My Faith Journey

My Faith Journey

But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

John 5:34

Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I joined the school orchestra as a violin player and sang in the glee club. Later, in high school, I received a guitar for Christmas and devoted as much time as possible to mastering it. I played in several rock bands during my high school and college years and eventually started writing my own songs. I learned by listening to my favorite artists and copying them and also gained knowledge from other musicians. Music was my everything.

 “The cross is foolishness to those that are perishing.”

In my late twenties, I felt that something was missing from my life, and I had a sense that it had a spiritual component. During this time, I explored astrology and the mythology of Greek and Roman gods, seeking answers to life’s mysteries. However, none of these concepts or ideas proved to be satisfactory. At that time, I thought that Christianity and the idea of Jesus were foolish and not a viable approach to spiritual enlightenment. In retrospect, I realize that I was on the wrong path. I believed I was seeking God, but as the Bible says, “No one seeks God.” The truth is that God seeks us; He is trying to get our attention.

Eventually, God got my attention. One day, a friend’s mother invited me to church, where the pastor preached about Jesus and explained that we are all sinners who face a bleak eternal destiny. However, God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us. To be saved, we must believe that Jesus rose from the dead three days after dying on the cross. Through His resurrection, we can have eternal fellowship with God. It was a pure gospel message of salvation. At the end of the message, the preacher asked if anyone wanted to receive the gift of salvation. At that moment, I had a vision of Jesus asking me to come to Him. It was like a light had been turned on for the first time. I finally knew the truth!

However, my music career led me to places where I felt uncomfortable, and I realized that this was a spiritual war. I decided to set aside my music for a couple of years. In hindsight, I see that music was an idol, and God needed to cleanse and purify my life. But that was not the end of my story.

One day, while reading the parable of the talents in the Bible, I was moved to pray about how I could use my talents to glorify Jesus. Jesus revealed to me that I could use my love for music for His purpose. As I was walking, I saw a piece of paper on the ground, and a voice spoke to me, saying, “John, pick up that piece of paper.” Although I initially ignored it, I felt compelled to pick up the paper, which turned out to be a photocopy of Christian music. I the same day I picked up a local newspaper that had include classified ads. Looking through the classified section for musician’s I found a listing requesting a musicians for a Christian music group. I responded to the ad. Within a week, I was rehearsing with the Christian music group. Looking back, I can see the amazing work of God.

The next phase of my journey took me to the Horizon School of Evangelism, a comprehensive ministry school that concludes with a one-month practicum. My classmates learned that I could play guitar and asked me to play worship songs for the daily devotional.

My first experience leading worship was a total disaster. Although I was part of a Christian music group at the time, we primarily learned original hard rock songs. Adding to the problem, I rarely sang in front of people. I wasn’t a singer! Throughout my years in various groups, I had always been the guitar player and possessed great knowledge and skill in that instrument.

But that day taught me humility. I relied on my own strength, and it was a mistake. I quickly learned that worship music is very special and requires the proper mindset. It’s not about my ability; it’s about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s purpose. I realized that I am just a vessel used to glorify Him.

As time went on, I learned several worship songs and developed a greater sense of the relationship to music and faith. This journey allowed me to lead worship and gain experience. At heart I am a songwriter and over time wrote many songs.

Ever since my first time leading worship, God has been molding and shaping me. The Holy Spirit guides and directs my path in life. I consider it a privilege and an honor to be in this sacred position. I know that there are many more experiences down the road, and all I need to do is allow Him to shape my future. And then, when He calls, I will be there in heaven offering my song of praise to God. In the meantime, I will serve God in any way He wants to use me. For now, I will be a worship leader for those who desire to fellowship with the Creator.

Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

 Psalm 33:3

As I write this, I am on a mission to publish new songs for the church. I have written several songs, and they are available by visiting the John Pape Artist page.