While success is defined by the individual artist, a successful music career in any genre' means hard work. You can have the best music in the world, but if no one ever hears you, then you're not sharing your message and you're not successful by any standards.
The first step to getting your music out there is making a plan. God will give you a mission and will even plan your steps for you ... but you have to do your part. You can't just sit around, waiting on God to bring people into your life that you can minister to or that can help you get your ministry out of the practice hall and into the lives of the people. Out of all of the artists that I've spoken with, both internationally known and not past a local scene, NONE have said "I was just sitting in my living room, playing one day and the most amazing thing happened. An A&R guy for one of the major labels was there with a contract and he said that God had told him who I was and where I lived. I'd never played a note outside of my own house, so you can just imagine how surprised I was!"
"OK", you say, "just how do I make a plan?" It's not an easy task that can be knocked out in 15 minutes or less. It may take days or even weeks and rarely will your first draft be your final draft. Be patient, be obedient and remember, God is powerful enough to point out flaws if you ask Him.
- Pray. Ask God to show you your steps. Remember, it's a path that He layed out for you before you were born, and He knows each step as well as each pitfall. Don't forget that a in a Christian Music Ministry, you're representing God, so make sure that you're right with Him before you start your journey.
- Write down your goals. Where do you want to end up? Do you want to minister to crowds of people as far as the eye can see or do you feel called to do more intimate ministry in a small church setting? Each of those paths is different, so knowing which one you want to take is an important step.
- Think about those maps that they have at the mall. The big "you are here" X represents where you are right now. The ending that you just wrote down is where you want to go, so now look at what it will take to get there.
- Educate yourself on every aspect of what you're going to be doing. Learn about as much as you can about all of the things you don't know about ministry and/or the business of music. In order for any ministry to grow, it has to be looked at as a business; God's business; but business none the less. Churches, big and small, as well as independent music ministries all have leadership and business practices. No ministry can just drift along without direction and education.
- Pray some more. Once you get every draft finished, pray that God will show you if that is a good plan. Keep in mind that you can see right now, but God can see the whole picture. As God takes you down your personal path there may be more steps or different steps as you go, but if you're in His will, the steps will be fruitful.
- Take that first step in faith.