Busy About What?

Is it just me or does it seem that every season of the year now is busy, busy, busy?  I vaguely remember when music ministry had a certain rhythm that included seasons of busy – ness and other seasons of a more routine, if not laid back pace.  I would reminisce about those “good ol’ days, but I don’t have time now.  There are probably numerous reasons for our accelerated stride, and matching reasons that our crowded calendars remain unrelenting throughout the entire year.  Anyone who knows my schedule knows I cannot write this article as one who practices a really healthy balanced lifestyle in terms of time management.  I can, however, write as one who is both a careful observer of worship pastors/music leaders and as a fellow struggler who is trying to find that path to being a less frantic follower of the Prince of Peace.

 

One of my earliest remembrances of really connecting with what a youth leader was saying was when a discipleship-training leader talked about the difference in our efforts as Christians to “do” as compared to our willingness to “be.”  The discussion was related to what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus.  I can recall an unusual sense of comfort stirred in my spirit through that emphasis of being over doing.  It has stuck with me all these years and has been amplified many times over through experiences of life and ministry.  To this day I find myself troubled by preaching and teaching that overemphasizes something we are to do, especially when it is stretched to the point of leaving an impression that our means of attracting God’s attention and favor is some heroic effort on our part.  Commonly called a “works” salvation, such teaching when applied to worship, develops an unhealthy, if not blasphemous, atmosphere in corporate or private worship.  Lest you misunderstand, I am certainly not implying that there is not “doing” in Christian life and worship.  To the contrary, all we do in life becomes our worship as we offer our bodies to be living sacrifies. (Rom 12:1)  It may be better stated to say that what we do grows out of who we are in Christ.  Worship leaders are in position to model an ordering of these two dynamics of “doing” and “being.”  In worship planning, and material selection, we have opportunity to encourage worshipers to remember and give thanks for what God has done in Christ.  Our calling in worship is to lift up Christ!  I sometimes would hope that pastors and worship leaders would ask themselves following a worship service, “Is is likely that people left concerned about what they need to do,” or “humbled and full of gratitude for what Christ has already done?”  Oh that we would recognize the sole source of the power to live as devoted followers of Jesus, and convey the message clearly to worshipers, thus edifying the body.

 

We would do well to read carefully the Great Commandment and Great Commission in light of this tension of “doing” and “being.”  Loving the Lord with all of our heart, all our soul and with all of our mind (Matt 22:37) seems best centered in a relationship with the Lord, in which we turn all of our mind’s attention and all of our heart’s affection toward Him.  Loving our neighbor as our self seems best practiced by being the disciple whose nature has changed from self-serving to daily cross-bearing.  In the case of the Great Commission, worship leaders do well to remember that the commission was given in a setting “when they saw Him, they worshiped Him.”  Some doubted Him, but Jesus did not say, “you are going to need to try really hard to achieve this next part.”  Instead, he simply reminded them of His potency as one who had “all authority in heaven and earth.  We know that He called upon them and us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things He has commanded. (Matt 28:19-20)  Brothers and sisters, we dare not miss the last phrase of this commission, which is the sole source of empowerment for this commissioned journey, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:20)

 

Being with Him, in Him, and He in us, living life in response to what He has done….our spiritual act of worship.  Thanks be to God!

 

So as you peruse your responsibility-riddled calendar, and contemplate the paces needed to arrive at the big Christmas program, plan choir calendars, order music and materials, design sets, formulate budgets, listen to new songs, etc, etc, let me encourage you to join me in prayer that we might become more like Jesus and allow His way of abundant life to be lived out more fully in who we are becoming.  Let’s pray to be better models of worship rooted in spirit (Holy Spirit) and truth (Word who became flesh) as we trust our Lord who said:

 

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. You have heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.  If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

 

John 14:27-28

 

God’s peace be with you,

Paul

Explore posts in the same categories: Choir Ministry, Church Music, Leading Worship, Music Ministry, Private Worship, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts

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