Serving the voices.
I can remember where I was when God gave me the tagline for the RYFO ministry idea. Before kids, my wife Emily and I were renting a small cottage at the time within walking distance of the beach in southern California. I remember that I was pacing between the living room and eating area, talking to myself and working through the ministry philosophy with the Lord. And BAM, it hit me……Serving the voices.
I didn’t realize at the time how fundamental the word “serving” would be to our ministry approach. In fact, I think I stuck on that word initially because I thought it would be the least offensive to the touring musicians I had hoped to help. Breaking in to the touring musician world to offer them something they didn’t necessarily know they needed brought many challenges, and still does. I wanted to avoid words that would sound intrusive, entitled, demanding, etc. God gave us “serving”. I wish I could say that I had had more biblical backing for the choice of words at the time, but God has since shown me how fundamental loving others through service is, and how present it is in scripture.
It was the word “voices” that I had thought quite a bit about. Early on, one of the first people I had reached out to with the initial RYFO idea was a musician named Dave Tosti, from the band PAX217. I had admired him and the band early on in their career, and being that they were a local band in my area (S. Calif.), I got to see them play quite a bit. It was one of Dave’s songs that had stuck in my head. The lyrics went something like “we are the voices of a generation…”. He was hoping to inspire his listeners to think and act as if they had influence in their lives and circles. But what I heard from those lyrics was how influential Dave was as an inspirational voice on me. He inspired me, to want to serve him, and other influential voices like him. I now get to call Dave a friend, and he has since spent time serving on the RYFO board.
I think most of us get the concept that musicians on stage have significant influence on generations of music listeners. So I won’t hammer on that. We’ve touted the “serving the voices” tagline loud and proud, in an effort to simply explain our desire to serve the influencer. But in God’s infinite sovereignty and wisdom, I believe he had an additional motive in sticking us with “serving the voices”.
I tend to sign all of my emails and letters with the “serving the voices” tagline, sort of in an effort to remind us all of what we are doing, and I guess to keep the RYFO flag flying. But something has changed in me recently that I wanted to share with you all. The tagline has found a now deeper meaning for me personally, and I hope corporately as a team. Now when I write “serving the voices”, it’s a pledge to serve you, the Church, in your commitment to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus with the musician community. You are the voices that are needed to change an industry. And I want to serve you in that. I believe that the Church is the answer.
Each of us are unique members of the Body, and bring beautifully different things to the collective Gospel effort. I love how diverse we are. And I feel so privileged to be walking this mission out with you. Thank you for allowing us the grace to grow and develop as God continues to refine RYFO’s focus. And as a staff, we hope to better understand how to serve you in the days to come. If you have suggestions or insights on how we can better serve and equip you, please let us know!
Serving the voices,
nick (at) ryfo (dot) org