Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Worship Night Failure

Can't Do it All, Part 1

I think we (as humans) are set on being self-sufficient. I think we fight tooth-and-nail anyone who wants to lend a helping hand… perhaps in fear of the appearance of weakness? This is a dangerous tendency I know I have to fight every day. God did not create us to be alone. God did not stop with Adam and say “There… I’m done”. In fact He says “it is not good for man to be alone” and “support one another” and “love one another” and “motivate one another” and “encourage one another” and “submit to one another”. None of these things we can do alone, but we try to… I try to.

Worship Night was this past Sunday for Great Lakes Church. It’s the ONLY time we get together as a church whole, and worship God as a family (Remember, Sunday mornings we’re split into 4 adult auditoriums). We play music for over an hour, we take communion, and best of all, we celebrate with those who have decided to publically announce their faith in Jesus through water baptism. Here is a promo video I made leading up to the night, hoping to get everyone else as pumped about it as I was.

The PLAN was to have Gordon, one of our music team leaders, open the night in leading. Then John, another leader, would cover the middle set of songs. I was going to close out the set and the evening. Only, I got sick! Still dealing with flu symptoms that kicked in a few days before Worship Night, I knew it was going to be a challenge for me to make it through the night. Sure enough… during the first song I was singing, I started to cough. I couldn’t even make it through a single song without choking… and I had five more to sing. I was sweating and nauseous and I was sure I was ruining the experience for everyone else. On a huge, unfamiliar stage, in front of an auditorium full of my church family, in the middle of a song, I looked over at John. He knew exactly what that look was about, and stepped up and lead the remainder of the set. He didn’t hesitate.

In the past I’ve tried to accomplish things alone only to bring those things to a quick demise. I can count 5 bands that I was a part of in my teens that broke up because of my unwillingness to budge on an issue that NEEDED to be done MY way. Even recently, I have dealt with things in a know-it-all fashion, demanding my control over things that I know (even in the moment) would be better in the end if I let it play out to 80% of my satisfaction. But, I’m prideful, and stubborn, and blunt, and holding-my-tongue doesn’t seem an option. I’m wrong! Holding my tongue is an option. Submitting to the ideas and direction of others can be an option. Letting people help me should always be an option.

We are grateful we get to be a part of a community – people that choose to be together, supporting one another, rather than a group of individuals living independent lives. It is because of this community, people like John and Gordon and many others, that we get to be a part of what God is doing here. It is because people sacrifice their time and resources (and by “resources”, I do mean “money”) that we get to know people like Chuck and Kathy Hassel who were brave enough to share their story for us to show at Worship Night. See for yourself…

I could have easily considered Worship Night a failure. If it weren’t for community, I would have had no choice but to walk off the stage in the middle of that song, ending the experience with a bad taste in people’s mouths. But that didn’t happen. Because we are meant to support one another and because I am a part of this amazing group of people, this most recent Worship Night was the best we’ve ever had! Over 460 showed up to worship God together, receive communion as a family, and witness 58 individuals identify themselves as Christ Followers publicly through water baptism. We can’t do these things on our own, and I am grateful that we are not supposed to.

From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it's work.

Ephesians 4:16

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tony what a great testimony. You guys are doing some amazing things in the name of the Lord. Thank you for putting yourself out there and for being honest. I love you both!