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…
By: Rihanna Teixeira
Growing up, we all have big dreams. If you ask a classroom of kindergartners what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll hear answers ranging from astronauts, to doctors, to actors, and teachers. We are born with an internal desire to be and do something great. For me the stage was all I dreamed about.
At the age of six, I discovered my mom’s Amy Grant records (yes, records) and began playing them on repeat. Songs like El Shaddai, Sing Your Praise to the Lord, and Father’s Eyes became my anthem and my family quickly caught on that I had an obsession. Night after night, I would literally spend hours in my room with the music blasting, pretending that I was singing on a large stage, and everyone in the audience was there to see me. Becoming a singer quickly became a focus in my life and at eight years old, my parents finally allowed me to pursue it.
I spent a lot of my time singing and performing at events and in choirs. As I became a teenager, I was a force to be reckoned with. I had no fear in calling and asking random event planners if I could sing at their event. I offered up my talent to anyone who seemed interested. It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I felt like my dreams were finally becoming a reality. I was in Los Angeles for a singing competition and was approached by a man in a shiny suit who claimed that he could make all my dreams come true. My mother and I drove to his office and from there he schmoozed us with a fancy dinner and conversation filled with names of Hollywood big-shots. Before I knew it, I was recording my first demo at Paramount studios; the experience was surreal.
One thing led to another and I found myself on a plane to Atlanta, Georgia to record with a Grammy award-winning producer. This time, I didn’t have my mother, or anyone for that matter, with me. I still remember the fear that overtook me as I stepped off the plane and realized that I would be alone for the next few weeks in a city I knew nothing about. It was during this trip that my voice began to disappear. I remember trying to speak up during the writing sessions if I didn’t like an idea, and I would be quickly shut down. The producer would mock me saying, “I just wrote Mariah’s new album and it’s number one. Do you really think I don’t know what I’m doing?” I ended up recording three songs with him, all of which I hated.
My voice was no longer my own.
Looking back, I realize that what I really needed was support. A ministry like RYFO could have saved me from a lot of anxiety and fear that I was facing alone. I needed someone to process with or just vent to. RYFO’s Host Homes have an amazing opportunity to really speak life back into the areas of musicians lives that may be shut down. I encourage you readers that aren’t part of RYFO’s ministry to consider becoming a host home. In doing so, you could be the one who prevents a musician from losing their voice.
Starting next month we are excited to see the ‘Voice’ of RYFO’s blog begin to expand. The blog was launched in 2012 as a voice of inspiration, and as a vehicle for sharing organizational updates. Aside from a couple of guest blog posts, all the posts since the blog launched have come from the RYFO staff. We recently began discussing how to pour more life into the blog. In doing so we have begun to look outside ourselves, to consider what the blog could look like with a broader team of contributors. We are now in the final stages of forming a team of writers to contribute to the story we are seeking to tell.
The vision for the blog is to tell the story of how the love of Christ is spreading throughout the music community.
This is a massive, multifaceted story! Our desire is to communicate all facets, not just those that are specific to RYFO’s programs. We want the blog to be broadly inspirational. For example, we want to tell the story of how musicians are loving fellow musicians and sharing their faith with them, just as much as we want to tell the story of the life that exists in RYFO’s Host Home program. Another example could be the story that exists to be told about music fans going out of their way to love and serve musicians in various ways. We refer to these fans as “Rebranded Fans” because they’ve transcended the stereotypical music fan persona, and embraced a call to represent Christ to the musicians they encounter. A final example could be the story of a church’s outreach efforts to musicians who live in their city. These are just a few basic examples of how we expect to broaden the story that’s being told through our blog.
Together we are Serving the Voices!