033: Breathe with Joel McCray

Joel B. McCray is a performer, writer, composer, teacher, and overall lover of music.  A track scholarship in the 90’s brought him out of Riesel, Texas, to the University of Texas at Arlington.  He’s been in the DFW area ever since, where he lives with his wife and their two children.  Joel graduated from UTA with a BBA in Finance, and began working in commercial lending.  Though he made a good living, he hated his job.  His heart, his passion, and his calling are in music.  Joel is on the podcast today sharing some of that journey of discovery – learning from the situations and experiences on the way to where God wants you to be.

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About Music

There’s a tendency to want to separate music into these two broad categories – secular or Christian.  As a musician, Joel recognizes the challenges of labeling music as either one.  Academically, the two primary genres taught are classical and jazz.  Together, these represent less than 4% of the consumers’ listening market.  On the other hand, studying music in the religious realm and preparing for modern worship only addresses about 7% of the consumer market.  In both instances, more than 93 percent of the market isn’t relating.  The challenge, as Joel saw it, was to take the principles of God’s word AND the principles of classical and jazz and create something that could actually connect with all styles and all ethnic groups.  Along with that was his desire to constantly learn and grow as a musician.  He filled that need by starting J & B Music Ministry, which allows him to do all the things he loves to do in music.

Joel definitely takes a unique approach to his music.  Seeing the merits of both worlds of music, he relates how he approaches music to the Holy Trinity.  God, the Father, is creative.  Jesus, the Son, as the mind, or the reasoning, or the logic of God.  Holy Spirit comes alongside and assists.  The creator, the logic, and the function.  First is understanding, and then evaluating how it can manifest itself.  What do I hear?  What do I need to understand?  How do I need to produce?  And the result, for Joel, is either in written music, in curriculum (teaching), or in performance.

About Discipleship

Many of us can probably relate to Joel’s experience growing up in the church.  We are taught a lot of theology and a lot of “don’t do…”, but not hearing much talk about how to change.  How to deal with anger, resentment, hurt feelings, and strongholds.  No one was talking about it, so you feel like you’re the only one with these issues.  It’s like a student showing up every week and paying for music lessons.  Each week, the lesson is the same – “Watch me. Take notes.”  And the student watches the instructor play.  Twenty years into the lessons, the student walks away.  When asked to describe his twenty years of experience in music, the student can only say “Well, I don’t really know how to do it, but boy, my teacher is killer!” He didn’t learn anything, and eventually gave up and walked away.  Too many people think that we are in the soul-winning business.  The truth is that’s the Holy Spirit’s business.  We are to be in the discipleship business, so that others don’t have to figure things out on their own.

About Influence and Leadership

Throughout the Bible, we can see how God developed and prepared those who would have influence as leaders.  Paul instructed Timothy not only to lead, but also to develop leaders by finding capable men and instill in them what Paul had taught him.  Lead leaders.

He calls us the “light of the world. A city situated on a hill…”In these verses from Matthew, He reminds us to shine the light into our households and our circles of influence. Influence also includes that over our economies.  Do what God has called us to do (obedience), and do it well.

Again in Matthew, when Jesus looked out into the crowd, He saw sheep without a shepherd.  However, He didn’t lead the crowd.  He led the Twelve He had chosen, and He picked leaders.  Looking to Christ as our ideal, the Church should have more leaders who will not be afraid to surround themselves with potential leaders, rather than followers.

About Fulfillment

We can better understand the concept of “fulfillment” by asking these questions: What do I love?  What am I great at?  What is someone willing to pay for?  Joel found his faith strengthened as he transitioned from full time banking into full time ministry.  He was unhappy in both instances.  But he also knew the truth found in Ephesians 1‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, ‘ And also that our salvation means we’ve been grafted into eternity.  With that comes great security and confidence.  Joel began seeking the original intent. Praise God for our place in eternity with Him, but while we are still here – what are we to do?  If we aren’t doing it, if we aren’t walking in our purpose, it leads to unfulfillment.  And it can happen to a banker just as well as a worship pastor.

About Slowing Down

God still speaks.  Are we too busy, too distracted to hear Him?  Today’s technology easily gets in the way of our Sabbath, our rest. But it’s also a tendency of the flesh, as even Solomon addressed this issue in Ecclesiastes – ‘For dreams result from much work and a fool’s voice from many words. ‘ Once we slow down, we can better hear His “still small voice”.  So, first is to hear Him.  Faith is an action word though.  It’s not gained by reading or even memorizing scripture.  Slow down and pay attention to those things God places in front of you – a relationship, physical nature surrounding you, peaceful sleep making dreams possible.  Listen for Him.  To hear God is also to do what He says.


For A Complete Transcript of this Episode - Click Here

Jake Enriquez: 00:16 Press and Reach episode number 33 Breathe with Joel McCray. Good morning afternoon or evening. Whatever this may be to you. I sure hope and pray that you be found well in spirit, my friend. Hey my name is Jake Enríquez and it is a joy honor and a privilege to be your host today. So please let me welcome you to press and reach a podcast where we’re simply walking out our faith. And encouraging others along the way to do the same.

Jake Enriquez: 00:53 Welcome back to press and reach. My name is Jake Enriquez, your host. What a beautiful and awesome morning it is. And I just thank you for coming out and hanging out with us today in this beautiful morning. You know ever since I’ve come to know the lord and I know that he has given me a brand new song in my heart and I love praise and I love worship. I love music period. And you know I know I’m not the only one and our guest this morning. I got to tell you is not only a performer. He’s a writer composer if you will and a teacher of music and I asked him to come and spend some time with us so please just welcome our next guest Mr. Joel McCray. Joel how are you doing this morning man?

Joel McCray: 01:31 I’m doing awesome doing awesome. So good to be here.

Jake Enriquez: 01:34 Man, Thank you so much for meeting with us today. And I know you’re busy. I’ve been wanting you to come hang out with us for a minute but I know you’re busy so I don’t press you in it and I just thank God for the time that he allows us to spend together. Now I know that we all know each other on a personal level so just take the time just introduce yourself you know who you are and where you’re from.

Joel McCray: 01:55 Joel McCray from Riesel Texas. I think everybody should know that Riesel, TX a small little town right outside of Waco at the time I was there is about 690 people and grew up there and I began to hear music in my head. According to my mom at the age of 18 months and at 18 months I was able to hear a song and begin to pick out that song. And that’s when she knew that there was something special in the area of music about me. So I began to play recognizable melodies at a little bit under two started taking piano lessons at the age of five I studied classically gospel music hymns and Ragtime other styles from her from my kindergarten year all the way through my senior year in high school always had a love for music always wanted to do music and so that she helped me go down that journey. And when I graduated from high school in Riesel I end up coming up here to you into the area that was Dallas Fort Worth go to UT Arlington on track scholarship and so I was a quarter mile. They’re part of their team seven championships under our belt. So we had a great time and I end up getting the finance degree because folks are like dude you need to do some of this going to be a real job because it’s not a real career. So I ended up pursuing finance got my degree in finance came out in the early 90s and ended up going into commercial lending where I became a banker. And I hated every single day of it. And. So I knew something like Oh my goodness. OK we’re making good money but I hate this job. Yeah. And so anyway because of that began to take this journey the dark journey of just trying to make money and trying to start a family in this that you know they’re in. And I began to see that when you’re not doing what your folks what fulfills you what you’re called to do. Everything else begins to unravel. Yeah. And so I was married for five years ended up divorced. And I was blessed to remarry and we’ll be married almost 19 years next year but still in that whole journey began to start asking about the short life goals and life passions and so around 2000 I start making that shift into full time music. I went into full time ministry and the challenge of full time ministry was the fact that still I want to create I want to range I want to compose and a lot of times the administrations of full time ministry doesn’t allow you to do those things. And so that was a little bit of a challenge so I end up kind of going more into more self employed full time musician around 2000 well as well. So I’m still involved in church ministry but more on side as a part time as opposed to full time. So I’ve been married to my wife Bridget. We have two children Nicholas and Jaida. They are music lovers and sports lovers and arts lovers and math lovers you name it, so we are blessed.

Jake Enriquez: 01:55 Is Nicholas the one that you be beating on the sprints on the facebook video?

Joel McCray: 04:53 Oh yeah. Take them take it in the towel. Now the deal is good of course that video was when he was twelve probably was ten. So now he’s about to be 14 so he doesn’t realize it. Hopefully he doesn’t listen to this. But the races get shorter now. So every time we get out there let’s race. Yeah sure. Not a hundred but less forty. He’s an awesome kid solid in soccer in a whole not past know conference champion in Grand Prairie’s an awesome kid.

Jake Enriquez: 05:22 OK so that that actually took off…Okay, that’s good. I know you love the music and a small town, I can appreciate. I come from a small town right outside Waco. That is 18 months. Your mom said wow she noticed it in you. And you said she you were recognizing some of the music?

Joel McCray: 05:45 the music at church I go in not only did I recognize the songs at church but perfect pitch so I can actually play the songs in the key that they were in she recognized like well he’s playing in the same key. He’s playing the melody correctly and things like that. Of course I’m going to play with one finger you know playing melodies that you know but she’s recognizing songs so even so she’s like this kid has the ear so that’s why she started teaching me.

Jake Enriquez: 06:14 I know, is it J and B music ministry? and how did you guys actually get started in that? I know you said it it has grown and evolved into different things. But what really got to start to get out there in the music ministry?

Joel McCray: 06:24 Well you know growing up as a musician especially when you started looking at academics and ministry and things like that in the secular realm. You have two genres that are primarily taught, classical and jazz. And then the challenge of that is that that represents less than 4 percent of the consumer market for listeners. So people that actually follow that path which is a great technical path that that all that puts them out into the marketplace where they have all this information. But 96 percent of it is irrelevant because it’s not like there’s the market like where we’re not listening to classical or jazz. So they’re like well how do I relate to church worship how do I relate to r and b how do I relate to pop with the principles that I learned here. Then you go to seminary and loss situations and get a degree in worship and then you get more Bible Study Bible knowledge they might get and then maybe some church knowledge but then you get ready for modern worship which is basically less than 7 percent of the consumer market. So now it’s like whoa we’ve got consumer abilities in the worship area but we can’t relate to the other 93 percent of the market. There’s like OK now what do you do with our styles. What if somebody comes in with a salsa background our with them you know with an Afro Cuban are all rock. This is also hip hop. So you have all these different styles if you want to worship God. You can only worship in these modern worship styles or gospel songs a very small market so anyway. How do we actually take the principles of God’s word. How do you take the principles of classical and jazz and create something that can actually connect with all styles and all ethnic groups. So and then to create some passive begin to develop leaders develop musicians and performers and that’s basically how that all started. Mainly from my struggles as a musician trying to find out who’s going to basically pour into me. My mom taught me a lot of great things but as an adult I had to learn everything on my own. You know so I’m going through all of these journies. Like ok I’m a full time minister. But where do I go to get trained. So you go to worship conference and there’s a Bible conference I was like nah I wanna learn… What do I do about music and if I do go somewhere. And again these things are good. But there is a lot of that were limited. It’s like OK I’m learning new new songs but I’m not learning how to play better or how to grow in my craft you know. And if I do learn how to grow my craft a lot of times the way I play doesn’t fit what they’re teaching so I found myself just kind of like OK there’s a vacuum here that I believe needs to be filled so in 2000 we decided to start J & B Music Ministry.

Jake Enriquez: 08:59 All right. But you took it from there. Now I know that you do you instruct who teach you so you teach you write and you perform. So does this one actually outweigh the other when it comes to that. What’s the mixture there?

Joel McCray: 09:15 Well I think that I think the the the mixture comes from whatever the market demands at the time but there’s only one core and I believe that one core is based on the Trinity. You know even though of course the trendy word may not be in the Bible per se but we do know the principle of God the Father and the first that we learn about the fathers that he’s created. The second thing we learn about some in John one logos is basically that’s the mind or the reasoning or the logic of God that we learn about the Holy Spirit which is what’s called perfectly to come alongside and exist. So I look at it as the creator the logic and the function. So now when I’m actually approaching music is like creatively what does God singing. What is the saying in our spirit. Secondly what do we need to understand in order to interpret it. That’s what Matthew 13 23 calls the parable of the seed. So being able to hear and understand them the technique what do we need to do in order to function as SOPA in order to produce and 36 homophobe. So having those three thoughts in my mind is like OK well it can manifest itself either in written music. It can manifest itself in teaching and it can manifest itself in performance. So I’m still coming from the same thing. What do I hear. What do I need to understand how do I need to produce. How does it manifest. What is it if you will evolve into the mall into a song. Does it evolve into curriculum. Does it involve into a performance experience and then taking those three areas that even allows me to do other things. I can speak about it but it’s still the same three areas. I can go do consulting for a corporation the same thing as the areas like you know one time I go speak at an aerospace engineering company and they’re like what you know about aerospace engineering. I don’t know a lot about it but I do see blade to my head and I know that if I see a plane I’m gonna have to say what’s the logic anyway. So that’s how that all evolves.

Jake Enriquez: 11:05 OK. It all of that as you call it you know and correct me if I’m wrong but there has to be some type of solitude there. Oh my goodness. You have to get to a place in which brings in my next. My next question is somebody asked me what is a lab, Joel? I hear people say hey Im in the lab.. So just give us an explanation of that.

Joel McCray: 11:29 So the lab is kind either like the or the studio where I’m either going to go and produce actually the music are going to be at the piano you know. So it’s like we’re getting all these ideas. Things are constantly come into our head and it’s like OK I got to go to the lab and test this is in my head. This thing is just. So I’m going to have to go into the lab and either try to figure out is that going to be pro tools logic or are going to sit on the piano and began to try to flesh this thing out you know. And so when I’m like oh I had music on the brain go into the.

Jake Enriquez: 12:04 OK. So its that place. So give us something special for music Ministers. Lets just say there’s somebody starting off now and make it easier for many of the Zah. Maybe they feel like it’s a calling and they want to go that way. What’s special something that you would give them to encourage them.

Joel McCray: 12:20 It still goes back to three layers you know and the three layers. First of all I believe if someone operates in only one of the three areas of the spiritual intellectual and functional we’re going to see a problem that begins to develop and this is from my experience someone that operates at a spiritual level say I’m called to do this. They tend to over spiritualize everything that means like oh man if they go strong God showed up. If it messes up the devil is busy you know let’s stop and pray. If someone’s an intellectual but they’re not very spiritual they’re not very functional then they tend to intimidate people based on what they know you know. And so you’re like someone you don’t know that you don’t understand these things and this then the other they begin to become condescending. If you have someone that’s functional but they’re not very spiritual and they’re not very intellectual they will manipulate things with their abilities basically saying hey I’m going to jump or bounce or there’s another church will that pay me for my craft. I don’t respect me and this that other than that they know they’re very good at what they do. So they try to manipulate situations. I believe the balance for worship leaders saying you know what I want to make sure I’m balanced that I can hear from God that when God speaks I’m doing everything I can understand what he’s saying and then I’m going to sit on my instrument whatever that is I’m going to have my lab to flesh this thing out so I can have this balance wherever those areas are. I hear you got understand you. I can produce it. There are vocals whether it’s on a particular instrument where there is an administration where there is pastoral oversight. How do I get from the heart of God to the mind of God and the function the fruit of God. And I think that if someone can really walk in a holistic worshiper truth and functionality there are on the right path. We never stop learning. We never stop listening listening and according to the word God we should never stop producing a bad version of fruit.

Jake Enriquez: 14:13 OK. So in all this time that you’ve been doing this. What would be what would you say is your message. You know if you could you could just bring it all down to something simplistic people. What would your message be.

Joel McCray: 14:13 Breathe.

Joel McCray: 14:25 Because again and again as I look at the The Spirit of God as the breath of God was considered the breath of God. And so everything was sure to be doing what should be doing it according to Spirit or through the spirit. And I believe that’s a lot of challenges that I face. I understood those seasons of my life when we were very if you will self righteous whos doing the right behavior. And even the Bible calls that in Hebrews 6 elementary principles. If we’re arguing over behavior. If you’re walking in spirit you give given the desires of the flesh. So the challenge is like that. What does God bring them to you to do. Where did you get your inspiration. What wakes you up every day. You know and folks like Well that sounds like some self-help talk. I’m like know the first thing he was breathing into me you know. And so a lot of times you know folks like say well that’s about the life of Jesus it’s about the blood you know. Like what. But the purpose of blood is to transfer air. Yes. So what you like saying are you can be full of blood but you take away that oxygen. You’re dead. So there are a lot of people in the blood but not walking in the spirit and we’re not talking if you will about this the signs and you know we can get an all into Keres model and all that kind of stuff. And I’m not a theologian. I want to know this is it because I’m searching. I’m just a mama’s boy that went to Sunday school with no theme no theological school this idea of I just know that I got tired of hidden glass ceilings. And when they got down to it every single issue I ever dealt with in my life was when I wasn’t breathing.

Jake Enriquez: 15:56 Thank you for that great. OK. So I know coming up as a kid you just talked about you know your mother and everything but what is some of the surprises that you have found along the way. By that I mean you know coming to church coming up in around different Christians right. What would you say are some of the surprises to you. You know come from you to your age right now.

Joel McCray: 16:21 Some of the first surprises that I believe I came up with is that. Behavior between a believer believer and a non-believer is not that different. Yeah. And you know because in your head your saved like well that’s the joy I’m saying. Now that doesn’t mean that because I’m saved, I can continue to sin. I think we put some kind of a hierarchy on our lives compared to everybody else and just said we got Jesus and now we have a past and then we can basically cover up some stuff and not really be transparent. I think the biggest surprises for me is the fact that for the most part we have a strong theology presented to us in a lot of stuff in the closet. Me that OK I’m beating up people have stuff in the closet but we all have things that we had to come to Christ and come to God or change. But what messed me up was that no one talked about it. You know why. Why do I have to discover this after the fact. You know I’m living this life. The pastor said don’t do a b c d e f g and I’m trying to go through it. I’m praying to god okay lord there’s really I’m really struggling with my my hatred because I’m I went through my mom and dad with her divorce and I’m angry all the time I’m mad at my dad I’m mad at this. You know. No one’s talking about anger. You know just going to church and sing the songs and you’re gonna feel get better so then I’m like I don’t feel better. But no one else around me is talking about the fact that they feel as bad as I do. They’re just saying it and you know until you find out they’re mad do you know. Sure and then it’s kind of like saying you know they go through like you know save yourself for marriage you know and all is the better the marry then the burn will want to get married so that I won’t go to hell. Well that’s not exactly what the text book somebody did. No they said it better to marry than to burn with passion. But that’s not the way it’s. So now you began to make decisions on relationships based on how you feel like oh I don’t want to displease God save myself it’s the very first person that makes me feel like I can’t control myself. That’s the one yeah. Then you get married you were like that was stupid. So the surprises were like saying Man I wish we could have sat down and had a real conversation and say OK how do we walk this through. And I think it’s I liken it to especially since I’m a music educator and teacher is almost sometimes religion has turned into if I could describe it this way. A student coming to me and watching me play now they’re coming to me for lessons. Now I’m going like can I sit there now and now write these three things down. You’ve got to watch me and write these down and then they’re going to watch me play they’re going to write down my notes and then at the end they now were you helping today. I never watched the play they never get to play. I never get to actually Disciple’s say you know your finger in the bag right here your ear is not exactly accurate. So they watch me play for 20 years you know and then all of a sudden they walk away. So once they will tell me about your walk with music that well I don’t really know how to do it but boy are my teachers killer. You know before they leave. I’ll make sure y’all leave it offer because the only way I can teach ya’ll is that y’all actually tithed. Now there’s not one student that I have that would actually come and watch me play every single week and then take notes and then pay me for my time. And they don’t learn. They know learning that has basically been my. This is kind of harsh but that’s kind of like the journey you went like saying first of all hope like they were in the business of saving souls like no the Holy Spirit and the business owners were into the types of it. And once you decide that you’re in the soul winning business and you don’t actually disciple anybody you might well say we had 100 kids this year but we didn’t raise them. Yeah. So that’s basically kind of the deal that surprises where you wake up one day like wow I was supposed to have a spiritual father. I was supposed to have someone that was I supposed to walk with me and show me these things. I was supposed to figure this out on my own.

Jake Enriquez: 20:09 Yeah let’s just bring this right up to the next point which is leadership is some about leadership. I mean if you could. Right. And when do you think about these things in your mind and thoughts that you have. What’s your ideal leader. Well how would you describe.

Joel McCray: 20:28 Well I would say when you look at the look of Jesus and you look at the Bible. I would argue that the Bible is a leadership book because when you’re going through every name that their name they’re talking about heads of houses they’re talking about leaders of nations and talking about people that can influence systems. You know I’m going through. And it’s like we’re looking at all these principles like well if you see a person skilled with their hands they will not serve unknown men and they’ll serve kings. And so now you’re looking at it every time God begins to move. He begins to develop and trigger training prepares someone that has actually had leadership influence and it’s like and not everybody is going to be at the national level. But it’s like we all have influence you know. And so I’m looking at this in our lives and though and there’s a John Maxwell principle that said if you want to explode league leaders if you want to grow the league followers so you get to say contempt of the team to where he said Tim Paltel Timothy I need you to lead it are still without you into capable men that are able to lead others or teach others. Well that’s a four generational approach. Paul let Timothy Timothy gave a capable people that can actually lead others. And so you’re going through and said OK I’m going to look at the Bible as a leadership book instead of just a behavior management book. You know and when I began to see that I’m like. It’s all about influence. You know not only it influence is force changing how other group large groups of people behave. It is also I believe is also economics. So how are you. How do you get economics out of leadership. Say well you’re the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 a city on the Hill. You know the art where you take your life put it under a bushel or where you put it on the pole and shine it into your household. Now again I’m not a theologian just a mama’s trained boy with Sunday school. But I guess I have to ask questions like say OK shining my light in the household will say you know witness I’m like No I don’t think that’s what that’s talking about. Yeah. You know he says Shine your light your influence into your household and in the Greek household is oil cause which translates into English eco which makes me ask why all this household is eco. That was the economy. Well economy is household management. So therefore Orchil and Mayo basically said wow. So either my economy is established by taking my influence and shine it in my circle of influence. So I’m like that. OK so now you’re taking these leaders that are leading leaders shining their influence in their circles. And now they’re establishment economists because I used to believe my surprise was Hey you make money give your first fruits of your money to the church so you can make more money. Until I was another surprise realizing God didn’t make money. Now does that mean we don’t have. No that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t make money. I make God is mad uses money to say I’ve valued your ideas and likes it. Ok so I hope they have six seats. I want you to be obedient not just sacrificial. That means what I call you to do. Do that do that. Well the money just means I value how well you did what you call a do. And so therefore my first fruits came from being obedient. Brought 10 percent of that to God and God blesses me with more ideas. The office went Sahabat and folks like Wow. All my life I’ve been running to the mailbox looking for my guy. I went to the mailbox was a and I shall say. That’s not a business when I need you to do is basically say you know again where’s your influence. Shine your influence. Folks who value because they glorify God who’s in the heavens and glory just means to shine. That means to show how well we are glorifying God. The world usually writes a check because if we’re showing out and showing gone off like queen of Sheba that has not been told. Could you please grab me some spice since I was like. And so I was like wow God you’re starting to show me that if I would do it you call me to do and do that extremely well. Then you begin to allow resources to come my way which allow me to bless your house bless my house benefit others and expand something beyond myself.

Jake Enriquez: 24:27 Absolutely right. We’ll take a quick break. We’ll be right back.

Jake Enriquez: 24:31 Hey guys it’s Jake. Hey I just want to take a brief moment to ask you if in fact you like the podcast to come and subscribe rate and review. Just take a brief moment to do that. But not only that we ask that you come and visit us on Pressandreach.com. Well we’re all about faith family and community. Listen if you have a story about how your faith in the Lord is seen we certainly want to hear from you whether it’s been in your business life your personal life which could be your marriage or dealing with your family whatever it may be. We know that faith is a daily walk. So come join us as together we build our communities back up and give God all the glory.

Jake Enriquez: 25:17 Welcome back to press and reach here hanging out with Mr. Joel. And man what a delight it is just to have him with us and share. And I ask you a question as we move on in this thing. You know oftentimes we come to a place where our faith is increased or God empowers us to give you different things us experience in a lot more hands. So what can you give us a time to share time testimony if you will of where your faith was absolutely strengthened.

Joel McCray: 25:42 You know I believe my faith has actually strengthened through the transitioning from full time banking into full time ministry because some folks like sayingl you finally reach what you are called to do. I was actually you know I pray that no one listens to this takes it wrong but I was miserable in both places. I was miserable and full time banking. I was miserable in full time ministry because I had to begin to ask the question Who am I. What am I called. Did you know. So it wasn’t until two years into doing full time ministry that I had an opportunity to have a book called Strength finders Tupac point about Tom Rath and the whole point of that book is go in and say you know one of your talents strengths. And how do you operate in your top talent. And if you do that you’ll be more fulfilled fulfillment meaning. What do I love. What am I great at and what is someone willing to pay for. I’ve never really heard the principle of fulfillment that way. Because even the Bible said Blessed is the man that will walk and not counsel on God and so forth and solemn one but happy are blessed me happy in another way. Look at is fulfilled. It’s now and like some of us are blessed because ultimately that means unfulfilled. Am I really walking in what I’m passionate about. Am I doing what I think I’m really good at great at and am I don’t with someone really values economically. And I realize that at the bank I wasn’t doing that. Ali did the banking because I was able to make money at it but it wasn’t what I was called to do is not what I actually enjoyed. And then there was a lot of elements of that in church administration my administration is not my thing. I can do it because I’m good at it but I love creating. You know so when I found that my grandmother used to say that the devil’s workshop is either mom or the itemizes that was workshop. Right so that’s when I began to realize I beginning to ask those questions. Who am I. If money were no object what would I be doing with my time you. Now a lot of folks would like I sound like a business seminars like. I think that’s the core of who we are. Because he said before the foundations of the earth I knew who you are and I bless you with everything and heavenly places you know for you operator. Full of praise my glory in Ephesians 1 I’m like OK salvation. You know because you hear about salvation but you know salvation means we’ve been grafted into eternity but eternity has no end and it has no beginning. We always hear about the end but no one ever asks about what’s your default settings. Move forward your original intent. It’s awfully good to say OK I know I’m saying Praise the Lord for that the resurrection of Jesus Christ and I believe that God raised from the dead I believe that’s what I’m looking to spend an eternity with him which is a great thing but I’m still here. What’s your original intent. And once I begin to ask those things that’s when that that you don’t work in those sports are having this question like Why I’m I not fulfilled. There Something Wrong With Me. Is there a spiritual flaw and I need to work through which we all have. But all I really want to know because I’m like Mahamat God’s house and I’m hating life. She know what in the world is going on and he’s like you know so they that image of cars don’t break down for being dirty. They break down from not being driven. So if you want a car to stop running just don’t drop it. So that there’s a long period of my life that I’ve never actually driven the vehicle in the area that I’ve been called to do so that’s where these breakdowns begin to happen in the end and just begin to wear tear. So that was my awakening. It’s basically that unfulfillment. As a banker and as a full time worship pastor

Jake Enriquez: 29:07 So let me ask you this just based off of what you’re saying. There are times as you said maybe thoughts come to that you might still struggle and he can’t say I’m supposed to go you know do something different or something else or your view of lead. Do you ever have times where it might be confusing to you?

Joel McCray: 29:29 You know the older you get cause I’m almost 50 and you know I’m almost 50 years old. You know when I was younger. Yes. Get out. Because that’s why I was kind of vacillating around going back and forth should I stay at the bay. Should I stay in ministry should I find another ministry of Bob. What’s wrong with me. How can the pastor not getting along and praise the Lord all my relationships with all that’s all good. But reality is because of the fact of not being fulfilled. Then you just have angst and rubs with everybody you know. And so I guess I have a lot of questions then. But one night after after you know going to the bottom and hitting rock bottom you know trying to be a self-employed musician and watching how God breaks up and I have a dig deep hole to dig out. There was a fulfillment that I’ve never felt before and way he said old taste and see that the Lord is good. And when you taste what God has allow you do with you and you actually get to do what you love. There’s no question in my mind I will go almost bankrupt before I do something different. Like the stuff you don’t say oh good lord you have called me to do this. But my question keeps coming back were folks like why don’t you change the line. How come. Why is it that when someone buys a laptop you don’t make it a paperweight. Yeah because you can look at the design of say this is not a paperweight or would be an expensive paperweight. Yeah but then we look at ten billion dollars with some forward estimate and human technology and just say you know what. I know what to do with a 2000 dollar laptop or a 600 dollar laptop but I don’t know what to do it today as a technology. So somebody gave me 10 billion dollars. I was like hey whatever you want to do. No no no. As a maker if someone said I need a five million dollar loan the first thing that say is what’s the purpose of the loan. What’s your collateral for the loan and what’s your period of paying me back. And I need a detail systematic strategic plan to make sure that were going to approve this. Now Jesus died paid for gave us all this technology. And I never asked what’s the purpose of this loan. You know what’s the collateral for what you actually put it invested in me and that how do I pay you back even though I know I can’t technically do it but how do I bear fruit for your Glory.

Jake Enriquez: 31:39 So we ask this question. Character traits. What is it you strive for in care to trip out on our own characters. We are build and we grow share with the listeners you know which you say is a key character trait. I agree that we should develop them ourselves.

Joel McCray: 31:57 I would say consistency, you know meaning that God speaks and that’s say commitment consistency and commitment because like God you said Hey and by faith I believe he said it. I’m going to stand on it. Regardless of what’s happening around me economically. I’m going to. And then in that consistency I heard our pastor met on Walnut Ridge and Pastor Randy Weeks said you know some they’re really stuck with me he said to meditate needs to figure it out. Now I’ve heard different worship reputation all icons up for just for him to say. To figure it out. Stuff stuck with me because a lot of men ourself trying to figure it out because we’re like saying we always come. We know what Dr. Evans would say. We may got a cosmic bellhop. We pray we expect God to do all the work and then we sit there and reap the benefits. But if God actually speaks and he gave me a word of things I need to act on. Am I committed to what he’s saying. And am I consistently trying to produce all that. And if it fails my trauma. Figure it out how to get back to what he said. You know it’s kind of almost the imagery of Jesus saying you know they get the ball they said let’s go to the other side then the storms come and they rise and losing their mind is. That was the key thing they should have been committed to he said on the shore or haunted outside his word is not going to come back void so he said it. I’m committed to it and I’m going to assist at least act upon it and figure it out when I get off track. Yeah you know so those are two things that can stand out me right now at least today is they’ll change them a consistency like that and the rest of you Peter.

Jake Enriquez: 33:35 Peter, You know was in jail and they’re coming to him they’re going to killing him. And then the worry as Mark. Said when you’re older. I ain’t old yet. So that’s why that’s not something that was going to happen. But let’s talk about we say that readers are leaders. So when it comes to those that you would recommend to the listeners that you find this great something that they should pick up and read.

Joel McCray: 34:02 you know again for those that have a call in their life to lead others. I really like that 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. John Maxwell is going to go through 21 traits of a life of leisure. You know that I believe that that a lot of us need to understand me though and there are some things again. One principle that jumps out in games like if you want to explode lead leaders if you want to grow lead followers. And I believe that’s a huge fallacy of a lot of church organizations today is that pastors surround themselves with followers and not leaders. And so since so there’s a challenge is that if someone just does not have the if you will be if they are intimidated by leadership they’ll actually push leaders away you know. And then as I was praying through it you know that again understanding about leadership got put on my heart a principle called the transmission of leadership. You know how you go from first the second third fourth year the deal is that if you’re in first if you’re getting ready to start something from zero to 60 he’s starting first. That’s your smallest gear and it’s much easier to turn a small gear. You know very wisely and get something bigger moving. Sure. So that means you know who’s that small geared highly driven type a cleric personalities you go getters you surround yourself on that first stage. And then when you get word shift the second you are you basically these are like your four personalities if you will you have driven you have detail you have basically you’re here for the party saying you have your flight. Hey don’t rock the boat. What is that. You know again as you shift from what you are driven people to your melancholy arguer detail oriented they document your motion you know and then they set policies for the crown. And even Jesus in Matthew 9 he saw the crowd and they looked like sheep without a shepherd. He didn’t lead the crowd. He led as well as Matthew 10. He leaves you know and then those leaders he basically trained for three years and released them into the crowd. By the time you get to the upper room it’s like how can you explode about 3000. Because he had 120 leaders in the room waiting for the ground. We did the math as one of 25. So therefore he said Wow. Then they begin. So you’re looking at exponential growth. What what what did we do differently. Well there’s going to be row between leaders were all. We know leaders are strong minded people. The deal is like like cannot allow someone to leak and allow someone to have their own self vision to the main vision or do I need someone to just say yes when I say Yes and bottom of that army mentality will get you and get you through battles only to nation. So we’re not battling all the time that we’re trying to build a nation. We need actually to have the JETRO principle that Moses Herod from his father in law. Get your people to leave your hundreds. Get them to leave your deeds. You can’t sell for.

Jake Enriquez: 36:51 So yeah I definitely agree with you on that and there are all kinds of different that’s needed. You know everyone mixes up together you know Iran has no strength but definitely leadership is key Man so…

Joel McCray: 37:05 You know as I said everybody’s not going to be the first line to get something new. But then what happens are you get a second line. OK we’re we need to document success so we can get ready for the next set of leaders that are managers. Yeah you know and end. But the challenge is is that you know if you’re in fourth gear on a plateau you can’t stay in that gear if you hit another heel or hit it down or you’ll be able to shift down the ice shelf slowly isn’t about to be able to torque up to be able to take this next to you. If your business and my managers are going to get me up this. No they’re not your organization no struggle. You need to make. But at the same time if you have your frontline people if you’re in first gear at a plateau going 60 miles an hour and wonder why the Arpey ammonia engine is at 9000 and then what do we hear ministry on top. They burn out. It’s a burnout. First of all they should have been leading that man and that maintenance group. They should have been released to attack attack another mountain. They said then released to try something new. But what we’ll do is we’ll take our first flight home tome and threaten them if they try something else like and they wonder like why they keep burning out. Well first of all you’re at 60 miles an hour in first gear shift gears dude. Always saying it’s like stuff like where we’ve got different types of leaders but we don’t ever shift shift gears.

Jake Enriquez: 38:22 All right. Let me ask you this how did people reach out to you. I know you’re a social media website guy.

Joel McCray: 38:28 I know God got my Facebook. Joel B McCray I have Twitter. Joel J.B. McCray. I’ve got my Web site. JoelMcCray.com. You can reach me there I’m also on Instagram Joel B McCray. You can hit me up at 8 1 7 – 3 7 1 – 2 3 0 5. Text me or whatever. And you need to learn some music to either way for either of those sites I’m on YouTube give them some free nuggets that I drop on YouTube so I was blessed for that crowd. That group of people that grows over 5000 saw how people from around the world different countries and sometimes that text and being in infraction texted me and you know that’s in japanese and I’m like having to use a translator I have no they’re Russian you know so it’s actually cool and that’s why it’s been helping me to think more globally understand different views but still understand that there’s more than one god. One Lord one baptism but there’s many members and everyone’s perspectives are going to be different and need to be gracious. Like how can I walk with you as opposed to how can I show that I’m right.

Jake Enriquez: 39:38 So my favorite stuff is the piano so I can get on as well. You know I think it’s on soundcloud. Yes I just let it go and just let it play the piano much.

Joel McCray: 39:50 Thank you sir. So you haven’t heard Mr. McCray please go and check him out on media of those media outlets you look at him and check him out and listen to his music. We’ll have the show notes placed in there so you can do that. What a blessing it is just to be able to enjoy it.

Jake Enriquez: 40:06 And I would encourage you to do so if you haven’t already alright Joel let me ask you this before we go. One last word of encouragement. This is just for someone who may be struggling in their faith. you mentioned it earlier. Somebody might believe that hey I’m supposed to be this full time ministry or whatever but just struggle. Thank you. What would be your last words of encouragement.

Joel McCray: 40:32 your faith as the words says is actually the substance things hope for evidence of things not saying and we hear those things and don’t usually like what does that mean. You know and then we’ll hear other things like faith coming by here and here and by the Word of God. What does that mean. You know so I believe that if someone is really seeking and asking for direction trust their dreams. He speaks in dreams and visions. But lot of times we’re likes and most of the spaghetti. I don’t know what I’m dreaming about that you know me because we basically don’t put any any weight your own dreams. But think about like how many times have we had the same dream over and over again. It’s like civil war it is solemn and get his wisdom in a dream. Where did Joseph find out he’s going to be the leader of a nation in a dream where to take it find that he will be the father of many nations in a dream. Where did Abraham finally going to be the father of many nations in a trance in a dream world that Mary and Joseph find they’re going to have Jesus in a dream. It’s like when you’re going through the Bible all these folks are the only person that actually spoke face to face to God like a man was Moses. Yeah but everybody else recorded the numbers 12 speaks to him. Know he speaks in dreams and a vision. So I think the deal is like. What happens is that the Sabbath not to be technically Sabbath the Sabbath is major rest and technology has sped up and I think a lot of folks are struggling in their faith because they can’t slow down. You know sometimes put the phone down sometimes turn off all the technology because he said I’m in the still small voice you know if you walk through the neighborhood you actually see stone if you drive to the neighborhood you see house if you walk through the neighborhood you see Bermuda if you drive to a neighborhood you just see grass. If you walk through the neighborhood you see Sycamore but if you drive to the neighborhood you see tree some folks actually need to slow down so they can actually see the detail of what God is actually trying to say because it’s not the fact that he’s not speaking is going to fast here. So he’s like Sam Salmon I’m speaking at dreams of speaking and sleep. But even Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5 3 sometimes we have so many dreams because then they’re knuckle incoherent because we’re too busy you know where there are too many drains too you know we can’t make sense of it because our minds all over the place you know so therefore like for me I had to go back through it. You know I got the guards convict and they said live your life like you write your music. I’m like well how’s that. What do you do. I heard the music. I didn’t study music. I don’t write music from there. I write music from inspiration. I mean I hear the arranging and I use theory to interpret it. And I have practice to execute it. So the deal is like OK I’m going to practice my faith I’m going to study the word that when I’m studying the actual scripture that helps me understand who Jesus is the logic behind the scripture but somehow believe their faith don’t come back reading the Bible. They go sit there. OK today on reading John one in the beginning was the word OK and memorized in the beginning was also there trying to memorize scripture and wonder why they don’t have any faith that you don’t get paid by memorizing texts. That’s graphic guess that scripture asks me revelation. I’m speaking all the time through relationships. Some of us but our relationships off. I got married. I don’t talk to you anymore. Well that’s where God was speaking to you. But you got that person. It’s like sometimes God speaks in nature but we don’t have time to go outside and look into the heavens and look at a bird you know. How do you think a plane came. I’m observing birds but if I don’t have time to look at nature I can’t create anything new. He said My nature is constantly speaking and giving support for free speech. I’m speaking to you in dreams and visions so our cut off our relationship. Cut off my fellowship. Don’t have time to watch how God’s creation flows and don’t have time to actually go to sleep. I’m not going to this. I’m just gonna throw it out there. So someone he’s got to slow down take a nap yeah watch some birds listen to some ocean waves and things like that. They say now what if God say. Because if I’m not hearing what he said then there’s no need to act. There is no faith. He speaks first. Yes. Then I act on that. There’s an action word and that’s another thing about Hebrew is that you know to say here God is to do what he says. So I heard a word from God and I don’t act on it then I didn’t hear it. That’s right. You know so I know my black culture. Mama say boy did you hear me. I like. But I’ll see you move it was like if God speaks we act.

Jake Enriquez: 45:01 OK so from Joel down McCray slow down and breathe. Thank you so much Joel. I’ll tell you like I tell all others who are up to them the law and pressing on. And we love you and thank God for what you do for the Kingdom of God. Thank you so much. Thank you so much blessing

Jake Enriquez: 45:11 For the show notes on this so simply go to pressandreach.com/pr33.

Jake Enriquez: 45:17 Once again. It’s been a joy hanging out with you. So please keep pressing and reaching and remember that you’re not walking out your faith alone. Out here. For he has promised that he will never leave you nor forsake. Have a blessed and wonderful day.



The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, by John Maxwell

StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath

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Instagram – @JoelBMcCray

Phone:  817-371-2305

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