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“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4
“...the determining factor in our unity is not musical styles–it’s the gospel.” Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters.
I know what music I like. I also have the privilege to live in a time when I carry a powerful computer in my pocket equipped with a speaker to play my preferred music any time I want. To live in a time when every type of music from every age is available to me in an instant is amazing! However, this privilege is slowly making me think that I should choose what I listen to in all circumstances and dismiss the music that doesn’t harmonize with my syllabus.
I have found this attitude to be a problem when I attend church. Perhaps you have too.
So, how do we look out for the interests of others? Humility.
I did not take this approach at first. I arrogantly thought, hey, I have musical ability, I’ll join the worship team and help turn this ship to something more palatable to me. Graciously God gave me this opportunity, but in His wisdom it was not about me and my ideas. I found myself learning songs that I didn’t choose. Songs I didn’t tend to listen to in my own time. This invited me to see and hear the songs in the context they are intended for. Communal worship. I was led to start asking people why they liked certain songs. I started reading the story of the songs, who had written them, when and in what circumstances. I started to see that communal worship was not about a moment of musical gratification but that the gospel was being told in every verse and chorus whether by the songwriter or a listener impacted by the song.
So, how do we look out for the interests of others? Learning others interests.
This is not an easy feat these days when we are separated politically, ideologically and even physically. One thing we all share is Jesus Christ and the gospel. If we can start there and humble ourselves to learn others interests I think we may find our communal worship times become extraordinarily rich. Truly a celebration of the people exalting him in the assembly of the people, praising him in the council of the elders. (Psalm 107:32)
There is a practical opportunity for you to humble yourself and learn others interests coming up the last weekend of January. We will have Worship Weekend, Friday, January 28, 6-9pm and Saturday, January 29, 1-4pm. We will be taking time to pray together, to talk about what worship is, to discuss the songs we sing and sing together both old and new songs.
There are a few ways to be involved. First, through prayer. Whether or not you can attend I ask you to please pray for the music ministry at South Calgary both in general and specifically for this weekend together. Second, come and take part! We have opportunities in both the music and tech and media aspects of the worship team and would love for you to come learn more. Registration details will be available next week.