Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Confessions of a Point Man
I used to say there were two sacrifices I made for my church. I did not play on the softball team and did not sing on the worship team. This is a story of how I did one of those things. It is not, however, a nice simple story of how I did something I thought I could not do and succeeded. It is much more convoluted than that.
My main reason for not wanting to be on the worship team is I cannot sing. Now I have found if I sing softly, I can blend in enough that hopefully no one will notice, but this hardly seems a good reason to do it up front. I do, however, have a fairly expressive worship style. (I have been told by people from a charismatic perspective that they envied my freedom of worship.) It began when the pastor said he did not want people on the worship team who could sing well, but who could worship. And I felt a nudge in the back of my mind, saying, "You can worship." Now I resisted, thinking this was a crazy idea. But it would not go away, and things I thought were conflicts vanished, so I gave in and volunteered to go on the worship team.
Strangely enough, I found people responded favorably to what I was doing. There were even those who came up afterward to thank me for it. I also seemed to be encouraging people with charismatic tendencies to be more willing to express themselves that way. I do not think it would have gone very far, maybe more people lifting up hands than had done so before, but it was a definite difference.
Things seemed to be going well until some people began complaining I was "too charismatic". (I was never able to determine exactly what this meant; the closest I came to defining the problem was "kneeling and dancing".) But if I was encouraging people to be charismatic and the leadership did not want to go there, we had a problem. Therefore, after failing to resolve the problem, I followed the leading of God and resigned from the worship team.
Now I do believe God led me onto the worship team. (It was certainly contrary to my normal way of thinking.) But I am convinced that I was led to do what I did in order to point out the potential conflict in the congregation over things charismatic before it came to a head in a more destructive way. I was the point man. In the military, the point man is the one who goes out in front of the column to act as lookout. He is also the one most likely to get shot. If I can draw a moral from this, it is that God's will is not always simple and straightforward and does not always work out as we want it to. But we must trust Him in spite of that.