I had breakfast the with Arts Director of the Romeoville campus of Community Christian Church, and he shared with me a GREAT story from a past weekend service.
As with a lot of us, Greg had a musical life prior to accepting Christ, and played guitar in any number of metal bands (he ROCKS by the way). Quite a few of Greg’s band mates have since come to Christ, and serve with him in Romeoville. Recently Greg invited a drummer from a past band to come and play with their CCC band, got him the charts and the music so that he could be ready to play.
Here’s the cool part. He got a phone call mid-week telling Greg that he couldn’t rehearse the music. Greg thought that perhaps the recording was bad, or something administrative like that. The drummer told him that everytime he started to rehearse, he kept getting distracted by the lyrics. The lyrics seemed to say so much that he felt he had to listen to them instead of rehearsing. I think that’s awesome!!!
The reason that I think this is “post” worthy, is the risk that Greg took. He not only ask a non-believer to come and serve “on-stage”, but this dude had never set foot in Greg’s church. God blessed that risk. Not only was Greg’s team energized for the morning, by another skilled musician, but the drummer was blessed as well. I don’t know whether he’s yet accepted Christ, but by Greg’s description, he’s open to coming back, and that’s promising.
I wonder if we as church leaders aren’t missing a couple of opportunities, when we limit the instrumentalists that serve with us at church to “believers”. I think we have all been in the situation where we either have to do without an instrument because we don’t have anyone on the team to play, or our “guy” has served 58 consecutive sundays and might be burning out.
Most all of the music directors/worship pastors that I know have a history of some sort, playing in bands, and have quite a few musical contacts in the secular world. Why not ask them to come hang out and play. For me, it’s been a great way to re-connect with old friends, and a good way for them to experience God in a new way. My other church band mates have always welcomed the new guy with open arms, and to a man, the new guy has always come back to help out again, and in many cases eventually accepted Christ.
I in no way endorse a “non-believing” vocalist to be serving on stage unless it is perhaps in a choral setting. However, I feel when it comes to instrumentalists, we are missing a potential win-win situation for us (increase team depth) and them (a God experience).
I’d be curious to “hear” your thoughts.