*** What if We Offered All Christian Music Free-of-Charge? ***

The Internet has changed lots of things in our lives, hasn’t it? Even the way we listen to music.

Cassette tapes are already a part of ancient history and maybe very soon, gone the good ole’ CD… it’s time for downloads!

Oh, yes, those famous downloads… At first, they were illegal with lots of hacking. But we have to admit that an easy way to buy music online just didn’t really exist. Then, new systems appeared like iTunes, for example. Now, it’s very easy to buy music online; so, no more excuses for hacking! Things seem to be coming back into order and the music industry has reset the standard, at least in the secular music field. And that’s good, artists need to be able to produce and live! Let’s hope, and especially act, to bring back this standard to our Christian music environment, too.

Did you know that websites for free listening are on the Internet, such as Last FM or Deezer? So, we started dreaming at the Top: Why not create a platform for listening to Christian music free-of-charge? In this way, we would make the French-speaking Christian artists known throughout the French-speaking world. If someone likes a certain artist, he could order the CD at a store or buy the songs by downloading.

We also became aware of this through our large survey in 2009 (Together, Let’s Improve the Top). Out of 18,000 respondents, 14,000 wished for a music section on the Top. Those results spoke loudly!

So, we began to consult with Christian artists who, in general, have reacted very positively. Special mention goes to Youth with a Mission (YWAM) who is putting its entire catalog for free listening on TopMusic … Surprises will rain down! I would like for all the Christian labels to do the same and for all the Christian artists to be there. Become leaders! Offer our resources and see God bless us! Would somebody say “Amen”?

No business transactions for the Top since we gain nothing on sales. The sales, particularly those relating to downloads, go to the artists. And I hope many of you will encourage them by buying their albums! At the Top, we will pay taxes to the SACEM who will then redirect them to the registered artists. Thanks to the donors of the Top, we will also pay for the significant costs of bandwidth that the service will generate: thousands of dollars each year …

So why do it? Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel and encourage Christians. Music is a great way to achieve both goals. In addition, we will encourage Christian artists by promoting them. So why not do it? This is planned for Sept. 6th with the launching of a new section on Top Chrétien: TopMusic.

What do you think? Do you like this idea?

Together for changed lives,

Eric

*** Persevere! ***

Oh yes! How we need perseverance: perseverance in trials, perseverance during sickness, and even perseverance when everything seems to be going well. The Bible says that it is by persevering in doing well that we inherit the promises!

And so, I would like to encourage you to persevere. Top Chrétien’s story is one of perseverance. If Top Chrétien still exists today, it is because many times we have had to persevere and wait for God’s help. And his help never fails to come! Someone once said that God’s help sometimes comes late but never too late! It’s those who persevere who are helped!

Jesus has often encouraged me not to give up ! And I have to admit that I have sometimes felt like it… May the one who has never felt like giving up, please tell me. I would like to know his secret.

A song has encouraged me during the years of sickness and opposition. It’s “Persévère” by Olivier Cheuwa. I even made it the ring tone on my telephone! Therefore, every time someone called me, even for a problem, I would let the phone ring a few seconds and I would hear:  persevere! oh oh, persevere… In this way, I was ready to face any situation.

Just recently, I discovered another song on perseverance composed and sung by my friend, Pastor Mohamed Sanogo of the Ivory Coast. I asked him if I could offer it to you. He said yes, so here it it, especially for you Top Blog readers whom I love so much. Mohammed and I dedicate it to all those who need to persevere. My friend, persevere!

This song is part of the album “Persévérez” available on Top Boutique

[audio http://media.topc.fr/mp3/perseverer.mp3]

*** Music Maestro! ***

A few months ago we sent out a survey entitled “Together, Let’s improve the Top!” More than 20,000 Internet users responded. We spent time sorting out the responses, the requests, and the very numerous encouraging messages. Have you already tried to read 14,000 encouraging messages? I have, and I am so pleased that Top Chretien is such a blessing. Thank you, my God, for causing this tool to be developed! Of course, there were also the inevitable criticisms, but for the most part, they were constructive.

This feedback, negative or positive, is essential for us. Besides, that’s why the Top Blog exists! It enables us to improve, and to be in contact with you, the Internet users whom we serve. If you would like to study the survey results more closely, click here. You’ll see, they are very interesting.

One of the greatest requests was that we add a section dedicated to music and worship. It’s true. This is missing on the Top Chretien portal. Stephan, the Top Chretien portal manager, and several Top team members went to work on it. So, you should soon see the arrival of Top Music.

Nevertheless, we still need your opinion to make sure that we have truly understood your request. So, what would you like to find in a section dedicated to Christian music? Your opinion is indispensable. Don’t miss the opportunity to give it.