Digital Ministry

Pastor builds bridges using Rock ‘N’ Roll combined with scripture

Guitars in Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Church. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.
Guitars in Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Church. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

What do you get when you combine lyrics from a classic rock song with Scripture and a message?

In less than 10 minutes, the Rev. R. Scott Miller of Wilmington (Ohio) United Methodist Church uses rock songs and Scripture to connect with listeners through his radio program, “Music with a Message.”

Launched in the summer during the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller received a special invitation. The station manager at WALH, a local radio station, asked him to contribute to a devotional program featuring local clergy. Understanding Miller wanted to take a fresh approach, the manager encouraged the pastor to infuse rock songs in his contribution. “It is a unique opportunity to share a Christian message with music people are familiar with,” Miller said.

The founder of Teknowpreach, an online community to help churches use technology to enhance ministry, Miller is known for using social media to share songs he hears as he prepares for worship each week.

“I have always found a way to bring current music into the message of my sermons and writings,” Miller said. “Also, postings on Facebook of my Sunday soundtrack song for the morning.”

In his inaugural show, Miller invited the audience to listen to the lyrics of “Here Comes the Sun,” performed by the Beatles:

Here comes the sun, doo, doo, doo, doo
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

Next, Miller reads from John 8, NIV: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

From there, Miller crafted a message of hope for those who feel isolated during the pandemic.

Miller has drawn from Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, King’s X and the Byrds to deliver a message.

Combining technology with music and ministry comes naturally for Miller. “I have always found a way to bring music into the message of my sermons and writings,” he said. Miller also uses Facebook to post his Sunday morning song with a post, along with an explanation of how the lyrics relate to the gospel.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll is the perfect bridge builder in times when the church seems irrelevant,” Miller added. “Why not build bridges with something that is familiar to so many?”

To check out Rev. Miller podcast, go to https://rscottmiller1.podbean.com/

Originally published by the West Ohio Annual Conference. Republished with permission by ResourceUMC.org