Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My life as a worship leader

I'm not really sure what I am going to write, but I wanted to write so we'll see where my fingers lead on this keyboard...

Almost a year ago, I received an e-mail from our worship ministry team at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa asking if I would consider helping with worship at our satellite church in Ankeny, Iowa. Because at the time I was going through a season of busyness and purging distractions from my life, I ended up deleting the e-mail. Thankfully my wife was also on the e-mail thread.

Because I felt like I was trying to protect my time spent with my family, I was a little surprised when she cornered me later that week and said, "I think that we should volunteer at NorthBranch Church to get them through the holidays."

The next thing I knew, I volunteered my time to help with their only weekend worship service on Saturdays and a few remaining dates for the Alpha Course. Despite lacking fancy media technology the mother church owned, my transition to NorthBranch was pretty easy. I honestly walked into a great situation with a talented backline that was hungry to worship.

It didn't dawn on me how much the church had grown on me until the last weekends of leading a member told me they should create a permanent name tag for me. I stopped writing my name on the sticky name tag and thought about that for a second but said, "Actually this is my last weekend here leading worship."

Those words really sunk in. At the time, the church had called a pretty dynamic pastor named Scott Rains that really spoke to my heart. Our families were bonded together already and the church simply felt like home. But surely God didn't want us to drive a half hour each way to church. Or maybe He did.

After a couple of conversations over coffee at Java G's and some arm twisting by both Pastor Scott and Pastor Molly, they laid out the offer to come to NorthBranch to develop and grow the worship ministry. I thought they were nuts. Surely God didn't want us to drive a half hour each way to church. Or maybe He did.

God must speak to my wife pretty regularly because later in the week she said, "You're going to take that worship leader role at NorthBranch aren't you? This is something we're going to do aren't we?"

I replied, "We are?" I figured she would think it was nuts to drive a half hour each way to church. She didn't think that way.

"Yeah, I think we should," she said.

I started my full-time unpaid position at the beginning of the year and I haven't looked back. Honestly I've been surprised that I haven't burned out or grown bored. Quite the opposite has happened. I seem more engaged with worship and my role. It actually agonizes me when we're on vacation and I have to miss church. I miss seeing the people, hearing the message, following the Holy Spirit in worship.

I'm glad my wife listens to God and is obedient to Him. It's been an incredible journey so far NorthBranch Church...I can't wait to see where God leads us from here.

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