Dec 19, 2009
I have been a believer in Christ since 1986, which is half of my life. Now that I am older and wiser, I am learning a thing or two about the importance of relationships. Before I dive into my thoughts on the subject, I thought I would share about one particular relationship with the publisher of Christian Musician Magazine.
I read in the last issue, Christian Musician Magazine’s own Bruce Adolph is celebrating his 15th year in publishing. Congrats Bruce! That in itself is an amazing feat of extremely hard work and hard faith. These days, many print magazines are no longer being printed, some are available online, or they have gone out of publication. I am amazed at Bruce and the dedication he has shown over the years in his mission, his commitment to Christian musicians, and his extraordinary people skills. Way to go, Bruce!
I first met Bruce back in 1996. I was working at a music store in Harrisburg, PA and picked up the phone, ready to sell a keyboard or pro audio item to the person on the other end of the line. However, on the other end this time was a salesman. “That’s what I am,” I thought to myself as I listened to him sell me on the benefits of taking out an ad in an event guide for a Christian music festival called, Creation Fest. Bruce was very good at selling ads, he has that way about him!
I was familiar with the festival, having attended it several years before. As Bruce was sharing about the ad, my wheels started turning. I thought to myself, “Hmm, I wonder who provides the music gear the bands use on stage at the Creation Festival?” After Bruce finished his sales pitch, I asked him that very question. I shared that if they needed any help, I could round up what they needed, drive a truck to the festival, and set it up.
So, Bruce being the connector he is, hooked me up with the founder and director of the festival, Tim Landis. I called Tim right away and asked him about their gear needs. It just so happened that the source they had been using in previous years could not provide everything the festival needed. Great, let me help! So, Tim gave me his list, I got prices, and got the gig! I rented a big Ryder truck the day before the festival, loaded up the gear, and drove the few hours to Agape Farm.
After arriving at the festival, I met Bruce and we connected immediately. I made myself available to help Bruce at his booth, which made Bruce happy, because he was always super busy meeting people, schmoozing, and doing what Bruce does best, relationship building. Serving and building relationships are keys to blessings!
Ok, this story is getting long, but here is the cool point I want to share with you. Through meeting and serving Bruce way back in 1996, I met Charlie Peacock, who was in the next booth over from me promoting his “At The Crossroads” book, and whom I would have speak at one of my indie music conferences in Nashville 10 years later.
Little did I know the very next year, in 1997 I would get the call to again provide gear for Creation Festival, and that the festival would be moved to Hershey Park, PA because of flooding at the Agape Farm. Little did I know I would run into a representative for Tascam, Doug Gould, whom I had first met while working at another music store in Washington, DC 10 years earlier. Tascam provided recording gear to record the festival live. Another person I met that year at Creation Fest 1997 was Joe Battaglia, who asked me to mix down the live recordings. Little did I know those mixes would be used for a documentary shown on PBS called, “Message in the Music.”
Little did I know that at Creation Festival 1997 I would meet a studio owner who had a great studio I could work out of, so I did. I stayed there for 6 years, and took over the studio and ran it on my own after his business went flat.
Little did I know then that six years later, in 2003 I would make the move to Music City, Nashville, TN and start a new indie music organization called “Indieheaven,” hold successful music conferences, and see the entire CCM industry be turned upside down 6 years later, in 2009.
Little did I know in 1997 that Bruce would ask me to write a column for this very magazine, one that I am still writing for! Little did I know Bruce would start his own conferences and ask me to teach at the main conference in Redmond, WA the past 4 years. Little did I know in 2010 I will be teaching at all of his CMS conferences!
Through that one seemingly insignificant phone call, taken in a small music store, would I find myself still enjoying the fruit from the tree, planted from the seed, I call “Bruce Adolph.” I could go on and on and on about relationship seeds in my life that have sprouted, taken root, and grown into a vibrant tree full of fruit. Fruit that has not only fed myself, but others. That is how you can tell fruit is good, by how many it feeds. The more it feeds, the better the fruit.
I can also share about seeds I have neglected, that may or may not have been planted, may not have taken root in fertile soil, that may not have been tended to during the sapling time. That may have been forgotten about when fruit appeared and not harvested. Fruit that withered on the vine and were eaten by birds. I wonder now what might have transpired had I cultivated those relationships?
Relationships are a lot like seeds, and produce fruit if we tend to them, nurture them, and even prune them from time to time. I encourage you to be open to planting seeds of relationship, and tend to those that have already sprouted. Do not forsake the most important relationship, which is with Christ Jesus in the center, and then the relationship with your family, and then people you know and who know you. I learned that lesson as well, there are rings of relationships, much like a bullseye. Concentrate on the innermost rings and do not neglect them.
You will find that God uses relationships to create His-Story, and Your-Story. Your story becomes part of history! The more relationships you create and cultivate, the more that happens in your life and mission. I have seen this first hand! So, what are you waiting for? Can you relate?
Keep up the excellent faith-work!
let’s be independent… together!
indieheaven- [ artist profile | distribution ]
broken records- [ artist label ]
indie impact [ promotion | radio | booking | showcase ]
indie university [ education | articles | videos | conference ]
mohr management- [ artist management ]
Check out our other sites
inspiresong – [ songwriter resources | retreat | contest ]
ih news – [ indie news ]
Be My Friend on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter!
Be a Fan on Facebook!