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Maryville, TN — A newly-hired youth minister found, not his credentials, but his faith questioned when it was revealed he could not actually play guitar.
While Drew Campbell, youth minister at Grace Grove Bible Church, was preparing gear for the teen Seekers’ annual spring-break camping retreat, he was discovered in the church basement awkwardly fondling a guitar, muttering to himself, “So, how do you play this thing?”
Campbell, who quit the prestigious music program at Northwestern University because he felt called to youth ministry instead, was a “triple threat” in the musical world, mastering percussion, voice, and trumpet. Seekers’ parents report that, until Campbell was discovered in the compromising position with the guitar, he had repeatedly wowed the congregation with his excellent sense of rhythm and his competence as a keyboardist and singer, while occasionally adding color to the worship team with “some pretty wicked licks” on his horn. There are no keyboards in the wilderness, though, and as Campbell himself admits, “Neither voice nor horn is, on its own, sufficient to lead youth in worship.”
Said the steering committee who hired him, “It never occurred to us that a Christian this musically gifted wouldn’t also know how to play the guitar. Since his musical talent is undeniable, we’re afraid that calls his faith into question.”
Said Campbell, “I’m sure I can learn to play guitar. I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet,” citing the hectic practice schedule he had juggling three non-guitar competencies, and the extra work he had to do to get caught up on matters like theology and pastoral management when he was called to ministry instead.
For now, Campbell still has permission to attend the wilderness retreat, but only under the supervision of a trio of steering-committee members, who will be the retreat’s official leaders. Two of them are tone-deaf. But the third is not, and knows how to play guitar.
— With apologies to the Babylon Bee. Happy April 1!