Back in February while attending the Twin Oaks Mission Conference I met Andres Garza. Andres is the head of City to City for all of Latin America. City to City is a missions organization which focuses on church planting in major cities. Andres is also the pastor of San Pedro Iglesia in Monterrey, Mexico. As we talked and shared about the ministries we’re involved with he came up with the idea to have me come and help lead a seminar for church musicians to explore the ideas of Gospel Identity, Excellence, and Networking for musicians both inside and outside of the church.
While the seminars came together very quickly, I can trace the roots of these topics back for the last 10 years or so. As I progressed in both church music and music outside of the church I found myself fumbling for words and ways to describe what it is I do and how to articulate my feelings and thoughts about how I wanted to approach to these two very different worlds.
The seminar had four sessions and took place on Friday and Saturday, May 13th-14th. Friday was an introductory session and I shared about my background as a musician and the ministry work I’ve done in St. Louis, the work Missy and I will be joining in Perth, Australia, and I outlined my three topics for Saturday.
Saturday saw us explore gospel identity during the first session. We discussed questions such as, "As a musician how does the gospel impact our approach to music inside and outside of the church?"
Session two explored excellence and how that must be pursued with the understanding that our identity is rooted in the gospel of Jesus. We also discussed how the standards and expectations of excellence vary when we’re playing music outside of our church community.
In the final session we looked at the networking and what it means to connect and cultivate as musicians.
The response to the seminars was overwhelmingly positive and I’m thankful for that because I was extremely nervous beforehand. I’m quite comfortable being on stage singing and performing but speaking and sharing ideas like this was was a completely new experience for me. The other night as I was sharing with some musician friends about the sessions and trying to explain the experience I told them it was similar to debuting a bunch of new songs. When we play new songs we usually say maybe next time we’ll try this song here and this song as an opener. Maybe we change this lyric up and focus on bringing the dynamic down. And the same can be said about these seminars. The material played well but there are certainly things I’ll rearrange and state differently should I have the opportunity to do a seminar like this again.
Below I’ve included some photos to show the timeline of my adventure.