Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stories developing Next 2 the Tracks #1

I have found that some of the greatest opportunities to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ seem to develop when I am playing with my band (Next 2 the Tracks), promoting my band, or connecting with other bands. I want to share some stories and hopefully these will resonate with you in a way that helps us all to see God working and playing more in the world and discovering what we can do to join God in what is already being done....

A few months ago we were playing at Ft. Bliss Army Base in El Paso, TX. It was amazing to me how appreciative the people there were that we came and played for them. I lived in the El Paso area for a long time and we have played show after show there but there was something different about when we went to them. We played for 4 hours and the people went crazy. We stayed and hung out, listened to people’s stories, and met tons of new friends until everything shut down on base for the night. People wanted to take pictures and help us load our gear. It was a really great show!

The thing that struck me is that none of these people came to any of our other shows that we promoted and advertised. But, when we went to where they lived and where they hung out, not only were they accepting and appreciative, but they were genuinely honored and amazed that we would come hang out with them. They thanked us over and over again and we were were in awe because we were honored to be there and to be a part of people’s lives that do so much to serve and protect others. When I think about the church, I wonder if we are missing out on this. We do most of what we do inside our church buildings and want people to come, not even to a neutral place, but to where we hang out and live, so that we can do ministry to them. Next 2 the Tracks went to Fort Bliss and didn’t just perform for them or rock their world, but we rocked with them. We lived with them for a night, we shared with them, we told our stories and they shared so much about their lives with us. We talked about life and pain, we talked about loss and fear, we talked about their journeys all over the world and where God is in their lives and in the world. All of this happened because we went to them. We went to their turf where they were in their greatest comfort zone. Luke 9 reads: "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere." How can we not just go to church, but be the church on the turf of others?

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