Aaron Anderson | CLI Resident Young Adult Pastor
When I was in 4th grade, I lived in a small town in Texas and I had a friend named Tyler who I thought was the coolest dude I’d ever met. He played Pokemon so I wanted to play Pokemon. He had a crush on this one girl so I had a crush on the same girl. He walked pigeon toed so I pretended I was pigeon toed. I remember the first time he invited me to hang out at his house. The first thing I noticed was this bright orange drum set. I had never been that close to a drum set before and I was fascinated by it. He saw me staring at it and asked if I knew how to play and I said I had no clue. So he said, “Let me show you how it is done.” I don’t know if he was really a good drummer or not, but from what I remember he dropped a really sweet beat and then handed me the sticks and said, “You try.” I sat at the drum set and could not get the coordination to play anything. I was super embarrassed and defeated and I vowed to myself that one day I would learn how to play that drum set. Not just because Tyler was doing it or I wanted to be cool for playing an instrument, but because I was captivated by the beats you could make and because I wanted to prove to myself that I could.
When I moved to Washington, during my 6th grade year, my new school had a band (unlike my elementary school in Texas) and I begged my parents to let me join. So naturally I joined percussion and learned how to read music and keep a beat. They asked if I wanted to learn a fairly difficult snare part and I stupidly agreed to it. I played it mostly correct but there were sometimes I still messed up. When I played in my first concert ever, we teamed up with a band from another school which was learning the same music as we were. There was drummer from that school who was more experienced and learned the same snare part as I did, and as we rehearsed together something strange happened. As soon as we both played the snare part, I didn’t mess up once. When I was trying to do it on my own I was making mistakes every time, but as soon as it became a team effort and I had the confidence of someone doing it with me, I nailed the part.
2000 years ago when Jesus was doing His ministry on Earth, teachers were considered the “cool kids” around (much like someone who plays in a band today would be). Everyone wanted to be taught by the prestigious teachers of the day and you were looked up to if you traveled around with one. Jesus gathered a band of unimpressive guys to teach them about the Kingdom and show them how to live and love one another as God intended. When He told them He wanted them to get that message to the whole world, I am sure their mouths must have dropped. These were just normal guys who no one would have voted “most likely to succeed”. He made a promise to them though that must have calmed their nerves, even if only a little bit. In Acts 1:8 before Jesus ascended back into Heaven he said:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
These normal guys had this seemingly impossible task of making sure the world knew about what Jesus had done by giving His life on cross and about the example of He gave of true obedience to the Father. The truth is there was no way they could have accomplished that on their own, but in Acts 2 the Holy Spirit arrives just as Christ promised and the church explodes. 3000 people decide to follow Jesus that day and it has grown ever since. Here is the deal though; Jesus did not just give the 12 disciples the task of spreading that message around the world. That responsibility has been passed to us today and we all have a part in building the Kingdom.
So what unique gifting and passions has God given you that you can use to spread that message to world? Each of us has a special gift and we are all passionate about various things that can be used to creatively love others as Jesus did and to tell the world about Him. Maybe it is through music. Perhaps it is through making videos and posting them on YouTube. There is no limit to the way God can use each and every one of us to accomplish the task He has given. You may say there is no way you could ever make an impact and build the Kingdom the way the disciples did. Maybe not on your own, but you have the power of the Holy Spirit just as much as they did! I wasn’t able to play my snare part perfectly on my own, but when I had the help and confidence of someone with me, I was unstoppable. You have the help and confidence of Someone all the time and that is the Holy Spirit.
So what has God uniquely gifted you to do? What are you passionate about? You are never too young or too old to make a difference and build the Kingdom. Just like my friend Tyler rocking out on the drums, handing me the drumsticks and saying, “You try.” Jesus gave us the example and now He is saying, “You try.” But this time we have the full confidence of His power working in and through us.
P.S. I did learn how to play the drum set and, yes, I was in a band.