IC Journey

Anyone Want to Chime In On This?

Posted in Church Life by LJ Johnson on April 21, 2014

Totally off the topic of coping with chronic illness.  Well, mostly.  In the real world, my life isn’t just about chronic illness.  It might touch every part of my life, but it isn’t my life.

I am an active Christian in a very small church, and I do a lot with music ministry, and will start teaching Sunday school in May.  Our church has been struggling for a long time now as it attempts to modernize.  It is, unfortunately, a church that tends to be a bit literal in its Scripture application in some areas, so many of the older people feel quite upset when you change things, like the order of the service, or what kind of music is sung, or if, heaven forbid, a woman might offer a prayer audibly in public.

We have been working towards change though, and towards the freedom that we are called to.  Today a very creative, beautiful service – one that you can ponder over and find meaning from throughout the coming week – was performed by two families who worked very hard together to put it together.  Probably about five or six times the amount of time of the service was spent planning everything, choosing music, choosing what would be said, etc.

However, even though I, as the main music minister, often lead a contemporary praise and worship “interlude” (our compromise – the traditionalists get the hymns, etc., during “church” proper, but in the time between services, anyone interested in “newer” music gets to join me singing contemporary praise and worship songs that are put up on a projector screen), for some reason when other people, along with teenagers, did the same thing without praise tracks or instruments (we are a small congregation, and I have worked with the youth and we have a kind of praise team together, but without my keyboard they kind of fall apart, and I injured my wrist in December and just had wrist surgery, so no actual instrumental, singing praise team for now), it caused all kinds of havoc.

Not that they did anything wrong – it was all RIGHT.

No, for some reason, the same music, performed by different people, was suddenly the most horrible thing that ever could happen in a church!

I’m completely unable to understand this.  What an adult female can do another adult female and two teens cannot?  Or was it that they used the regular recordings because they were uncomfortable with other forms of music (praise tracks or attempting to play instruments and sing at the same time)?  Or that one of the songs was a recording from a concert instead of studio?

I left the church this Sunday feeling so much joy and freedom!  Then the phone calls came (I am in charge of scheduling music).  I end up confused and a little sad by the people who felt so compelled to control what happened that they spent so much time finding fault that they never even heard the message.

He is risen!  He has conquered death, sin and the grave!  We are free, covered in the enormous sacrifice He made.

For some reason, I don’t think He would have been the least bit upset to see us clapping in celebration, or raising our hands and worshiping with our whole selves.  I think, if anything, those worshipers probably made Him smile.  He might have even clapped, just a bit, with them.