by Danny Cox
Danny Cox, a recording artist & the Artistic Director of Kensington Community Church, a multi-site church in Troy, MI, has joined our team of bloggers. He will explore the world of worship, from a multi-site / mobile church® perspective – concentrating on building a worship team out of volunteers, mentoring young musicians (when finding a place to practice is difficult) and what it means to reach out to seekers as a worship leader and team builder. To begin, we thought we’d tell you his story.
My parents bought me my first drum set when I was only 3 or 4 years old and somehow I knew, even then, that music was what I was meant to do. Most of my free time in childhood was spent playing the drums — music was very therapeutic and very powerful. It started to represent who I was and what I wanted to be. Music was becoming my passion and my religion.
I grew up Catholic, but never really personally connected with Jesus or the church. Though there was something intriguing about church and even some of the rituals my heart never seemed to be fully engaged.
When I was about 11 years old I met Don Ritchie, my 6th grade teacher and a follower of Jesus. He asked my parents if they would allow me to meet with a group of my peers early in the morning before school to study the bible. Both my parents agreed and throughout that year I met the person of Jesus.
Mr. Ritchie, like me, was a fan of great music and great drummers!! He had all kinds of old recordings of the greatest jazz drummers and musicians of all time – Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Art Blakie, Oscar Peterson. He taught me about Christ and encouraged my music. At the end of the year, kneeling at the altar of Don Ritchie’s Baptist church, I gave my life to Christ. I wish I could say it was all bliss from there but after that year with Mr. Ritchey, even though he became a life-long family friend, I slowly wandered away from Christ. For the next 20 years music once again became my God.
My life and identity was built around being a musician. When things were good with my music, I was good. When things weren’t going well with my music, I was a mess. I was filled with anxiety, depression and struggling mentally. I desperately needed a change.
Around this time, a friend invited me to play drums for Easter services at Kensington Community Church in Troy Michigan. Dave Wilson, one of the founding pastors was speaking that weekend and he kept saying the phrase, “Jesus is calling you home”. After hearing him say this for the third or fourth time I broke. I started to weep. I continue to weep for the next ½ hour. I had no idea what was happening. I asked my friend who had invited me to play and she simply said “Danny that is what the Holy Spirit feels like when He moves”. In that moment I was free, literally freed, of my anxiety, depression and longing. That was the moment that started my journey back to the only true source of life and identity; back to the person I had met and given my life to so many years before; back to Christ.
I have been trying my best to follow Jesus for the last 12 years of my life and to disciple others along the way. I have been on staff for 8 years at the same church where Jesus ambushed my life, Kensington Community Church. I am fascinated with being an artist, musician and leader for Jesus. Over the coming months I would like to humbly discuss what it means to be a musician and artist for the church – and what it means to evangelize from the place of a musician; from the place of a worship leader. Join me here – every few weeks – to continue this conversation.