The Winans are a Gospel singing group that has been performing for 40 years. Originally, the quartet consisted of four brothers, Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald. They were discovered in Detroit by Andraé Crouch and signed by him. Over the course of their career they have won a significant number of awards and have had many hit singles. They are the second, third, fourth and fifth siblings in a family of talented brothers and sisters. And over the years, there have been children and other family members who have branched out into various areas of music as well.
I want to talk about their song ‘The Question Is’, because it is still one of my favorite all-time songs, and maybe my favorite overall song from them as a group. I remember hearing this song for the first time as a little kid growing up in church. Both my father and my uncle Stanley are singers and love music. We used to have this album and I loved when my dad played it on our component system in the basement of our house in St. Louis. I have always loved harmony, and their harmonies always hit a little different for me even as a child. I could listen to them sing for hours, picking apart the different voice parts and trying to understand how they fit together.
It was later that I really listened to the words and was blessed by the promises of God written right into the beautiful melody. “The question is, when will Jesus return? The answer is soon.” This is a promise that should be comfort, but it should be a reminder that we as Christians have a job to do. This song asks three simple questions. Will you ever leave the Lord? Will I do God’s will? When will Jesus return? This is what our walk boils down to. Abiding in him, do the work we are called to do and waiting for Him to come back for His bride.
Life can get so hectic and it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the peripheral things that we lose focus on what we are here to do. This song, released on an album in 1981 still has power and purpose in its simplicity. Give it a listen when you get a chance and let it take you back a little while also helping you look focus on what God has called us to do today.
Harry Walls IV is the High School Pastor of New Hope Church in New Hope, MN. He has studied at John Brown University (Arkansas) and Missouri Baptist University and has also served as worship pastor in St. Louis (his hometown) and the Bay Area. He also produces a podcast called The Radical Middle.
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