1 Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones,Praise from the upright is beautiful
2 praise the Lord with the lyre; make music for Him
with a ten stringed harp.
3 Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings,
with a joyful shout
Psalm 33:1-3 (HCSB)
Well, this weekend was our Praise and Worship team retreat; a great time was had by all in attendance. The time spent in fellowship was about getting to know more about that team member who stands next to you week after week preparing the congregation for worship. While much of the days activities were centered on knowing one another, my take away was really to answer two questions “What contributions do I bring to the team, that are praise worthy, and Is there room me for growth that would cause the Lord to use me on a deeper level of this ministry? Hmm?
As we sat around talking, for some reason, the subject of our individual skill level in music came up; the many years of practical application, who we were privileged to grace the same stage with, down to the disciplines we possess; writing, charting, to the number of instruments we can play. Granted, the ability to play an instrument at a certain skill level is one of the requirements; though it is not the only requirement.
In the movie “Fury” Shia Lebouf’ characterizes a soldier with a pastoral background, who quoted scripture to inspire his fellow soldiers to press on. As it turns out, the scene where they were trapped in the tank and surrounded by German troops was one of those times. Shia fired off a shot that took out a few enemy soldiers and was commended for it by the commanding officer though he replied “I am the instrument, not the hand.”
“I am the instrument, not the hand,” Wow, what a profound and powerful a statement. We are the Lord’s instruments; our talents are gifts come from Him. So when it was my turn to answer these questions, I replied, I’d like to think my music is praise worthy because my priority is to first seek His face, to search for Him in the Scriptures; that I may be used as His mouth piece wherever I am called, so the music is secondary.
I would add that ministry cannot occur in an “I” convention where entitlement and self edification has all but replaced the purpose we’ve been called, for whom all praise and glory flow through. I’d say that the retreat was very much a success as evidenced by yesterday’s Praise and Worship and the projects to expand (the ministry) beyond the four walls of the church.