I Was Conned into Following Jesus
Charlie Lair worked at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church as the artist-in-residence, guitar teacher, and youth band leader. In 9th grade, I had started learning how to play guitar. A friend on the bus recommended I take lessons from Charlie, so I went home, talked to my parents about taking lessons, called Charlie, and promptly began lessons.
Now, I had always been interested in learning the guitar – my dad had a couple sitting around the house. But now, someone who actually knew what they were doing was going to help me figure out how to really play.
As an introverted 9th grader, who had attended four different schools from 6th grade – 9th, I struggled to make friends, let alone meaningful connections. Music felt easier. I was more comfortable listening to music and learning songs. Charlie and I had a mutual passion for shredding, but he also expressed genuine interest in me as a person. Over time, I grew to trust him.
During one guitar lesson, I shared my dream of becoming a professional musician. Charlie replied, “Well, if you want to be a real musician, you have to get experience playing with others. You should join the youth band.” So, I joined.
I thought I was joining the youth band for musical experience alone. It didn’t take long for me to realize there was so much more to this band than I thought.
They welcomed me into their fold – long before they talked directly to me about Jesus. They stuck with me all through high school. I first experienced Jesus’ love in community through playing in this youth band. These people loved me so genuinely and deeply. We created friendships that are still going strong today - a couple of them were even groomsmen in my wedding a decade later.
My journey to become a worship leader and music director in Jesus’ church started and lasted because the people I practiced my hobby and passion with showed me Jesus. I experienced His presence through a bunch of high school kids, who wanted to melt faces for Jesus.
Written by: Nick Taylor
CrossPoint Director of Worship and Art