What Exactly Are We Doing, Here?

coughingThis past week, as many of you will recall, I struggled quite significantly during our time together on Sunday morning.  Not with a hidden sin or inner turmoil…no, my struggle was laid out there loud and clear for everyone to see.

Or, more aptly put, to hear.

Whatever little bug I caught the Friday before, I clearly was in no shape to be singing.  Let alone singing into a microphone for others to hear.

And thinking through the difficulty that I had this weekend, I couldn’t help but ask the question of myself: “What if my voice had totally given out?  What then?”

You see, we definitely weren’t prepared to have anyone else lead this Sunday.  Though there are many who are more than capable, less than 24 hours notice really isn’t fair at all.  How would they rehearse?  Would they know the songs?  Could they sing them in the same key?  And what if…?

The questions can drone on for what seems like an eternity.  But the underlying issue isn’t really that quite a few people had to suffer through listening to my frog-like voice for 30 minutes on Sunday, is it?  The issue is more about vocation.

In my mind, if you’ll humor me for a minute, I really see our worship team to be this:  a group of individuals who have decided that music has some sort of “other than” quality that ignites passion and re-orients affections and we want to share that with our brothers and sisters in Christ in a meaningful and worthwhile way.  Our job, then, is simply to sacrifice some of our time each week to make that happen.  That’s all.

The problem I see that often crops up in well-meaning groups (or individuals – I stand guilty, here) such as this is the unspoken necessity to keep pace with our own expectations.  So quickly, if we aren’t careful, we begin to see our gift to our brothers and sisters as some sort of irreplaceable entity.  As if God needs us in some way for there to be authentic worship.

I quickly realized I felt that way this Sunday.  Perhaps part of it was the fact that I’m “new on the job” still.  Perhaps part of it was pride.  Maybe self-indulgence.  Either way, the truth was I felt irreplaceable in a very bad way.  How could I honestly ask anyone to fill in at that point?  We surely couldn’t have our Sunday morning service without music, could we?

And though I know there are legitimate answers to those questions that most people would say are acceptable, I just couldn’t get my head around them.  I was too necessary for my own good.  And I know better.

If I’m honest, underneath all that, I really just desire that we keep our role and our gift very simple.  We are here to share this particular facet of worship and adoration of Jesus with our community.  I hope that we can be a group that can, with full honesty, approach God in such a way that if we hear Him say to be still, we would be still.  I hope that if He asked us to be silent for a month, we’d be faithful enough to concede.  But on the flip side of that same coin, I sincerely hope we would not remain quiet when He overwhelms us!

So, what are we doing, here?  Are we locked into some necessary wheel of performing and listening?  Are we caught up in our own necessity?  Or are we humbly looking at Jesus, accepting this is one of the gifts we can offer, and willingly accepting whatever it is He chooses to do with it?

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I suspect not.  I imagine, if we’re all honest with ourselves, we find a bit of that necessity creeping around in us.  It is my prayer that we learn to see it, resign ourselves to smash it, and humbly continue making music simply because we can’t help ourselves.

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