DJ for Jesus

I used to dream of being a disc jockey. I have always had such a love affair with music that I figured the perfect job would be choosing and spinning tracks for other people’s enjoyment. During my clubbing days, I would envy the guy or girl who selected the songs that got people moving on the dance floor. That was many years ago and although I’m not playing records to get people dancing, I am being blessed with the opportunity to move people through the medium of music.

music_saves_my_soulWe recently started having a mid-week prayer service at our church – something I suggested and was put in charge of coordinating. Each week, another church member and I put our heads together and come up with a short service that reflects a particular theme (praying for our church, praying for the sick, praising God, etc). She then selects an inspirational story to share with the group and I select two songs.

Since our regular pianist can’t attend on Wednesday evenings, we play professionally recorded tracks over the sound system. Honey graciously “spins the tracks” from the sound booth, which allows me to remain at the front with the group. We have listened to a wide range of musicians – from acappella to southern gospel to soul – a nontraditional mix that allows us to step outside of what we’re used to hearing in the sanctuary.

Choosing the songs for this gathering isn’t always easy. In fact, there have been a few times that I have been terribly stressed as I’ve tried to find a song that properly reflects the subject matter of the service. During those times, I have simply prayed for guidance and sat back in amazement as the perfect tune would practically fall into my lap.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There are weeks when those in attendance are singing along, swaying back and forth in joy, or silently weeping. Young or old, rich or poor, they are living evidence of music’s universal appeal.

So, each week I get to live out a slightly altered version of my dream – one that is much more Jesus-centered and spirit-filled. And I am blessed beyond measure.

After the glitter fades

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

Soon after we started attending our church a few years ago, I remember talking to a couple of my coworkers about how wonderful the people were and how much we were enjoying our time with them on Sunday mornings. As I heaped praise on what seemed to me at the time to be as close to perfect as a church could possibly get, one of the coworkers (who had himself previously been a pastor) smiled knowingly and told me I was in the “honeymoon phase.” His words have rang true so many times over the past three years.

It is very easy to only see the surface, the cover of the book. It’s just as easy to become disillusioned when the new wears off and the gritty, unrefined reality of a situation is exposed, but it’s bound to happen sooner or later. It didn’t take long for me to realize that much like any other church, mine was far from perfect.

Human relationships are always complicated – whether in the workplace or the church pew, and there were many Sundays when the tension seemed heavier than air. And, I regrettably admit, there were many times when I considered quitting altogether. Thankfully, I persevered.

Now, many months later, I’m starting to believe that these are the times that are truly the most rewarding – when we stop looking at the world and ourselves through rose-tinted glasses, get our hands dirty, and do what needs to be done in order to survive. I’m witnessing a spirit of renewal – both in the congregation and within myself.

It isn’t always easy to make the right decisions or choose the right paths, but with God’s help and guidance, I know our church isn’t only going to survive… we’re gonna shine!