Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.--Victor Hugo
Saturday, November 24, 2007
My Music Diary
Music is very intimate. It is powerful in that it speaks to the deepest part of us. Music can open up doors because it communicates in a totally different way. It speaks to your emotions. Music can be calming, energetic, melancholy, or it can lead you places in the spirit world. Walking into the day spa you hear soft jazz or piano music with nature sounds in the background. In the department store you'll likely hear an energetic pop tune. Have you ever walked by one of those trendy gothic stores with the screaming guitars and painful sounding voices booming out into the mall? Or have you ever looked at the people going in and out of those stores? This music makes people feel oppressed. There are songs that bring you back in time and make you cry or make you laugh because of identifying with it. Now have you ever heard anointed music? No matter the music style, this type of music leads one into the presence of God where they feel uplifted and liberated, where the others cannot. I had a music class in college that admitted business owners actually have an agenda when they decide what music to put in their stores. They understand the sway that music has on their customers. With the power that music possesses, it can be used as an outreach tool in our communities.
I began thinking about this yesterday when I went to Books-a-million (akin to CA's Barnes N Noble or Borders) swarming with people (bookstores are always swarming with people). Allow me to take you there: with an almost immidiate overnight transformation of orange and golds to red and greens, Christmas music, and Santa Clause posing with children outside the door, I thought to myself: "one day I will have a bookstore/cafe with music... live music." As I sat in the cafe with Noah I watched all the different people who had come "into town" for the after Thanksgiving sales. It was pure madness as people rushed here and there (barely smiling). But then I glanced at those seated in the cafe sipping on their caramel apple ciders and pumpkin spiced lattes and most were pleasantly talking in quiet tones with relaxed smiles on their faces. I noticed that the holiday music was better heard above the hustle and bustle in the somewhat secluded cafe where people stopped to listen. Could it be the reason for the relaxing effect it had on people here? I believe so. Only one thing could have made it better... live music. Live music compells people to stop and listen.
This leads me to those live musicians (many times young people) in our churches. Our churches have so many talented musicians. Cornerstone Revival Center alone has many talented musicians including two singers/songwriters (David Brazeel; Zane Isaacson) who have already recorded solo projects. These musicians could come play/sing with the anointing and minister to people's needs... simply put: be used by God. Hence the door to the emotions opens up doors to other venues of their lives. Understand, the city where I live is very God oriented and everyone goes to church. You will not likely meet someone who does not love God... remember this is the Bible belt. So I kept thinking: "Live music (not to mention live anointed music) always makes people stop and listen. What a great tool for outreach." They could "see" us and note the difference that God has performed in our lives as well as be ministered to, etc.... How much more powerful would it be to play songs that people stop and pay attention to (live)? That said, it would be so much fun and fulfilling to have a cafe and hire out or allow aspiring Christian musicians to perform and minister in my store.
A side note: I remember as a teenager, a few of the young people went to a cafe in Stockton, CA where a family from Christian Life Center (the Hogues) owned a cafe where they played live music on a certain night every week and it was used as a major outreach tool. I only went one time but enjoyed it thorouhly and it seemed very successful in its outreach. I also did some research on the internet and found this idea to be not so novel. There are many Christian based cafes springing up all over the US that invite contemporary guest artists. Check out Edge64 Cafe in Nebraska, Fishlocker Cafe in Maine, and New Hope Cafe on Staten Island.
Whether or not this dream ever comes to pass, I find it very exciting. This may come about in a studio, a concert at the park, or some other place God may lay on my heart. Of course music is not going to save someone's soul but it (praise and worship) is definitely a powerful tool that confuses the enemy.