REWARD FOR WELL DONE MINISTRY IS MORE MINISTRY
Have you ever noticed how when you are in the throes of intense ministry more ministry opportunity seems to come your way? Lest anyone misunderstand, I do not mean a host of requests for you to lead in revivals or conferences, and I certainly do not mean when you have multiple churches ringing your phone. Instead, I am simply talking about when you are trying to serve in needed ministry, be it standing alongside a mourning family, helping to plan a wedding, or preparing for Wednesday choir and worship team rehearsals. Over the years it has seemed to me that the more I feel needed in multiple ways for multiple situations, whether similar or widely diverse, the more seems to continue to come my way. In some of the busiest seasons of the busiest years of ministry service it seems that choir members lost parents, church members passed away and wanted me to be part of their memorials, youth choir singers were going through personal trauma and wanted my counsel. What’s more, in the midst of such ministry busy-ness, it seemed to never fail that we would discover some practical need that screamed for attention; turned out the trombone part was missing from Christmas orchestrations, or the first trumpet player had double booked, or the sound technician would need surgery on the night of the Christmas presentation.
Sound familiar? I sometimes toss back and forth between how much of our busy-ness is simply our own doing, and how much is the sovereign Lord bringing, or at least allowing, multiple opportunities to come our way. In the case of the later, which is my default understanding, I pray whether the trial is a matter of my choosing a correct need to which to respond, or if the test is simply for me to realize the Lord’s sole sufficiency, and my own insufficiency, which brings me to remember my complete and absolute dependence on His strength and power. That realization nearly always brings me to a uniquely peaceful response. In fact, it is often when the proverbial wheels are coming off on a project that I sense the closeness of the Lord most. I suppose that is because I am at that point of recognizing just how far beyond me is any ministry effectiveness. I also find blessed hope in the realization that in such moments over and again the Lord has shown His face, and as a result I have bowed down and worshiped.
Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name. Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. (Hebrews 13:15-16)
I confess to you brothers and sisters who serve with me in Tennessee, especially those who also participate in our state singing groups and other convention activities, that I am in the midst of just such a time yet again in my ministry, with multiple events rising on the horizon and more rich and meaningful opportunities yet presenting themselves in rapid fashion, while at once walking through difficult days with some among us who I long to stand beside in moments of special need. I find myself juggling music preparations, mission details, church worship leadership assignments and opportunities, and staring at an unrelenting calendar of activities and writing assignments. And I say, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!”
I prayerfully ask that you will join me in the opportunities that are coming to us as Tennessee Ladies Chorus and Tennessee Mens Chorale and for you as youth choir leaders and worship music leaders. As with me, I know you will no doubt face ministry needs during your Christmas presentations as well as during the Getty Irish Christmas opportunities. I ask you, though, to also see if the Lord is not nudging you to fall into His incredible power to do immeasurably more than we could imagine or ask. As we are faithful to respond to His every opportunity who knows what new opportunities yet await.
It is a blessed fellowship to venture this journey together!!