When my friends and I formed our band, The Summer Country, we spent a day discussing vision. Why did we want to play music in Nashville? What impact did we see ourselves having on the city? How did we want to achieve our goals?
During this discussion, we wrestled through the idea of merchandise. What would we make to sell and why? For the last seven years, all I had ever wanted to sell were recordings and books. I never even entertained the idea I would once again make the standard rock and roll Tshirt/sticker/button spread. If selling records exclusively was good enough for Fugazi, it was good enough for me.
Eventually, I conceded. We could in the future make non-record or book merchandise to sell. But I made a condition. For every normal business decision The Summer Country made, I reserved the right to do one punk thing. If we made Tshirts, for example, I would also have stencils made of our logo. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to commit vandalism. They could spray their car hood or the back of a hoodie. They could create their own merchandise without having to buy it from me.
So the point of that story is this: I have musical heroes. I look up to Fugazi, Piebald and Meneguar for what they created and how they created it. When it comes to music, I want to do the kinds of things those guys do. I know in the past I've talked about people turning musicians into idols, but I read something in James which made me rethink the subject of admiration.
James 5:10-11 says, "As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured." Then he uses Job as the example. Later, in verses 16-18, James writes, "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit."
It's okay to have heroes. We should find inspiration in what others do. Paul once wrote, "Follow me as I follow Christ." But looking at the condition of the church in America, and definitely the church in Nashville, I wonder how many people here really admire the heroes of the Bible. If we look up to Elijah, David, and Paul, wouldn't we see more people doing what they did? Would it become normal for us to meet a Christian who wanted to tell people about Jesus, pray for them, and expect to see results?
Maybe we would see a change in the dead religious culture of Christianity if we found inspiration from heroes in the Bible. And I don't mean that in a daily-devotional inspiration way where we feel good in the morning as we read about what other men did in the past. I mean it in a way where we allow the stories of godly men to motivate us into action. I want to see Christians read the Book and do what those guys did.