CHARLOTTE, NC (AgapePress) - This summer, all across America and beyond, beginning musicians will pick up a guitar and try to make their fingers form a few simple chords - G, C, and D. With, perhaps, an occasional E-minor thrown in.
But for some, those simple chords turned into a passion, and then into a career.
Ed Cash, 29, got his start playing for Young Life camps and clubs, but from there he has become one of contemporary Christian music's hottest young producers, as well as a musician with several solo CD projects of his own.
And even today, Cash said many of his performances are still in Young Life groups and camps. "Young Life is cool because in that environment people aren't smoking and drinking (as they would in a bar atmosphere), but you still have lost people in there," he said. "It's fun to have the opportunity to minister to those people."
Cash said he has a calling to minister and connect with wild, lost teenagers, rather than to disciple, because he was once in their shoes.
"I had a big history with drugs and was totally out for my own glory with music," he said. "I went to different treatment centers and was convinced I'd never play again because of how much the music led me into the dark lifestyle."
Contrary to his thinking, Cash said music played a major role in leading him back to the Lord. "God began opening my heart to a new type of playing ... in ministry for His glory," he said. "I accepted Christ when I was five years old, but my heart stopped following that decision for a while. I re-accepted Him into my life (in 1992) and got set on following Him again."
Cash said music has always been a part of his life. "I was singing before I could talk," he said. "My dad used to play the guitar to me when I was young, and my mom started teaching me to play the piano when I was seven years old."
Ed Cash's dad is "Steady" Cash, a Charlotte, North Carolina, entrepreneur and a member of the national board of directors for Young Life.
Inspired by God, his wife, Kerry and his fascination with the different characteristics of people, Cash sings and plays the guitar, piano, and drums to the songs he writes himself.
"I write a lot about my wife ... the love God has given us. Not only am I thankful for her and for our marriage, but I think it's (the marriage) is a good ministry to others. Unfortunately, many do not have that positive role model in a marriage."
The multi-talented artist now spends his time performing for Christian organizations and the other half producing for other artists, including Allen Levi, another musician popular with Young Life groups around the country. Recently, he has worked on projects by Caedmon's Call, Andrew Peterson, and Bebo Norman. All thanks to God and a skill he learned at camp.