DMB & Tribes

davematthewsbandI remember the moment so clearly. Years ago I was sitting in a car with a buddy of mine from Canada. We had just come from lunch and he wanted to play me a song on his car CD player.  It felt like I was in the Brady Bunch…just listening to the newest tunes on Greg Brady’s record player. My buddy said, “You’ve got to hear this band.” What proceeded out of the speaker system captured me.  It was a song by an eclectic, self-named group:  Dave Matthews Band. I had never heard of them before and certainly had never heard a rock band use violins and woodwinds. It was magical.  I never forgot the moment. It was the start of my journey in the DMB tribe. 

 

Years later, my wife and I and two other couples (some of our best friends on the planet) took a long road trip to The Gorge. The Gorge is a premiere concert venue in the middle of Washington State. Each Labor Day weekend thousands of DMB followers flock to The Gorge for a weekend of music and togetherness. It was surreal. Pure devotion unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any church service (and I’ve been in quite a few of them). They didn’t have FANS they had FOLLOWERS. They were a part of the DMB Tribe – perhaps recently or perhaps since the beginning…regardless, they were followers. 

 

This morning I was sitting in my truck before grabbing some coffee and I began to read the notes on the inside artwork of a Dave Matthews Band greatest hits CD.  In it Steve Morse, a reviewer with The Boston Globe, refers to himself as a “longtime DMB believer”. A believer.  Hmmm.  Believer.  Not just a listener. Not just a fan.  This guy is a follower. And so are many thousands of others.  DMB has a Tribe of Followers.

 

How can the church learn from this?  How can we have people become interested in the claims of Christ and in His agency on this earth: the church, but then see them move closer and closer to the things of Jesus and become His followers? How do leaders create an environment in which there are seekers and followers? 

Any thoughts?  Let me know.

One comment

  1. Ray Shelly says:

    This is an interesting concept/comparison.

    Thinking about DMB: If you go and see a DMB concert, they will put on an awesome show and simply amaze you with their great talents and high energy (Carter Buford is incredible… though it’s too bad about Leroy Moore). The band created an amazing “new” sound that has attracted a huge following. All the fans in this following know the music inside and out, the band members first and last names, where they grew up, and probably their dogs name(s). So when the fans see DMB live, they know exactly what they’re going to get: A great show put on by a great band, a band feel like they know (or know about). But that’s all the band can give them: a good show.

    Three things I’ve been pondering lately:

    First is Ephesians 1:9a, He made known to us the mystery of His will… The more we hunger after and direct our worship to our Lord, the more he is going to reveal His will for us.

    Second is in Mark 6. This is the passage about Jesus in Nazareth. He was only able to do a couple miracles because too many people already made up their minds about Him. Sometimes, especially in a church setting (unfortunately), there are too many people that think they have all of Gods “stuff” worked out, and then God doesn’t have any room to do His work.

    Third is something our Childrens Pastor, Tami, said after youth group a few weeks ago. That night, we had sang Hungry (I’m Falling On My Knees) during worship. She had said that in the middle of the song, she realized, almost in tears, looking around at all the kids, that most of them weren’t hungry at all – they were only curious.

    You may have followers of a particular band, some are curious about the band, some might even know everything there is to know about that band, they can go to a show and get completely satisfied.

    For Christians, the ones that are merely curious (being intentional or not) won’t ever grow in Christ. The same goes for the “know-it-all’s” as illustrated in Mark 6.

    So…

    The more I learn about leadership, the more I realize that my role is: Not to see how many bible verses I can cram into a fifteen minutes, or play a worship song that will make everyone raise their songs on the chorus. Not that those things couldn’t be useful tools in certain instances, but I feel my job, as a leader, is to simply encourage the worship of our great God.

    This, of course, is different for everyone. Everyone has been given different talents and, therefore, worship in different ways. I, for an example, happen to be a musical nut… Give me an instrument and I’m good to go! And since my main talent involves music, my job (in order to be obedient) is to not only use music as a tool to worship the Lord, but to disciple others to do so as well.

    (Sorry, I didn’t think this would be this long!)

    So, this is what I think:

    1. Leaders need disciples
    2. Leaders shouldn’t have too many disciples
    3. Leaders need to recognize the talents of each disciple
    4. Leaders need to encourage those talents (“don’t bury your talents”)
    5. Leaders need to let disciples use and expand their talents
    6. Leaders need to let go

    If the talent of a particular disciple involves leadership, then that disciple should become a leader. This is key!

    I think one of the biggest problems in body of Christ is the lack of discipleship, and this is due to the fact that we have too many leaders that aren’t stepping up into their leadership roles.

    The body of Christ is, first, based on a relationship with Him, and second, based on a relationship with one another. DMB can cater to the masses, but they don’t “know” anyone in their congregation.

    All this to say: Good leaders coming along side, or forming small groups, and training them up, is KEY. Isn’t that what Jesus did? If the church as a whole can grasp this concept, we’ll have to reserve The Gorge every week just to have service!