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a Sunday like no other

November 19, 2007

Yesterday was probably one of the most emotionally challenging Sundays I’ve experienced in a while. Early in the service they announced that we were going to be planting a new church, and that our worship leader would be leaving to fill the role as the new pastor. I have to be honest, my first reaction was not positive. I thought, “No God! Find someone else. We need him here.” I love everything about our church, and the music is way up on the list. I don’t want anything to change. I knew immediately that wasn’t how God wanted me to respond. I remembered Jesus’ words to Peter when he argued with him about God’s plan for Jesus to be killed. He said, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” It was as if he was saying it directly to me, loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. I felt very small and selfish in that moment. It isn’t my church, it is God’s church. Doug isn’t my worship leader, he is God’s servant. Clearly God needs him in Savannah more than we need him here.

God worked on changing my heart through the rest of the service. As our pastor talked about priorities, I began to realize that much of the time my focus is not eternal. My priorities are all good things, all related to home and family, but periodically God’s plan strays from my picture of how things should be.

At the end of the service, when I was feeling about as beat up and low as I’ve ever felt, it came time for the offering. But this offering was unlike any I’ve ever seen. Instead of taking an offering, the church gave an offering. He told us to take an envelope out of the bucket, holding between $5 and $100, with two rules attached: You can’t keep it for yourself and you can’t give it back to the church. He challenged us to bless it forward – to use the money to impact someone’s life. I was stunned. To think that our baby church, struggling financially like most of the rest, would have enough faith to send all that money out into the world in the hands of sinful, selfish people like me – money that could be used to pay bills and salaries. If they can trust God in such a big way, how can I be unwilling to let God take Doug wherever he needs to go?  Oh, to have God’s view of our little community this week! I would love to be able to see firsthand all the lives that are touched through that incredible gift.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 19, 2007 6:10 pm

    Our worship pastor left last month to plant a new church. We’re currently in an interim period of lay-led worship, as our pastor wants to be sure to follow God’s leading to the right man for the worship job, rather than taking whoever we can get immediately. As I’m extremely involved in the worship ministry, this has been quite a time of stretching. It’s good, though – good for me, and good for the church – to have this reminder that our worship is about God, not about who happens to be holding the microphone. But it is so hard to let go of the familiar and step into the unknown!

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