Tobymac and Discipling (Newsletter April ’16)

Music has always been a big part of my life, but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized just how big of a role different Christian bands have played in my walk with Christ over the years.  I listen to Christian rock and worship music while I work out, while I read, and even while I write.  In fact, my Pandora radio mix is playing through my headphones while I write this article.  Christian music is one of the best ways that I connect with God, and am able to refocus my life when I seem to have lost my focus.  So, you could say that music is a huge part of my life. 

We can learn a lot from different Christian musicians as well.  The one that really sticks out in my mind first and foremost is dc Talk.  They changed the way Christian music was looked at, and they paved the way for some of the most influential artists to this date.  But there were others as well.  Rich Mullins really challenged the perception of what Christian music was.  Audio Adrenaline was right there with dc Talk as they paved the way.  Skillet and Thousand Foot Krutch have continued to push the envelope and have created a sound that is allowing them to be able to play to secular crowds, getting the message of Christ out to those that otherwise may never hear it. 

When dc Talk broke up, I was really disappointed, and in fact I still hold out hope that one of these days they will at least put a reunion tour together.  The three members of dc Talk have all gone one to be successful outside of the group.  Kevin Max is now the lead singer of Audio Adrenaline, Michael Tait is with the Newsboys, and Toby Mac has a solo career with his band called Diverse City.  16 of us will be in El Paso this Sunday evening to see Toby, and I can’t wait!  But as I was thinking about this concert this week, I realized something.  As much as music has influenced my life over the years, there are ways that these musicians teach us about Christianity even outside of the music they perform.

Toby Mac is the perfect example.  Let me explain.  This concert that we are going to this weekend, including Toby, has seven bands.  At least two of the bands that will be performing are where they are today directly because of Toby Mac coming along side them, mentoring them, and helping them get opportunities to grow in their music.  Capital Kings and Hollyn, in other words, have been discipled by Toby Mac.  And these aren’t the only musicians that he’s helped along the way.  Jamie Grace may be the most well known artist that was discipled by Toby during her early years.  My first experience with Jamie was at a show where Toby was headlining, and she was on the ticket because of him.

What am I getting at?  We can learn a huge lesson from Toby Mac, dc Talk, and all these other musicians.  When they see someone that is wanting to walk the life they are already walking, they aren’t afraid to help them out.  They aren’t afraid to come along side of them, give them advice, teach them, disciple them, and show them what it really means to be a Christian musician.  But at the same time, I think they make it very clear that the first step is being a Christian.  They know how to disciple and to teach others to walk for Christ.  To follow Christ.  And we need to be doing the same thing.  Those of us that have been following Christ for a while, not that we have it all figured out, need to be willing to come along side others that haven’t had as much experience following Christ, and help them figure it out.  My guess is that someone in your life at some point has discipled you, and you wouldn’t be who you are today if it wasn’t for that person.  Become that person to someone else, and give them the help they need to follow Christ better. God Bless!

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