A “late” Merry Christmas from the BYERS family to all of you!!!
‘Tis the season to get through the barrage of marketing emails from anyone and everyone you’ve ever shared your email address with – I find myself cleaning up my inbox by the hour! I hope to be a breath of fresh air in the midst of all of that.
Since it’s been a few months since you’ve read an update from us I wanted to end the year by sharing what God has been doing in our midst. He has continued to give us grace and a sense of purpose every step of the way. We are seeing the baby, Ryder-John, grow every day and we couldn’t be more blessed by this chubby cheeked addition to our family (photo proof below). He brings us joy every single morning!
First, for all of you that have been unwavering supporters by prayer, financial support and encouragement I want to share some of the story God is writing through this year of transition. Since I accepted a position with Food for the Hungry many have asked, ‘What is going on with The Reversal? How’s it going? Are you able to continue what started a few years ago?’
The short answer is…YES!!! Here are just a few things I’ve learned the past 12 months:
Be a part God’s BIG story.
I’ve said this in many conversations this past year and it still rings very true. Since stepping into a role at Food for the Hungry I’ve been able to put into words what has been the driving force of this ministry from it’s infancy: I desire to invite artists, and those in the music industry, into a bigger story. God is bigger than my career, bigger than this culture and bigger than what I see in front of me on a daily basis. We serve a global, all encompassing Father. However, the entertainment industry is a self-focused endeavor. We are constantly plagued with the questions: How do I look? What do they think of me? Will they like my art? Will it be successful? And ultimately, if it is successful (from the world’s metrics)…what do I do with it? Where is the purpose in all of it?
My new role allows this conversation to be easy. I get to walk with artists to help them make the most of the platform that God has given them in this moment. Your time, talent, relationships and platform DO matter. God has been gracious enough to allow us to be a part of His story and He wants us to be that sliver of light in some of the darkest corners of the world. We were not created to exalt and bring glory to ourselves, although we are tempted to do just that at every turn in our career.
We walk together and we see God doing incredible transformational work all around the globe. We are faced with the tension that we are so important that God would include us in this work but at the same time understand with clarity that we really aren’t that big of a deal. There is something greater at work…
Ministry Happens Everywhere
Does this call to walk with artists look differently than I thought it did in 2010?!?! Of course! I have seen more doors flung open by not having a ‘program’ than I ever did when it was the very thing that kept me up at night.
This year I have traveled further and more often than I have since I was a full-time touring musician. But, I see things in a new light that could not have happened without the last few years of discipling and walking with the people God placed in front of me. I find myself in more green rooms, at more catering tables backstage and tour bus lounges than ever before. And that is where God loves to work. Through relationship, trust and care. Although I have a job to do whenever I visit a tour or artist, that is such a small percentage of what actually takes place. God has put me right in the middle of a community that so often longs for an understanding ear, an encouraging brother to pray with and someone they can trust to go to the deep places in an industry that profits off of face-value perception (the appearance of a ‘perfect’ life).
It has been a learning experience to see God work over a simple cup of coffee or a quick lunch. This year I have learned to never take this time for granted, to [hopefully] shine the light of the Gospel into any and every situation. The music industry desperately needs shepherds and I wake every day to see where He would call me to simply be ‘present’.
The Least of These
Nothing can be more humbling and rectifying than looking into the eyes of the most vulnerable in the world. My favorite part of this year has been any time I have been honored to lead an artist to the forgotten places of the world, to see extreme poverty face to face.
I knew this would be my favorite part of my ‘job’ at Food for the Hungry but I had no idea what He would teach me each and every time I get a new stamp in my passport. Every time I have the opportunity to lead a trip God is faithful to speak, reveal and illuminate more of His character.
***I will be sharing about some of these revelations in more detail on future updates this coming week.
This is a ministry in and of itself. A pastoral role. An opportunity to help others navigate through tension and heartbreaking reality. Most of our days in the West are spent wondering what we’ll have for lunch. Leading others on a trip to see extreme poverty firsthand is heavy but we are always delighted by the overwhelming hope and joy experienced in those places. How do these kids smile when they have so little? Where does this joy come from? Where is the Hope in this situation? Since they obviously have a clarity that I don’t…maybe my circumstances have little to do with my Hope and Joy?!?!
A guide along that path…to see what God is doing constantly, faithfully and mercifully. It gets us outside of ourselves, far beyond our self-consumed Instagram/Facebook lives. To God be the Glory.
In closing, I wanted to share with all of you how God has redeemed and sustained the call He gave me almost 5 years ago. To make disciples in the music industry. He has been faithful.
Stay tuned for more…