My family and I have been blessed with a new church home as a result of not only relocating to another town, but also because God has been pulling on our hearts for community. One thing that churches often offer as a means of helping new folks (or any folks for that matter) find community and embed themselves into it is opportunities to serve, to share our talents and hearts with one another.
For the past 6 months, I have been doing just that. I have been operating the sound board once a month to support the pulpit and worship team on a Sunday morning. And I actually enjoy it. Here’s why I say “actually”…
For two and a half years (2005 – 2008) with another congregation in another location, I served as worship leader for one contemporary service a month. It was extremely high-stress and, while there were times I thought I was decent at it, I realize I don’t “play with others well”.
Well, a few months ago, I was setting up for rehearsal and the music director overheard my plinking out some chords on the piano, essentially, just to get a sound through the system and ensure it was hooked up correctly. She asked me how come I wasn’t playing. I explained a bit about my prior experience and burnout as well as what God was doing in my life and heart at the moment and that I needed to give Him that time and space rather than overcommit to a bunch of things that I didn’t hear Him tell me to do. She (very graciously) offered me space and said that, “I appreciate that. I won’t ask again, but if God instructs you to play again, and it involves joining us in that capacity on the team, please let me know.”
Fast forward to this week. After Thursday night’s rehearsal, I was talking with her again (in the presence of another musician) about the fact that I would be giving the Princesses lessons this year. It would be good for me, as their father, to do so, particularly to build a deeper connection with them. Well, the other musician got so excited that I played, asked how long I’ve been playing (on and off since 1979), and would I be interested in playing with the team. The leader smiled knowingly (as did I). I kindly rehashed the story of my prior invitation offered by the director and the other musician affirmed that, “Well, if God hasn’t told you to do it yet, then it’s not what you need to be doing.”
The affirmation of my walk with God, even though I don’t meet a specific expectation that folks have of me, is huge in why we’re in this community. The grace and affirmation is just pouring out of folks toward us. And they don’t even know the pain we’ve endured to get here.