Being a Rock Star & Finding Your Identity – John and Korey Cooper

Summit Ministries

John Cooper, from the band Skillet, shares how his identity in Christ is a light to others to draw them to God.

We were on tour with a band and I won’t say who the band was, but about four days into the tour, after a show, it was probably one in the morning I got a phone call and I didn’t know who it was because I’d never given my phone number and it was somebody from the other band. And I said, “Hey.” He said, “Hey, do you think we could talk tomorrow?” And I said, “Of course.” He goes, “I want to talk about Jesus.” And I said, “Oh yeah, we can absolutely talk about Jesus.”  And he said, “I mean, it just feels like,” and I’m not bragging on me, this is his words, OK? He said, “It just kind of feels like when you come into the room, you walk in like a spiritual power house. And I don’t understand how or why you’re so powerful. Can we have a talk about this?” And I started laughing. I do not think of myself as a spiritual powerhouse, by the way, but I started laughing because once we talked and the things he was saying, part of what he was getting at, he didn’t know it. Part of what he was getting at was this:

“John, how come you don’t find your identity in being a rock star?” Because rock stars, a lot of people don’t understand this: Rock stars and movie celebrities and supermodels are extremely insecure. People don’t understand this because they’re the most beautiful people on the planet, right? These supermodels, I mean, you say everybody would be like: she’s like the most beautiful person on the planet. And a lot of them are absolutely so insecure because they have found all of their meaning and hope and performance and looking a certain way and thinking, “Oh, gosh, if I eat that, I might not look the same way. And then I’m done. It’s not just that my career is done, I’m done. I’m invisible at that point. I don’t even matter, because what is good about me is looking a certain way or singing a certain way.”

And when I walk into the room, he recognizes that I don’t really care if other people think that I’m the greatest musician on the tour. I don’t mind that I’m the opener. I was the opener on this tour. So that’s another thing, is I was opening for another band. “John how can you walk around so secure and so happy and with so much peace when you’re not the headliner?”

You know what I mean? I go, “I don’t have anything to prove because I’m not here for them. I’m living my life to glorify God and I get to create art, to bring glory to my creator, and I get paid for it. This is the best job in the whole world.” And so we got to have this conversation and he just said, “Will you pray for me?” You know? And I said, “Of course I’ll pray for you.” And also it was a really impactful thing because my wife is on the road and of a lot of bands, I’m not being mean to them. Their lifestyle is so sex, drugs, and rock and roll, they really can’t fathom a lifestyle of being in a band and divorcing music from sex.

It’s almost like they can’t understand it. And for me, music was never about sex. The music was always about glorifying God, you know? So they I think they’re like, “How are you on tour with your wife and how do you flirt with girls when your wife is around you, you know?” Or “Why don’t you flirt with girls” or, you know, whatever? And so it was all this conversation of, “Oh man, you think that you’re happy, but I know that you’re not happy.” This is me to them, “I know that you’re not happy. And the truth is, is that peace and joy comes in your life.” Long story short, the guy I was talking to, I prayed for him. It took him several years.

He gave his life to Christ; God radically saved him. He became faithful to his wife for the first time in a 20 year marriage, got delivered from drugs, got delivered from alcohol, got delivered from suicidal thoughts. God did an incredible work in his life. And he said, “I never thought that I could have this much joy in my life. All that’s out of my life and I finally have what I’ve been searching for.” That’s a miracle.

For more content from John & Korey Cooper and to help your faith flourish, check out Now We Live, a free, small-groups, worldview Bible study which will spark rich discussions about some of life’s most foundational questions and help equip Christians to propel their faith into action. You can find additional material from John Cooper on his website: