By Bob Marovich
Confession time: I was once a burned out music minister.
Years of organizing the music for a local church, Sunday after Sunday, had taken its toll. Music ministry had gone from being fun to so demanding I could no longer enjoy the worship experience. That seemed unfair, and I quit.
I could have used a dose of Funk Justice.
In her book, Funk Justice: 15 Fixes for Your Ministry Funks, former CCM singer Tami Rowbotham uses the legal and judicial system as a metaphor to provide “soul care” to the burned out and hapless victims of their own negative notions.
As Rowbotham explains, funks start out as Tragic Thoughts. They are the “I’m not (insert adjective) enough” triggered by the vicissitudes of life. She offers fifteen examples of such funks. Illustrations and solutions of each form the basis of her book.
To transform Tragic Thoughts to Altered Thoughts means moving through three phases: “Scene of the Funk,” “Trial by Funk,” and “Funk Probation.” In other words, the process requires identifying the source of the problem, questioning the validity of your initial beliefs about the problem, and finding yourself guilty of the Tragic Thought but delivering a merciful sentence. That sentence is to seek out a better informed solution.
At each phase, securing Funk Justice requires asking many probing Socratic questions, just as an attorney interrogates a witness, to get to the bottom of the issue.
Rowbotham uses Scripture to emphasize her points, but Funk Justice also has its underpinnings in basic psychology. She is no Pollyanna; there is no magic bullet. It takes patience for problems to work themselves out. She encourages prayer, since much of the fix will take place internally anyway, in conversation with one’s self and with God. She also cautions about playing the blame game and makes no bones about the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Finally, Rowbotham recommends seeking professional help if the funk is non-circumstantial, i.e., without cause.
Rowbotham knows whereof she writes. As a CCM artist giving 150 concerts a year, she endured her own share of funks. Recognizing that others could benefit from her insights, she now serves as CFF (Chief Funk Fixer) at Incubator, counseling other artists enduring their own career funks.
Funk Justice is easy to read, well organized, and professionally edited. One does not have to be a burned out music minister to benefit from this book, either. Anyone, no matter their function or funk, would be well advised to heed CFF Tami Rowbotham’s advice.
Or, to paraphrase the Brothers Johnson, the book will help you “get the funk out of your face.”