This Ain’t Your Momma’s Music
I love music! I love playing any instrument that I can get my hands on, listening to all genres, writing and creating music. Most of us have our favorite type/ genre of music. We have our favorite artist, favorite albums and favorite songs. Some people believe that the older the music is the better it is where as other people think that we are watching some of the most talented musicians ever alive right now. Music is amazing because there is something for each of us to enjoy and relate to.
For someone who grew up in the church, I only listened to contemporary Christian artists and worship music. I started to fall in love with music at a very young age and for most of my life it became something that I excelled at. Because of that I was able to play on worship teams, write music and worship God through music. When I was playing music by myself, I actually felt like I was communicating with God through my guitar or whatever instrument I was playing at the time.
The older I got the more I started listening to various types of artist, secular and Christian. I started to see that some secular artists were singing lyrics that related to me. They felt more honest and real and didn’t feel like I was getting preached to. They are singing about emotions that I had experienced or currently was experiencing.
I attended a ministry conference about a week ago and the theme for this conference was that as ministers we need to be Monday minded when we are working with the people in our ministry. Often times as a church we focus on Sunday. Making sure that Sunday morning service is as close to perfect as we can make it. They weren’t putting Sunday morning down but they were trying to get us to think outside of the physical church building. We may have 80 minutes a week (which is .8% of the week) with the kids where as school and parents have the other 99.2%. We need to reach kids in the 6 days that happen between each Sunday.
I left that conference with a different mindset and approach to how I was going to approach the students in my ministry. In order to truly know where they are at and what they are going through, I have to walk with them more and talk to them less. Pastor Stan Russell once said, “People would rather see a sermon than hear one.” I have to get off of the pulpit and sit amongst them and listen to them. I don’t want to sit here and put down Sunday morning services. I love the physical church but I had to realize that sometimes what the kids need to hear is not what they can get out of the book of Lamentations but rather they need someone to listen to them about how they just failed a math test and are now worried about not passing 7th grade.
For someone who loves music, I would often turn to music when I was tired, stressed, angry or just wanting to get away for a little bit. I see kids when they come into youth group with headphones in listening to music. In order to try and understand these kids I need to know what music they are listening to and not only know who but what is that artist saying in their songs. I also am not going to sit here and tell people that they should listen to secular music or not. I believe a decision like that is up to you and your relationship with God. I just came to the conclusion that in order to best show these kids who Jesus is I have show them through my actions and not through my words. The Jesus that I want them to fall in love with is the same Jesus who ate and fellowshipped with prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers and 12 fishermen. These kids don’t need a pastor, musician or teacher to preach to them. They need someone to walk with them. Someone who genuinely cares about them as a person and not just another number in a seat. I can only speak into their life once I have earned their trust and proven that I care about them.
Jesus gives us a great example of this with the idea of the lost sheep. Instead of focusing solely on the 99 that were still in the pen, the shepherd cared enough about each one individually that he went after the one. I want this ministry to be the same. I want this ministry to be about the one student. How can I best show him/her Jesus.
Music is amazing because it is an amazing tool that we can use to worship and give thanks to God for who He is. Music is something that allows us to express ourselves and play or sing about what we are feeling and experiencing. For me it is something that I can use to gain insight into what the students in middle school are hearing and being fed and maybe even use that to start a conversation with them and find out what they are going through in their personal life. I will end by letting Jesus himself teach you.
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’”
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