PREPARING FOR MISSION
As all worship music ministers and others who have ever taken a mission trip of any sort know, there are a lot of details to address when preparing for a mission trip. I would say that a music mission trip includes even more minutia due to the additional layers of music-making preparations, but I admit some prejudice at that point. At any rate, I find myself easily mired down in preparatory details getting ready to go to Montana and Iowa with the Tennessee Mens Chorale and Tennessee Ladies Chorus in that order, though I at once feel good about where we are in the process.
In the midst of these preparations all other assignments continue, as well as being involved in my second week in a row of revival services. Driving to Jackson early Sunday morning, expressing to the Lord my “I’m not ready!” whine, He spoke to my heart to say, “that is why you need this revival.” It is here that I want to raise the flag to all my brothers and sisters who will be on one of these mission trip endeavors. The most important preparation we will make is the preparation of our hearts. Worship is a matter of the heart. Sincere sharing of our faith comes from sincere hearts that are appropriately humbled before the Lord, and that seek to please and serve Him for His glory which results in our good. Though part of this worship journey takes me through the valley of confession, I am also reminded that the Lord’s rebuke and discipline are evidence of His love. (Hebrews 12:5)
Effective mission (witness, encouragement, proclamation) is not up to us in our own power. Our best song sung in our own power will never renew a mind or transform a life. Our warmest fellowship to brothers and sisters in partner states will not edify them to overcome challenges. Submitting ourselves, however, to the transformational power of the Holy Spirit, and allowing His Gospel to show in and through our lives will enliven our singing to become powerful drama that testifies to Jesus work and offering. Will you join me in this time of spiritual preparation while also making musical preparation?
It occurs to me that we will trust the Lord for traveling mercies as the plane lifts into the sky to take us to our mission destinations. Let us trust Him to work in ways seen and unseen to benefit the Kingdom, even as we pray; “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is important to our preparation for being on mission.