1. the quality of being new, original, or unusual.
"the novelty of being a married person wore off"
2. a small and inexpensive toy or ornament.
"they brought the novelty of a Christian DJ to their church outreach"
Our first experience with ministry together, stems from being fired together at the same time (that’s another blog). For both of us, we experienced the Spirit of the LORD, not only being clear that we needed to move on from that place, but He also provided a direction that we should definitely take. It just took us a while to recognize the direction He was leading. We decided to call the church we were attending at the time, and simply let them know we are available for ministry, but we weren’t really sure what we could do. They connected us with the youth pastor. So, we met with him and we hit it off pretty good. We both had the same relationship with our personal music preferences and church. His preferred taste of music was something you wouldn’t expect to hear at church. He was into Christian metal. So even though our music tastes were different, we both had similar experiences in the church.
Our youth pastor got excited about what we did with music, and tried to connect us with a bunch of different people in ministry. Once people understood we both had backgrounds in the music industry, they were more interested in the TMZ type of stuff, rather than hearing us out about the dark, and evil stuff the industry does to control people. People were more interested to hear music business gossip type stuff, rather than hear about our desire to teach the truth of the Word. We wanted to let people know about the dark motives of the music biz, but also wanted to team up with ministries to try and expose the music biz. It was tough to communicate…
Once the turntables came out, we were immediately met with people saying things like, “Oh, you can play at this youth event, or this outreach, or church event, etc.” While we wanted to leverage our experience with music for ministry purposes, and some of those events, etc. we did had some spiritual effectiveness, our personal experience with having the church support just wasn’t fully made available to us.
We were invited to entertain, not to teach, not to share, not to serve.
While we connected with others who were a part of the Hip-Hop culture, and other counter-culture walks of life, we realized that a lot of them were having the same sorts of challenges. We were trying to walk in the ways of the LORD, but when congregations saw how we dressed, listened to how we talked, and learned about our music, it still was about entertainment. It wasn’t about serving the LORD’s purposes in the Gospel. We were expecting to be a part of a spiritual work, yet we were met with green rooms filled with skittles being separated by color, before we got on stage. When we were introduced, they considered our entertainment, to be part of their “worship.” It was weird.
So why are we sharing this?
We know that there are a lot of people out there, with similar backgrounds that come from cultures like we did, that are trying to make a difference in the church. We know that a lot of them have a mind to speak things pertaining to the Gospel, but aren’t taken serious because of appearance or background. We’re here to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight of faith the way the LORD has equipped you!
By no means have we “made it” in ministry. No one does until we’re in the presence of the LORD. That said though, the LORD has given us the faith and endurance to persevere through people treating us like a novelty, instead of a valued part of the body of Christ. For fifteen years we struggled, to the point where we even walked away from music for some of those years. Still, the LORD is faithful to ensure that our purpose in Him is fulfilled. Here we are today now, fifteen years deep into full time ministry, serving the LORD the way that we feel He has equipped us. We’re still not fully understood or accepted in the whole body of Christ, but the LORD’s work in us, and through us, has multiplied fruit for His glory anyway.
If you find yourself discouraged by how Christians are treating you and your manner of service, knowing that your manner of service is Biblical, Spirit-led, and sincere, just keep going! It might not look like much is getting done, but we’re here to say that, there’s always a small group somewhere that values the people of God as more than a novelty. Lean on the LORD to endure the frustration, stay true to His Word, and He will place you in the position He designed for your ministry to prosper for His glory, to the degree that He desires. Don’t be afraid to separate from those who don’t value how the LORD is using you, knowing that the LORD has designed proper and good connections for us all. Your gift, as much as ours, is intended to bring Him glory. Let the LORD direct the terms, and over time, you’ll find that He’s leading you to the people that value His work in you – just like He has for us. And don’t forget to praise the LORD along the way!