Monday, November 12, 2012

12 Years of Musical Perspective

Several days ago I posted this status:

After being passionate about music ministry for almost 12 years...I am so humbled by the perspectives God has taught and shown me over the years...It's SO FREAKIN NOT about being that 'cool musician", cause if it is you're never going to reach people, it's empty and worthless. Our dear brothers and sisters throughout the world will be reached because of our LOVE and passion for Jesus. Otherwise our musical efforts are merely in vain.....It's when we forgot about our musical selves, and turn our eyes to the One who gave us our musical passions when radical change starts to happen....

I just wanted to elaborate on what exactly I mean by the above. As many of you dear brothers and sisters know, I am VERY OVERLY PASSIONATE about music ministry. So yeah, simply looking back 12 years to when this whole dream started. 
My dad gave me my first Christian music CD when I was 8 years old (this was also the year I accepted Christ into my heart for the first time in my life, I firmly believe that when this happened, that's when God anointed my heart with a music ministry passion), it happened to be the band Plus One (I feel like this dates me, dang, I'm so FREAKIN OLD). I absolutely fell in love with the colorfully creative lyrics, and just the depth of the meanings. I remember I would stand and sing in my room for hours on own little singing musical world. My dad introduced me to the Christian music radio station "The Refuge" 90.3 when I was 10 years old. I look back on this life and my heart has so many warm memories associated with every single song on that radio station. Christian music got me through some of the most HELLISH times of my life growing up. Maybe that's why I've never grown tired of this genre of music. It's always SO uplifting and full of hope and life. I was seriously THAT GIRL who memorized every song, every melody line, every lyric on that radio station. 

I then discovered and started going to Christian musical festivals (Sonshine and Lifelight Festival) between the ages of 10-18. Every festival, Every concert, every beautiful soul that I got to meet and every precious memory that happened during these beautiful times in life, I will forever hold close to my heart. I wish every one of my dear brothers and sisters in this beautiful life would get the chance to experience what I experienced growing up at these Christian music festivals. This is also where I got the chance to REALLY observe the Christian music scene. My views have changed obviously from 8 years to now  at 20.

I know for a fact, when I was 8 years old, I wanted to grow up to be a Christian musician. and the really smart thing about this situation is that deep at my heart at a young age, I knew that I didn't want to be in the music scene for the money or fame. I never remember having thoughts of  "I WANT TO BE A POPULAR MUSICIAN" which is really strange if you ask somewhere deep inside my soul, I knew that my music passion was not for myself, but for God.

With that said, I noticed that my view was not SO in the Christian music scene sometimes.... As I got older, every concert later, I realized how blind and in the dark I had been with "Christian musicians". Obviously no band is perfect, and never will be.  Several weeks ago at bible study, I was challenged with David Pierce's (founder of the worldwide ministry Steiger International 10 Principles of ministry when it comes to music and the arts in general. There are 3 types of bands:

1.) Christians ministering to Christians
2.) Christians "ministering" in the secular music world but hide their message
3.) Christians who minister to the secular music world and make their message about Jesus KNOWN.

I'm not going to sugar coat this one, I, Aiste, HAVE BEEN SO HURT from various musicians of my past. I will not mention the names of the bands, because I feel like that would be rude and disrespectful on my part. I have forgiven them, and only by God's grace have moved on, and let Him heal my scarred musical Lithuanian soul. Honestly if I wouldn't have gone through those heartaches with various musicians, I don't think I would be the same strong person that I am today. It was HELL for a little while, but God taught me so much during those moments. (and yes, the majority of them were what Christian society calls "Cute young Christian musician men" enough.said) 

Up until a few years ago, I simply thought I was going to major in my worship leading passion, find a church somewhere in Lithuania, Eastern Europe or Russia to be a worship leader at, and life would be well.
I discovered the ministry Steiger International last January, and God completely shook my worship leading passion up. Because of this ministry God lead my heart to, I now see myself using my current music ministry Grazyna Aistra to reach the DARKEST places of Europe and Russia for the rest of my life. As much as I like leading worship in a cute little church (there's obviously always a time and place for that, respectfully) I really believe being a Christian musician for me means reaching society outside the church walls, in the most broken, scarred, and unlikely places that your average Christian musician would most likely never go to.

That sums up where my heart is right now musically ministry speaking. I can't even begin to describe to you dearest friend the COMPLETE PEACE my heart feels. All my life, I've always felt this empty musical hole in my heart, worried how this music ministry passion God called me to would play out. I was SO concerned with thoughts of  "im not good enough, musical society will think I'm stupid, my family and friends will think I'm crazy etc." But I've come to realize, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. It never will. If God called you to your musical passion, He will see you through, and you NEVER have to feel like you don't measure up in musical society. 
Cause reality is, every band can try to make a difference in society and make this world a better place. the end of the day, if Jesus is not at the center of my musical passion...I'm going to break it to you and not hold back, your contribution to musical ministry society is in vain...I mean seriously, will a 12 year old Albanian girl even CARE about your band's "FREAKIN COOLNESS"?....NO...her soul is searching for a melody that only Jesus can give her...(Just saying)

It's not about the money...the fame....the girls....the all comes down to your heart. What is REALLY your intention of your music or art? I know not everyone is called to global music ministry, so whatever God has called you to, passionately embrace it and run after it with all of your heart.

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