First I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to take on this role as Worship Director. I have felt well-loved and supported by everyone. Today I would like to share some of the things that are happening outside the 14 min when you as a congregation member would usually interact with the team.
We have an amazing team of volunteers. We would be singing to tracks and videos if it weren’t for the talents and time spent by Deborah, Kevin, Adam, Yesenia, Mike Behrend, Roxane, Fiona, Derik, Sue, Annie, and Daniel. Every person that currently participates was trained in some way by Pastor Kent and we have been fortunate to have such a legacy to rely on for the last 6 years. But any fruit that was born of that past has been well enjoyed and consumed and we need to turn to fertilizing the tree so that we can see a new crop. (Luke 13:6-9)
This fertilization looks like leaning on the four pillars that Pastor Sam has been emphasizing over the last few months, prayer, the word, attending church, and sharing the gospel.
Prayer has been focused on in the following ways. Pastor Sam and Pastor Russ and I spend time together in prayer an average of three mornings per week, covering our church, individuals, our ministries and also asking for wisdom and direction from the Spirit. It has impacted me greatly to rely on God for action instead of pushing things forward myself. (Psalm 127). We have also changed our worship team reminder email to include a prayer focus week by week to help align our prayers as a team. Time is spent by the worship leaders in prayer as they choose the songs and then during practices to help us hear what God is emphasizing to us through the songs. We all marvel at the number of times the songs and message align without previous communication except through prayer. Finally, each week after practice on Sundays the music and tech teams pray together for the service, the congregation, and each other.
The word focus. It is such a gift to sing God’s word. We have begun initial conversations as a team about how we choose music and which songs we sing. We want to use our time wisely and sing songs that are rich in theology and write God’s word on our hearts. During our rehearsal times, we typically spend an hour together and this has been a good time to talk about where in God’s word different songs have come from, what the songwriter was focused on when writing the songs and what we are going to emphasize. Two scriptures have been the focus of my prayer for this ministry thus far: Phillipians 2:4, and Psalm 133.
Coming together as a church has been a significant challenge we continue to face as I speak to you in this meeting via Zoom. It is so important to be physically present with each other as much as we can be. We had planned a Worship Weekend at the end of January, intended to be Friday night and Saturday afternoon spent learning about worship together, praying, and playing music. That had to change to Worship 1hr on Zoom and while not quite the same we all still had a good time of fellowship and discussion together. I learned that most of the worship team, that get up and sing week by week are introverts! We have begun to have rehearsals for some of the worship times and are working on ways to make this the norm and not the exception. Deborah has been mentoring Annie and Daniel and bringing them into the team. We began to have a time of youth music in the 30 min prior to youth group where we have a talented bass player and more singers joining us. Most recently we managed to have a celebration BBQ to finish off this season. It was a beautiful afternoon of burgers and sharing life together before the rain and covid hit again. I would like to thank Kathy for all the support and work that she does for the worship ministry, it is so great to work with her.
Finally, sharing the gospel. It has been changing me to intentionally chose music that clearly states what Jesus has done for us. I hope to see us grow as a body of musicians, both in number as well as opportunity. I hope to see songwriting spring up. I hope to see nights of singing together. I hope to see all the things God has for us as a church in full bloom and then the wonderful fruit that only He can produce in us. May the power of the gospel transform us together.