Serving the Voices Blog

Posts Tagged Prayer

Loving Musicians Like Jesus

If Jesus was walking the earth today where do you think He would hang out? Who do you envision He’d be spending His time with? In the Gospels we clearly see His game plan for life and ministry, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17 NIV.)

Jesus spent His time with real people who were dealing with real life challenges. Furthermore He chose to meet people where they were, in the midst of their circumstances, and He spent time with individuals who had social influence. The verse after Jesus invited Levi to follow Him; He’s seen at Levi’s house having a banquet with all of Levi’s friends (Luke 5:27-29).

So if Jesus was walking the earth today where do you think He would hang out? Who do you envision He’d be spending His time with? It stands to reason that one place He’d be is in music venues, spending time with musicians. More than anyone else Jesus would understand the unique challenges artists face. He would offer them hope, encouragement and freedom rather than clamoring for their touch and suffocating them with adoration.

The cultural influence of the music community can not be understated. 6 out of the top 10 profiles on Twitter are musicians, and those artists alone have a following that’s greater than the US population. Despite the level of influence and the rapid secularization of our nation the music community is a mission field that’s often overlooked. The Good News of our day is that Jesus is still walking the earth! His Spirit lives within His followers and we have the opportunity to follow His lead into the places of need around us. You can be A Different Brand of Fan…

 

Prayer for the Voices

Prayer for the Voices

Next Saturday (the 12th) at 12PM PST we are hosting our quarterly conference call for RYFO staff members, Host Home families, and financial partners to join together in prayer. If you believe in the mission of RYFO we invite you to commit to join us in “Prayer for the Voices.” Here are some ways you can focus your prayers:

-Health and safety for the bands who have started to hit the road now that winter is ending

-Provision for the RYFO staff members who raise missionary support through financial partnerships

-Effective recruiting of new Host Home families in areas of the country where we need to expand our network (mainly the East and West coasts)

-Blessing over our continuing efforts to develop and launch our Artist Chaplain program in 2016

Thank you in advance for those of you who will be praying with us. Please email our Communications Coordinator any insights you receive while you are praying: rebecca@ryfo.org.

Prayer for the Voices

Prayer for the Voices

This coming Saturday (the 28th) at 2PM PST we’ll be hosting a nationwide conference call for our staff members, Host Home families, and our financial partners to join together in prayer. If you believe in the mission of RYFO then we invite you to put down your Thanksgiving leftovers, or take a brief break from your Christmas shopping to join us in prayer.

Not sure what to pray? Here are some items we’ll be praying for:

-The launch of our Chaplain program and the expansion of our Host Home network in 2016

-Blessing over RYFO’s existing Host Home families as they head into a New Year serving bands

-That the light of the Gospel would permeate the music industry and transform musician’s lives

Still looking for more guidance on how to pray? Take a look at this article on Praying for the Voices.

We believe our prayers are heard and that our prayers change things in Heaven. When Christ instructed His disciples on how to pray, one of the instructions He gave was to pray like this, “May your Kingdom come, may your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We believe that God’s will is to see the music industry impacted and transformed for His Kingdom.

Will you join us in this powerful time of prayer? 

Serving the Voices at SXSW

HM Magazine Music for Good Showcase

Serving the Voices at SXSW
By: Taylor Adkins

When I found out about a year ago that I would be moving from Virginia to San Antonio Texas, I knew that I would only be a couple hours away from one of the largest music festivals in the world: SXSW. Having just come on staff with RYFO as the Artist Coordinator, I began working on a plan with our staff to have a presence at SXSW in order to build new band relationships and deepen our existing ones. As we began working on plans for SXSW, I reached out to David Stagg (owner and CEO of HM Magazine) to get his feedback about the needs he sees most with the bands he interviews. Before I knew it, he was offering RYFO the opportunity to be a part of their SXSW Showcase. This was the door into the festival that we’d been looking for!

Fast forward a couple months and I am arriving at The Ranch in Austin, TX to kickoff a day full of great music. The showcase lineup included performances from Yesterday as Today, Darkness Divided, Silent Planet, PhinehasEveryone Dies in Utah, ’68 (first ever live performance), and Sleeping Giant. As a long time reader of HM Magazine, I couldn’t have felt more blessed to have a role in the showcase. I got to the venue around noon and met David Stagg for the first time in person. He expressed how excited he was to have RYFO partnering with them for the showcase.

Shortly after my arrival the Harvey’s (shown below) arrived, RYFO’s Host Home family in Cedar Park, TX, just north of Austin. While I was the staff member at SXSW, they were the seasoned veterans! The Harvey’s have been hosting bands long before RYFO began, they run their own venue, and Ian Harvey is in the band UGLYTWIN who has had the opportunity to share the stage with many of the bands RYFO serves. The Harvey’s arranged to order and pick up all the food for the bands that day and even brought care packages in the form of a plate of home made cookies for all the bands in attendance.

Taylor and the Harveys

Before and during the showcase I had the opportunity to speak with many of the performing band members about our desire to have the church walk alongside them as artists and for RYFO to be a medium for that opportunity to take place. Between the hugs, prayers, and even some tears shed by members of bands I spoke with, one thing is for sure…these bands need RYFO! I don’t mean RYFO as in our staff, RYFO the brand, or RYFO the website, but RYFO in terms of the missionaries that make up our organization.

There are many temptations, struggles, and obstacles that plague bands with doubt, depression, and loneliness out on the road. The time spent away from close friends and families can be incredibly tough. These bands are pouring everything they have into their art with few opportunities to be poured into. I want every single person involved with RYFO to know the impact you are having on the lives of these musicians and the ripple effect in their own lives and the multitudes of people they reach with their music.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, the Harvey’s, David Stagg, HM Magazine, the bands who allow us to bless them, and to God for giving RYFO the vision and the opportunity to show the love of Christ by being a servant to these bands. We look forward to many more opportunities to continue Serving the Voices!

Praying for the Voices

Praying for the Voices
By: Sydney Fontaine

Music is a beacon in the lives of many. It’s a form of communication that is often taken for granted, but rarely tuned out. Music carries us through our workdays, and serves as the back drop for many monumental experiences. Music has intrinsic value which is exemplified through the profound effect it has on our daily lives.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What’s going on behind the music?” Musicians are on the front lines of our culture, walking in the authority that we’ve given them by lending an ear to their voice. These individuals speak into the hearts and minds of our generation, and we choose to listen because they allow their passions and beliefs and convictions to spill out of them.  As believers and a group of people that are passionate about music, we are called to do more than merely listen to the voices of these cultural warriors. We are called to serve these voices.

So how do you serve? I can think of an excellent way that you can begin this very moment, Prayer!

Prayer is our strongest ammunition against the chaos in this world. Our prayers work in ways that we are unable to. Through prayer we are able to ask God for His insight and intervention in the lives of the musicians that we serve. We are able to submit the things that we desperately want to care for into the hands of a God whose heart for the music community is so much bigger than ours.

Show how would you go about praying for musicians? Here are 10 prayers that you can praying…

Pray first and foremost that these artists would encounter the Lord and be drawn to Him. Pray that the love of Christ would be unavoidable to them as they navigate through the struggles that come with life on the road. Pray that they would embrace the roles they’ve stepped into as “culture-shapers” and role models and that their impact would have positive repercussions. Pray for their physical well-being, that they would have everything they stand in need of, and that in God’s provision He reminds them each of His goodness and faithfulness. Pray that they would have the strength to withstand the temptations that they  face both at home and on the road. Pray that they would have the courage to say, “no,” when it would be all too easy to say, “yes.” Pray that they would be constantly aware that their integrity has a value that’s not worth trading for temporary pleasures. Pray that they would be able to combat their loneliness and find genuine, loyal friendships that point them to the Lord. Faithful friendships that transcend state lines are difficult to find! Pray for their families back home, that God would comfort them and bring them peace and understanding as their loved one faces battles that they often can’t explain in a phone call. Pray that God would bring wise individuals to speak truth into their lives at every turn, for their encouragement and sustenance.

Ephesians 6:18 says this: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” We’re called to pray in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s leading, but pray nonetheless! Let’s not miss this call to intercede on behalf of these musicians. We have the opportunity to call upon the God we serve to provide for and shape those that shape our culture. Let’s serve these voices in a way that will never cease to be effective and LET’S START NOW!

It’s too loud to hear from God!

It’s too loud to hear from God!
By: Simeon Lohrmann

Have you ever struggled to hear God’s voice amidst the noise of life? If you’ve ever felt this way you are not alone. Our circumstances and even our surroundings can cause God’s voice to feel distant.
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Praying for Musicians?!

Praying for Musicians
By: Cathy Hill

In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul is writing to some people he has never met but longs to know and serve and share God’s gifts with in person. When our pastor preached on this recently I felt my RYFO antennae go up!

In Romans 1:8, Paul gives thanks to God for these people that he keeps hearing about…”people everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith”…(1:8 The Message). He says that every time he hears about them, he thanks God for them and he constantly prays for them. This is a great model for my RYFO heart.

So how might I implement Paul’s teaching?

Perhaps each time I hear a song, or when someone mentions an artist, I can thank God for giving these people their gifts and talents. If I know they are artists of faith, I can thank Him that they have chosen to use them to extend His kingdom. I can pray for their ministry of the Gospel through the power of music. I can also pray for the non-believer, that God would put people in their path that would point them towards Him. Whether on the radio, on shuffle on my iPod or streaming in the background, I have the opportunity to tell God how much I appreciate how these musicians use their gifts; whether it be to speak Gospel truth into my life, bring awareness to a cause, or simply do something they love to do. Each time I read a Facebook post or a tweet, I can pray for any needs or cares they have shared (travel concerns, family needs, joys, sorrows, life events…).

As I wrote this post, I heard a song by one band whose bass player recently had surgery to remove a tumor from his knee. Another song played  by dear band friends whose drummer recently quit, leaving them with a spot to fill before starting a major tour. Yet another tune was from a disbanded group (and my first-ever hosted band!). With each song I have an opportunity to thank God for these artists and pray for their needs, their careers, and their personal lives.

Thank you Father for the gift of music and the many ways it touches my life. Empower those whom You have called to use it to further Your kingdom, and open the eyes of those who don’t yet recognize You as the giver of all gifts and talents. May I be thankful for them and prayerful on their behalf. Amen!

Pieces of a Story

Pieces of a Story
By: Sydney Fontaine

The first time I heard the name “RYFO” I was sitting on a church pew in Nashville after a long night of street ministry. I have to confess that since I went to bed at 3:00 AM I was probably more asleep than I was awake.  I don’t remember who was sharing about it, and I don’t remember what they said, but I do recall that at the end of the presentation I was wide awake and writing down their website.

At that time in my life I never anticipated the impact that an organization like RYFO could have on a small band from central California, all I knew was that the concept was incredibly intriguing and captivating. I never anticipated that I would be (nervously) writing this blog a little over a year later. But God’s workings are much much different than ours, and if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that His plans are significantly better than mine.

In 2009 God called my family out of the walls of the church, where my dad was a full-time youth and worship pastor into full-time music ministry. In the past four years, I’ve gone from living in a house, to a basement, to an RV with my two brothers and parents, also known as my band mates.  Before we were called out of the church, I was  leading a comfortable lifestyle with comfortable aspirations. But throughout this journey my heart has been permanently changed. My life is no longer my own, it belongs to the Lord. Now I find myself sharing the hope of Christ with people through music in situations I often feel unprepared for.

Daily I am in contact with artists across the country that do the same, and who are searching for people to come along side them, to pray with them, to encourage them, to keep them accountable. Sometimes all we need is someone to simply “get it”, when we’re stuck on the side of the road for the 8th time with a blown tire or celebrating a holiday with another 10 hour drive.   This is the reason that RYFO resonates with me. It’s meeting artists where they are-in a state of exhaustion, in a state of an unsure future, in a state of feeling alone, and reminding us who we are in Christ. Reminding us that there is a significant purpose behind what we’re doing and that it’s more than just drive, play, sleep, repeat. God is moving in a family of believers who are passionate about redeeming the arts , and I am honored to have the opportunity to share pieces of that story with you.

Jesus Loves You (Unless You’re Famous)

Jesus Loves You (Unless You’re Famous)
By: Rihanna Teixeira

The church has such a wonderful heart. Our passion to serve and help those who are lacking is inspiring. I love hearing stories of the homeless man who is now a pastor because someone stopped to show him the love of Christ. I smile to myself when I see a friend post pictures of their recent trip to the heart of Africa where they fed the hungry and nursed the sick. My heart rejoices when a family member successfully raises the money they need to go to Thailand to rescue the girls in slavery. I love it all.

Growing up in a Christian home and in the church, I’ve seen hundreds of support letters come through from missionaries who are traveling to the most remote parts of the world to spread the gospel. I’ve heard of prayer meetings focused on certain countries and love offerings taken for others.  But I have never seen a support letter or heard someone say that it is their dream to work as a missionary in Hollywood.

I get it. Why would they need us? They have access to literally everything they could ever want and they could surely find their way to a church if they really wanted Jesus. Plus, almost every musician and actor somehow manages to thank “God” in their acceptance speech. Surely, they can figure it out for themselves.

It’s funny how we unknowingly decide who needs Jesus the most based on whether they had caviar or dirt for dinner. I might be going out on a limb here, but I would venture to say that Hollywood is the most forgotten when it comes to God’s children. It’s easy for us to look at the hungry child who has no father and no place to call home and feel that tug on our heart to love them. But, we see a celebrity struggling with drug abuse and we write them off in disgust and pray that our children don’t ever become like them.

Both groups of people are hurting. Both groups are hungry. Both have a need. Yet, only one is accepted.

You see, beyond the champagne and glitter, the awards shows and  club appearances is someone’s daughter. Someone’s son.  We see the surface, the product, the celebrity. But God sees his most prized possession who is lost in a world where everybody knows their name and yet they don’t even know themselves.

My encouragement is this. If God gave you a heart for Africa, go to Africa. If he gave you a heart for single mothers, help single mothers. But if you have a heart for Hollywood, pursue Hollywood. I believe that with our prayers, we will walk into a season where Hollywood will no longer be the forgotten ones among the church body. I believe that with our prayers, celebrities can encounter the living God and find the fulfillment that they so desperately are looking for.

You may not be in the situation where you can up and move to Los Angeles to start ministering to artists, but you are always in a position where you can pray. And if we really believe that prayer changes things, let’s just start there. With prayer.

Pray that God will lead people to serve record label executives and introduce them to Christ.

Pray for artists to really find their voice in the one who gave it to them.

Prayer changes things. Prayer changes people. Prayer sets the captives free.