When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
-“It Is Well” by Horatio G. Spafford
I went to Church with my parents and “Gramps” (my grandfather) when I was growing up. We went to very traditional churches that sang hymns as the sole source of musical worship. With that said, I have an affinity to old hymns, especially new covers of old hymns. [Don’t let anyone know, but I pull out The Gaither Vocal Band from time to time.]
As we did “It Is Well” a couple of weeks ago, the lyrics and the church singing them back overcame me. And by looking out on the congregation and listening, I could tell it was more than just me that was before the throne of God. And just to think that was not supposed to happen…
Today, you get to learn some insight into being a worship pastor:
Adaptability is one of my top weaknesses, that’s right… not strengths. I found that out when we were going through pre-marital counseling and we did some strength-finder tests. As a worship leader, adaptability is one of the necessary skills. Luckily, God knew this and gave me self-discipline as one of my strengths.
Every week, sometimes weeks in advance, I sit down with the sermon topic and look through a comprehensive list of all the songs we have done at Journey, songs I would like to introduce at some point, and song suggestions by others. This list includes song keys, instrumentation, who has led the song in the past, and some other notes. I combine that with availability of musicians and prayer. Then I start listing possible songs, think about transitions, and any special things going on in the service that need a place. All those things add up to a set list for the week.
And that is exactly what I did a couple of weeks ago. I had a set list that flowed well and introduced a song that our congregation will need to be familiar with for Easter. Then something happened. God had a different plan for our church. One of our band members got sick and with the availability of musicians I had, we had to go from full band to acoustic. I would like to say I just adapted and everything was great, but going back to what I said earlier about adaptability, it is not one of my strengths. I got frustrated. I had a plan…. Well there’s the problem… I had a plan.
There was no need to get frustrated. God has proven to His people for as long as time existed that He can do much greater things than to choose songs for us to sing praises to Him. Plans are great, but sometimes it seems we trust in our plan more than we trust in God.
Read through Matthew 6:25-34, which pretty much says, “don’t be anxious, God’s got this.“
This week we will be talking about “The Call.” My prayer is that our hearts will be open to hear what God is saying to us. And that even though we may have a plan for our lives, that we stay flexible to God’s plan and take a step of faith to follow our call to reach the world.