July 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

Several days ago I had a chance to enjoy two world-class drummers in concert.  I knew well in advance about these two players.  Their resumes were impressive and they could flat out deliver with some most impressive chops.  Watching these guys play was a ton of fun.

But here’s the thing:  world class drummers use the same basic, fundamental rudiments that every middle school drummer uses.  World class players never outgrow the need to practice and master with increasing speed/dexterity the very same rudiments all drummers practice.  Middle school drummers learn the single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddles, double paradiddles, ratamacues and so forth (there are twenty-six standard rudiments in all). World class players still practice the single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddles, double paradiddles, ratamacues, etc.

You never outgrow the need to practice and master the fundamentals. 

One reason, not the only reason, but one reason why some seasoned Christians get stuck and stale is because they somehow thought the basic fundamentals of Christian growth could be neglected.  They have wrongly convinced themselves that Christian fundamentals are for beginners only.  Can you imagine a world class drummer saying, “I think I’m beyond practicing the rudiments, don’t you think?”  No, you’re not.  You never outgrow the need to practice and master the single stroke roll. 

If you are prone to get stuck and stale as a believer, what can you do?  Return to your rudiments.  Such as …

  • Go to church.  There is nothing in scripture that says the longer you are a believer the less you should gather with other Christians. Go to church and don’t see how remote you can remain while you are there.  Be orderly and prompt, savor communion, receive the word of God as an eager listener ready to do what it says, and participate fully. 
  • Connect with God personally through prayer.  Return to the rudimentary teaching of Jesus as he teaches us to pray what’s commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Taste each phrase and make it yours for where you are in your life as of today.  Ask for daily provision. Ask for grace as you confess and own your sins.  Ask for a gracious heart that does not grow bitter.  Give God full permission and invite Him to have unhindered influence.
  • Trust and obey.  My friends, we never outgrow the rudiment of trusting that God is good and that His commands are not burdensome. Offer yourself as a servant completely available and ready to the bidding of God. Nothing is off limits. Your time, your money and your abilities are available for God to use as He wills. God is at work all around you and He is inviting you to partner with Him in ministry.

The next best thing for you may be a return to your rudiments – the always needed building blocks of a thriving, healthy faith. 

Want to hear world-class player Steve Gadd explain some of his chops?  Watch this:

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