom, shopping at walmart, texting on blogs….
    Mike Nance
    March, 18 2013

    You were the one who made a distinction between “where they worship” and their “secular pursuits”. Exactly what are secular pursuits? I would suggest to you that for the Christian, there is no such thing as a secular pursuit. What we do for a living, our hobbies, what we do for recreation are, or at least ought to be, spiritual pursuits.
    According to 1 Cor, 10:31 and Col. 3:17 everything we do is to be done for the glory of God. This includes setting aside one’s ego and just being a part of the body of Christ and worshiping God humbly without thinking that they must put “their full complement of musical and singing talents” on display during that time when the saints gather together to encourage one another and worship God in spirit and in truth. What a perfect time to set aside “Me” for the sake of “Us” for the glory of “Him”!
    David Baeder
    March, 18 2013

    “According to 1 Cor, 10:31 and Col. 3:17 everything we do is to be done for the glory of God. This includes setting aside one�s ego and just being a part of the body of Christ and worshiping God humbly without thinking that they must put �their full complement of musical and singing talents� on display during that time when the saints gather together to encourage one another and worship God in spirit and in truth. What a perfect time to set aside �Me� for the sake of �Us� for the glory of �Him�!”
    At what point are we to not set aside one’s ego? How does one set aside “me” for a little while for the sake of “us”? I don’t think you are suggesting that it is OK otherwise to set aside “us” for the sake of “me” the rest of the time. His glory has not time limit.
    Clearly, the preacher’s ‘ego’ is on display when standing up front “perfoming”. * Using “performing” within the same argument that expression of talent publically during a ‘worship service’ (whatever that is) must only indicate the desire for ego expression.
    Clearly, the song leader’s ‘ego’ is on display when standing up front “performing”
    Clearly, the individual responsible for the communion comments does so only to be recognized for their originality on preparing our minds for the Lord’s Supper.
    Clearly, the opening and closing prayers are for ‘egos’. etc. etc. etc.
    Obviously, ego can definitely play a role in all public and private ministries.
    Most of us would likely suggest that ‘ego’ would surely find a more acceptable expression on venues such as “American Idol”. Why must we insist that such talented expression in worship can not? Judging the motives of others is a job that belongs to another. Can these christians expressing their talents on American Idol not be able to express such talent in worship to their God?
    Mike Nance
    March, 19 2013

    The entertainment world is difficult at best for a Christian. Money and fame has been the downfall of so many. I am sure we could all name those from the church that choose that route. I pray that this will not happen to them.
    Odell Strickland
    March, 19 2013

    Wish you the best! I like it when those who attend the Church of Christ shine. I think these two will demonstrate to others that we are nice people. Some of these comments make me realize why there is a history of people thinking some associated with the Church of Christ are sooo judgemental.
    March, 20 2013

    Would you rather support one of these Christians with money for a concert ticket, or spend it going to listen to the filth that comes from Niki Menage or Lady Gaga’s mouth? I love that several Church of Christ Members are becoming role models for my children! (Montgomery Gentry, The Duck Dynasty clan etc..)
    March, 21 2013

    I haven’t watched American Idol this year, but I am encouraged that there are some Christians on the show that can be a light to the others. Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus? Look who He hung around with. Several of the finalists on A.I. have gone into Christian music too. I like that!
    March, 26 2013

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