MINISTERING MUSICIANS AT CHRISTMAS
What a joy and privilege it has been this year to attend several Christmas presentations directed by our music ministers and presented by their music ministry forces in Tennessee Baptist churches. I have been reminded how blessed I am to be serving in the capacity I fully believe the Lord has called me to in the TBC. I am not finished yet with a couple more Christmas services to attend. Not serving in an interim music ministry leadership position this year, in addition to not having the Getty gig again until next year, has opened this opportunity to buzz around the state and take in some of the fruit of your labor in these churches I have been able to attend. Plus, I was also privileged to finally get to sing as part of the Forest Hills Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir in the presentation of I AM LIGHT last Sunday afternoon. I would have taken a picture from the choir loft if I thought I could have gotten by with it (Wayne might have excommunicated me), but I had on a choir robe and the process of retrieving a phone from the pants pocket while in the loft would not have been conducive to the moment in any fashion.
As indicated in my last renewworshiptn post, attending these presentations in churches of all shapes and sizes has stirred reflections on the power of the ministry in which we are engaged. It has served as reminder of the challenge of our cultural context of today, and has demonstrated in small part the level of commitment you, our worship music ministry leaders, bring to getting out the message of Gospel Truth. Every presentation I attended included a word of declaration regarding the Good News that Christ came to save. The hunger on the part of music ministers to effectively communicate the Gospel is profoundly evident. Whether by stepping aside a moment for the senior pastor to communicate the message of open invitation, or voicing that same message themselves, or ordering music and drama in such a way as to make the message plain, every music leader in every program I have attended pronounced Jesus as Savior and Lord.
TBC churches’ Christmas presentations, as is the case with their broader music ministries, run the gamut from among the most elaborate with staggering financial investments in productions to the simplest of simple, presenting ministry through music on a proverbial shoestring. .” I am reminded of an old Lee Turner song lyric, “It takes us all to feed a hungry crowd.” One music minister reported to me following the presentation, “and we did not spend a dime on this.” I am thankful for the spirit of dedication among our music ministry leaders from the most educated to the untrained volunteer, and could not be more proud or optimistic about the ministry that is offered in our churches. My prayer focus has been renewed as has been my own commitment to find new and more effective ways to support and assist through the work of ministry the Lord has given me to do in our home state.
What a joy it has been to sit in a pew and pray for pastoring worship music ministers, Scott Foshie (Alpha Morristown), Lee Allen Dalton (Buffalo Trails, Morristown), Scott Andrews (FBC Sevierville), Mark Blair (Bellevue, Memphis), Dennis Worley (Brentwood, Brentwood), Chris Gregg (Silver Springs, Mt Juliet), and to join the singing with Wayne Causey (Forest Hills, Nashville). I am grateful for these ministries and all those they represent across the state, large and small, and the deep shared commitment to tell the story of Jesus and to open arms to invite all to “Come and worship Christ the newborn, crucified, resurrected, living, and coming again KING!”
Even as I step away from the office and the road for much needed time for family and rest, I continue a heartfelt focus of joyful thanksgiving for the privilege of serving with fellow worshiping musician-ministers in pronouncing the greatest truth ever told through the greatest story possible, proclaiming “Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come!” May God bless you in your time with family, and may our spiritual and musical gifts find rich refreshment in this special season of the year and of our lives.
Praying you will have a very merry Christmas!