Musicians are not the ideal neighbors. We tend to be noisy when the rest of the neighborhood is quiet and awake when everyone else is asleep. We are generally not around on the weekends, so we may not even know many of our neighbors. We don’t have a normal schedule or lifestyle. Most of us accept unusual schedules as a normal part of music ministry. We often assume that the people who live around us understand and even applaud us for being in ministry. But most often, that is not the case. Many times our neighbors simply see us and our music as annoying.
These same neighbors need Jesus. But what are they to think when His representatives consistently annoy them? What are we doing to show the love of God to our next-door neighbors?
Next Door Neighbors
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
All too often we think of our neighbors only as the fans we meet at shows or the people we encounter in our travels. We tend to forget about the people who live right next door, those who are literally our neighbors. If we could get an honest answer from them, what would our next door neighbors say about us, our band, and our ministry?
Christian music ministers tend to expect a certain amount of grace and patience to be given by the people around us because we assume they understand and support what we do. But we have habits that annoy people, especially people who live on a more normal schedule. We come home in the middle of the night and unload gear; sometimes we are not as quiet as we could be. We practice and practice and practice, the same songs over and over again. Everyone who can hear us has the song memorized but not necessarily because they love it. We get upset when people call or text us too early in the morning but sometimes forget what time it is and call or text people later at night. We are free to live on an unusual schedule but that can be annoying to our neighbors. What are we doing to thank our neighbors for putting up with us? How are we demonstrating love to them? When was the last time we went out of our way to serve our next door neighbor?
Prayer: Father, open my eyes to the needs of my next door neighbors. Cause me to be more sensitive to things that I do to annoy them. Show me ways I can demonstrate Your love to them.
This is an excerpt from The Christian Musicians Devotional.
is 365 days of Scripture, prayer and commentary specifically for Christian musicians. It will help you through the challenges we all face in music ministry.
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