I love rock music. Always have. As a bass player, I enjoy listening to the hard rhythms and intricate bass lines provided by bands such as Seether, Nickelback, Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea is my bass idol), and Shinedown. I also find myself lost in the lyrics sometimes – not the lewd, unnecessary lyrics, but the lyrics dealing with personal pain, struggles, contemplations. Some rock songs offer quite an interesting insight into a person’s soul – into the things most of us struggle with. I’m sure that could be said for many music genres, but because I’m a connoisseur of rock, that’s what I know.
I listen to 106.5 WEND most of the time, when I’m actually listening to the radio (I usually listen to audiobooks when my kids are not in the car, but turn to music when I’m running or working in the yard). The other day I was halfway listening to a commercial and heard a man’s voice with a Breaking Benjamin song in the background. It was a familiar song, one I really like, a song about heartache and pain, a “why bother living when you get hurt” kind of song, when the voice began bringing God into the conversation. My ears perked up and I turned the radio up to hear this guy continue to offer that God could have the answers we are seeking and then the invitation . . . . “If you are wondering where God fits in to your life, come find out at First United Methodist in Charlotte . . .”
I was floored. Really? That’s quite edgy for a United Methodist Church to be advertising on the same radio station that advertises for wet T-shirt contests and strip clubs. But, hey, look at their audience? This station is geared toward males between 18 and 30, many are young single professionals, and many live uptown Charlotte where this church happens to be. Very clever advertising. And, very daring move on behalf of a United Methodist Church, for sure!
I looked them up on that radio stations website and the service they are advertising is called “Connect” – this service uses modern rock music to share a message. Not Christian praise music, modern rock music (and some classic rock – I believe they pull in some Springstien, Rolling Stones, etc.) with a message of hope somehow tied in. I think that would be a fun, edgy thing to do and would certainly speak to that demographic.
I’m very curious and would love to check them out one Sunday morning. They are a traditional church, stained glass windows, steeples, etc., and yet we find them stepping out of their box to reach the unreachable (that is a TOUGH demographic to reach). This church is multicultural, with many nationalities represented. It’s just very cool. I was inspired and I have been praying for them that they are successful in their ventures. It can be a very scary thing to step out of your box, out of your comfort zone, and try something new to reach others for the Kingdom. It can stretch you and make you feel as though you’re “pandering” to what others want instead of sticking to your beliefs and values. But can’t we keep our values and theology in tact WHILE we are stepping out of our box? Does it really matter what method we use if we are still preaching the same message, same theology? I hope they are successful. I give God praise for those who are brave enough to step out. Good for them!