Last week one of our host families shared a blog with our staff that really resonated with us. The blog is directed at the church and outlines the discoveries a mother made in attending her son’s hardcore show. In light of our unique mission, it’s always encouraging to come across someone else who is advocating for the same thing we are – to bridge the divide between the church and the musician community.
That said, we wanted to pass the blog along to our network to hear your feedback on…
By: Simeon Lohrmann (Executive Director)
Whether you have been connected to RYFO for years, or you are brand new to the network, this update is for you. Detailed in the pages of our annual report you’ll read testimonies that give a glimpse into the impact RYFO has had in the musician community this past year. Additionally you’ll read about how we’re working to expand our reach and influence over the next decade and beyond.
The vision God has revealed to our team is bigger than any one leader or organization, it can only be achieved through collaboration and financial generosity. We value your support and pray for it to grow in the New Year!
Click Here to give a tax deductible year-end gift
RYFO is a ministry of CRM (Church Resource Ministries), a global missions agency and 501(c)(3) based in Anaheim, California. CRM is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
The time we have with musicians off the road can be just as important as their time on the road. Helping them to realize that they have someone they can call when things get tough gives them hope. In RYFO, this is part of our core value is forming trusted relationships.
By: Simeon Lohrmann
Trust in relationships is a priceless thing. It doesn’t come easy because it must be earned, and once it’s earned there’s no guarantee it will stand the test of time. A trusted relationship is a safe relationship which carries a sense of being known and having the freedom to be completely honest. Renowned Leadership Coach Bob Vanourek says it this way, ”Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.”
As an organization that ministers within the musician community we are fully aware of the challenges artists face when it comes to trust in relationships. The music industry is largely built around the idolatry of artists, and that reality alone makes it difficult to find trusted relationships. Compounding that reality is the fact that many artists have a level of distrust towards the church due to their perceptions and life experiences. We firmly believe that transformation in the musician community requires a commitment to form trusted relationships that demonstrate the character of Christ.
What does that look like? We approach every interaction with an artist as an opportunity to communicate or display love that’s authentic, and therefore unattached from any set agenda or ulterior motive. We don’t treat artists like a project or our mission, and we certainly don’t relate to them in light of their accomplishments or notoriety. On the contrary, we honor the individual journey of every artist we are blessed to serve and interact with. We seek to relate to each artist in light of wherever they’re at in their own journey. Furthermore, we are focused on creating safe environments that allow artists to be vulnerable. To that end we willingly volunteer the details of our own life story to allow for a mutual level of honesty and transparency. Without forming trusted artist relationships we can not accomplish our mission to eliminate the cultural divide between the Church and the musician community.
- Are there musicians you know who have been hurt or jaded by the church? If so, what opportunities do you have to demonstrate the character of Christ to them?
- How can you begin to form trusted artist relationships that are rooted in love?
Jim’s role with RYFO
Jim serves as RYFO’s Artist Relations Coordinator. He serves as the connection between the artists and our organization. He reviews and approves all artist applications and welcomes bands into the network.
What attracts Jim to RYFO
Jim’s attraction to RYFO comes from him being able to experience the love and generosity of several host homes while on the road as a touring musicianary. He believes wholeheartedly in the mission and vision of RYFO. Becoming part of the RYFO team has been a tremendous opportunity for him to give back to an organization that was a huge blessing to our ministry.
Jim’s hope for RYFO
Jim’s hope is that more and more artists and musicians get to experience true “radical hospitality” and the love of Christ on their musical journeys.
About Jim’s family
Jim, and his wife Lois, live in Vineland, New Jersey with their daughter, Darla. Jim and Lois have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord; their house has been filled with plenty of music, family, friends, love and joy. In 2016, their family had the amazing privilege to tour the country in the band, Never Forsaken, where they trusted God with their booking and used RYFO host homes. It was an experience their will never forget. These days they can be found doing local outreach ministry work for their church and community. They enjoy family time doing things around the house; watching movies, working on homework, having family dinners together, studying God’s word and just enjoying the blessed life he’s provided them with.
RYFO’s network of host homes offer musicians a place to rest and recharge. A place where they can feel safe and cared for. What would happen if the Church came together to serve musicians? All musicians regardless of background, beliefs or genre of music.
Do you love where you live? Why not serve where you live?
By: Simeon Lohrmann
From the outset of RYFO’s musician ministry we chose to prioritize service. We believe that sacrificial service is central to our Christian mandate to love others. Jesus modeled a lifestyle of service to His disciples, and as His followers we have the opportunity to embody His character through our actions. To that end here are some thoughts on what is required to cultivate a lifestyle of service, as well as a reflection on the transformative impact service has had for the artists RYFO serves.
The individualistic culture of our day has made servanthood a commodity. As we each pursue our own happiness the needs that surround us often go unnoticed, or if we notice them we often wait to respond until doing so is convenient, or whenever we need to feel good about ourselves. The reality is that rather than making servanthood a way of life, most people outsource service by resigning it to a community project or an event.
Every one of RYFO’s host families has made a lifestyle choice to prioritize service. They’ve chosen to allow their home to be transformed from a place of personal refuge to a mission field. Furthermore, they’ve gone through the process of viewing everything they have as a gift from God. In response they’ve made the conscious choice to give generously and serve sacrificially. This conscious commitment has proven to be deeply impactful to the artists we serve.
From the stage to their merch tables these same artists are accustomed to existing in a self-protective performance mode where they rarely feel safe to let their guard down. They live with the constant challenge of judging the motives of those who want to be around them. Contrary to this reality RYFO’s Host Homes provide a refuge where artists can safely rest and simply be. Spaces where they don’t have to perform or impress. Environments where the Holy Spirit is at work. RYFO’s Host Homes are more than a crash pad with a warm meal, or a place to grab a shower and wash some laundry, they’re beacons of light and hope.
- What are you doing to cultivate a lifestyle of service?
- Are there needs around you that God is inviting you to respond to?
David’s role with RYFO
As the Director of Operations, David focuses on assessing where RYFO is now, and helping to develop and implement a strategic plan that will carry RYFO into the future.
What attracts David to RYFO
David has been familiar with RYFO since 2010. He and his wife always wanted to be a host home, but weren’t in a situation where they could. Over the last few years, that idea has driven several decisions in their lives, and through conversations with Taylor and then Simeon, he realized that he could be a useful resource to RYFO.
David’s hope for RYFO
David’s hope for RYFO is to see it grow to the place where God wants it to be.
About David’s family
David, and his wife Nichole, live in Lakeland, Florida. David works for the University of South Florida as an Academic Services Administrator for a Graduate Program. Nichole works as a Graphic Designer for a local marketing company. They are both involved in their church, Fuel Church where David plays guitar in the worship band Nichole handles the marketing and design work.
Stacy’s role with RYFO
Stacy is RYFO’s Host Home Relations Coordinator. She’s the first point of contact for our 100+ host homes across the U.S. She is responsible for the applications, interviews and onboarding.
What attracts Stacy to RYFO
The main reason Stacy was attracted to RYFO is that she has seen the heartbreak and pain that people in the music industry go through, and she believes that there is hope for every person. She knows that God has given her the gift to love people through their difficult stuff.
Stacy’s hope for RYFO
Stacy hopes that through RYFO lives will be transformed by God’s incredible love!
About Stacy’s family
Stacy and her husband, Paxton, live in Los Angeles, CA; and she works for Foursquare Church as their Benefits Administrator. She and her husband met in the summer of 2012 and were married, October 2013. Stacy enjoys the science between art and music, and has a passion for those who make it.
Rebecca’s role with RYFO
Rebecca is the Communications & Organizational Partnership Director for RYFO. She manages the social media and web aspects of the organization, as well as, works to find like-minded businesses to partner with RYFO to grow our mission and reach.
How Rebecca became involved with RYFO
Rebecca first learned about RYFO from Nick Greenwood at Cornerstone Festival in 2009. Nick was running around with a clipboard explaining RYFO and getting people to sign up for more information. At the time, Rebecca and her husband had already been hosting bands, but lived in a very small apartment. A few years later, they moved into a house and became a RYFO host home. About a year ago, the opportunity came available for Rebecca to join the RYFO staff.
Rebecca’s hope for RYFO
Rebecca hopes RYFO can reach all musicians, both secular and faith based, with radical hospitality.
Artists and bands face a lifestyle that wears them to the bone, but many feel called to share themselves and their art with the world. That process of sharing is vital, and through art and music lives are touched, minds are changed, and hearts are opened. It is RYFO’s task to protect and care for those who give themselves over to that process, that choose to live with close to nothing and share themselves far from their homes and families. RYFO does this by meeting their most basic needs first, then hopefully are allowed to help artists grow in other areas of their lives. She hopes that RYFO will continue to expand and draw in people with unique gifts of caring and equipping to see that idea realized fully for the music community.
About Rebecca’s family
Rebecca & her husband, Ian live in Austin, TX. Rebecca enjoys photography, cooking and art. She also owns a the jewelry design company, Rebecca Harvey Designs. Ian works in student ministry at their church and is currently in a band that uses RYFO. Together they have three dogs; Thrash, Emo and Indie. They are also in the process of adopting. They both have a heart for hospitality, and enjoy having people in their home.
Taylor’s role with RYFO
Taylor is RYFO’s Artist Coordinator. He serves as the connection between the artists and our organization. He reviews and approves all artist applications and welcomes bands into the network.
What attracts Taylor to RYFO
Taylor experienced life as a touring musician, both first hand and indirectly through many other bands in the music industry. While on the road, most relationships centered around fandom of the music industry. Despite being around people 24/7, he rarely had the opportunity to engage with people looking out for him as a person; they were more interested in him as an artist. He was attracted to RYFO when he saw that the organization existed to serve touring musicians not out of fandom, but out of the love God has called us to show each other within the music community.
Taylor’s hope for RYFO
Taylor hopes RYFO is able to offer genuine love and support for touring musicians that is rarely given from the fan or business perspective. Additionally, many Christian and non-Christian artists are disconnected from the church and community while on the road and can have a negative impact both physically, mentally, and spiritually. He hopes that artists are able to find a community of support within RYFO that will care for the artist like family and provide that support while on the road.
About Taylor’s family
Taylor & his wife, Mandy are from Virginia, but now call San Antonio, TX home. Taylor grew up in Virginia Beach in the 90’s surf/skate punk music scene. He played in bands and was a promoter at several local venues. Mandy grew up in southwest Virginia and they met in college at James Madison University. After graduating college, they began full-time jobs in the sports industry, but Taylor still had a strong passion for music. While he was no longer playing/touring, he was able to connect with RYFO in 2011. While Taylor and Mandy don’t share the same type of passion for music, they both love to host and serve others. Taylor and Mandy are one of RYFO’s host homes. Mandy enjoys caring for the bands that come through their home, and Taylor enjoys staying connected to the music industry.
Simeon’s role with RYFO
Simeon Lohrmann is the Executive Director of RYFO. He oversees all of the projects, goals and is tasked with expanding the programs RYFO offers; while working to ensure the health and vitality of the core staff team.
How Simeon became involved with RYFO
Simeon’s story with RYFO started in the fall of 2006. He moved from his hometown of Baltimore, MD to Orange County, CA to help founder, Nick Greenwood, launch RYFO. He was attracted by the vision because he had seen the faith struggles of some of his close musician friends who had become popular in the music scene. Once in California, Simeon spent some time growing his personal career, but after nearly 4 years God directed him back to the original reason for moving, RYFO. It became clear that his purpose was to bridge the gap between the Church and the musician community.
In 2010 Simeon officially started volunteering with RYFO, and became Nick’s go-to for operational needs. After 3 years of volunteering and working full-time; God led Nick in another direction, and Simeon left his job to step into the RYFO role full time.
Simeon’s hope for RYFO
Simeon’s hope is for a transformation in the musician community. He wants to see artists discover their true identify, and wants to see them equipped to bring Kingdom influence through their art. He’s hopeful to see musicians who are far from God, or those who have been marginalized by the church, being discipled to make disciples.
About Simeon’s family
Simeon & his wife, Johanna, along with their two kids – Judah (2) and Adalynn (4 months) live in Phoenix, Arizona. Simeon enjoys playing, writing music and playing soccer. Johanna likes yoga and crafting. Together they love investing in the lives of young adults. As a family they love to travel and host friends or family in their home.
Johanna owns Five Stone Furnishings. She uses the business to connect her love for restoring furniture with her passion for restoring lives. The proceeds of the pieces she sells helps to fund the abolitionist work being done by the nonprofit organization, Exodus Cry.