TobyMac (aka Toby McKeehan) won 4 Dove awards this past Wednesday at the 39th Annual GMA Music Awards, including Artist of the Year. With over 8 million career CDs sold (including those with DC Talk) and multiple sold-out concerts, Toby is one the most successful Christian artists ever.
His concerts are electrifying. On stage Toby and his band are high energy, entertaining and captivating. Yet, Toby always–during every concert–takes out his Bible and reads from it. Some people might wonder if that is just part of the “act” to make a good impression. Does Toby really believe and live out the Bible verses he reads on stage?
I am convinced that he does. I’ve seen first hand what Toby is like off-stage…
Along with leading worship for the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association for many years, I have also produced and managed many of Scott Dawson’s conferences. Four years ago, tobyMac was our headliner artist for a conference we were doing in Knoxville, TN. We had a packed schedule for the evening service that included several worship and concert artists. That afternoon’s sound checks were, needless to say, very tightly scheduled. Every artist had a very specific start and stop time to do their sound checks on stage.
Toby and his band went over their alloted time by a few minutes. Because they were the main act and draw for the night, it would have been very easy for Toby and his guys to feel like they were justified and excused from following our schedule. (We have had a few other artists simply ignore our guidelines and requests, as though they deserved special treatment.) Yet, as soon as Toby came off stage and realized he had overshot his time, he sent Tobin, Toby’s road manager, to immediately find me and apologize. Tobin said they didn’t mean to run over into someone else’s time. Over and over he kept saying how much Toby appreciated getting to play at our conference and how bad Toby personally felt cutting into the other artist’s times. After the service and concert, Toby himself told me he was sorry they had gone over during their sound check.
Toby didn’t have to apologize that night. Headliner artists often take–and need to take–extra time to sound check to be sure they are ready for their concert. I believe Toby apologized because he didn’t consider himself as better or more important than the other groups we had performing that night. Toby showed his character and genuine Christ-like humility. He is a shining example of a Christian artist–a true Christian and a true artist. ~Dwayne