Messes and miracles

IMG_2513This past weekend, I led worship with my brothers and sisters at the New City South worship site to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. It was a good time. I especially enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and reminiscing about God’s faithfulness in the midst of some pretty severe trials. It is a miracle that this congregation survived but I suppose the same can be said of any Spirit-filled congregation. The power of God is not the most evident reason for the existence of any congregation. If it isn’t, then we’re nothing more than a social organization.

This upcoming weekend, I get to leave my life in St Louis for a resort in West Palm Beach, Florida in order to lead worship at a fundraiser weekend for Serge. Unfortunately, I can’t bring my wife with me. However, my dad will be there and I’m looking forward to quality time with him as we play music together and get one last taste of warm weather before ol’ Jack Frost gets to work nipping at noses in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, we’re wrestling once again with volunteer participation in the music ministry. The Choir has averaged less than 10 people at rehearsals for the past few weeks. For some reason, available sopranos are hard to find in the praise team and choir. I’ve lost a couple of musician/leader this fall to other churches and some musicians have been even absent from worship services in general. What causes the eb and flow of available servants? It might just be the natural effects of overbooked schedules, cold and flu season, midterm school work and post-season sports, the list goes on and on… It’s a wonder we get anything done in the church. At this time in the choir season, we ask for renewed commitments, we evaluate logistical barriers to participation, we pray and worry, and worry and pray. And when there’s nothing else left to do, we take a deep breath and plunge into the holidays, holding our breath till January when we’ll exhale just long enough to get ready for the conferences and concerts that come up in the 1st quarter.

It’s a miracle that we ever survive this mess. That’s the thing about God’s power, it takes a mess and makes it a miracle.

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  1. #1 by James Ward on November 11, 2014 - 9:13 am

    Kirk, we are experiencing flux in our choir and praise team, too. After repeated frustration and literal sadness as people withdraw, leave the church, and are pressed by life’s priorities, I have to hold to God’s unchanging hand. His glory is so different than ours, and his ways are sometimes hidden from us for a long time. The church is a place of reality, no gloss. We are who we are, and that is the truth that binds our hearts to it. Musically speaking, it actually gives us the opportunity to show ingenuity in our planning and implementation. Nikki has helped me in that regard, for example, by encouraging me to have “duet Sundays” when just she and I lead the vocals. It is so much less stress and it takes away the pressure that more people bring.

    • #2 by Kirk Ward on November 11, 2014 - 11:28 am

      thanks for the comment dad. I’m blasting the volunteers this week with emails, facebook, and texts to get a head count. We’re up to 10 people committed to sing in the choir this weekend which is a decent start.

      All our ministries tend to hit periods when we have to make people aware of the need and then they either step up to meet the need or we have to acknowledge that we have get creative with pruning the vine to produce a greater yield.

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