Sunday, January 11, 2009

Worship



Jennie Webb and her husband Chad







Jennie started going to Living Hope during college. She got involved in the Young Careers ministry and the choir. Through Young Careers ABF Class, she met her husband Chad. They were married in May last year. They are now in the Young Couples ABF and small group. Jennie serves in the worship choir and also on the vocal team to lead our congregation during times of praise.


One day I was on vocal team about to sing the song Your Grace is Enough. I was not looking forward to it because, well, for one it is not my favorite song, and secondly, the chorus can get pretty high. My throat was sore and I worried that I wouldn't be able to hit the note and I would fail at leading the congregation in worship. Then as I began to sing, the Lord spoke to me through the song. The second line in the song says, "You use the weak to lead the strong." I immediately thought, that's me! I'm weak, doubting that Jesus can help me sing the song, and yet God is using me to lead a congregation of pastors and life-long believers. I felt as though the Lord was telling me to stop worrying about whether you like the song or not; stop fretting about how you will sound. Just worship me. I think back on that moment sometimes when I am beginning worship. No matter what the song or how my voice is, I can experience a true time of worship with my Savior.

Some of you might disagree with me. You might be thinking, Your Grace is Enough is the most awesome song ever sung. You could chime in about what songs you like and don't like, but that's not why I'm writing this blog post. We all have different preferences, but the truth is, it doesn't really matter...not what you or I think anyway.

We looked at the scripture 1 Corinthians 13:1 on Sunday, which said "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." I think of worship in a similar way. You can have a voice greater than anyone in the world, you can close your eyes and look as though you are singing with great passion, but if you are not truly expressing love for the Father through these actions, then it is only a "resounding gong" to the Lord. It might sound beautiful to those in the sanctuary, but as the bulletin insert says, we are singing to "an audience of one." He only requires that we "make a joyful noise unto the Lord." (Psalm 100:1). The worship ministry's purpose is to express love for the Lord and help lead others to do the same. If it sounds nice to the congregation, that is an added bonus.

Something unique about this part of the church body is that church attenders see worship ministry members each week during the services. After a while, they'll start to remember faces. They may know your name or they may just remember you as "the lady that dances" or "the big tall goofy guy." Regardless, they see you as a Living Hoper, a Christian. I think this gives choir members accountability. We should always act in a way that is Christlike, but let's face it, if we knew a church member was watching, we'd be more mindful of how we behaved. I sometimes think about that when I am tempted to respond in a way that is less than holy. I might not know the person who is watching, but it might very well be someone who remembers me from being in the choir. Without even knowing it, my actions could turn someone away from church, even away from Christianity.

We all have a responsibility to live lives that draw others to Jesus. People may know we are believers because we are in the choir, because they see us in another ministry at church, because we tell them, or because we just live our lives in a way that says there is something different. Regardless of how they come to know we are Christians, let our actions continually prove the love we have for the Lord. As Jason says, let them say of Living Hope, that we are a church of love.

Jennie Webb

9 comments:

hotdogjones said...

It is sometimes hard to remember that there is always someone watching. Our attitudes in our everyday lives outside of church should reflect the same love we feel and project each Sunday.

One question though. Who is the big tall goofy guy...wait a sec...hey...

Richard Carwile said...

Thanks for your ongoing ministry at Living Hope Jennie, and for this post. Thanks for sharing.

Martha said...

Jennie,
Thanks for the beautiful message on the blog. Choir is more than just getting up in front of the congregation and singing. The words to the songs are always a blessing to me. This Sunday, the 11th I was truly blessed with the words to all the songs we sang. You are right, so many people know us by our actions and know us because they see us in the choir.Thank you for this ministry.

Martha Burnaugh said...

Jennie,
Thanks for the beautiful message you posted. Choir means so much to me, not just standing up singing, but being blessed by the words to the songs we sing. Sunday, the llth I was truly blessed by the words to all the songs. I receive so many blessings at choir practice with the fellowship we have with one another. Jason talks about love. Living Hope is filled with love. I have been blessed over and over again since coming to Living Hope. Thanks for this ministry.

Meaghan Ritchie said...

I am so thankful to be a part of the choir ministry at Living Hope. We are so much more than a choir...we are a family, and I thank God everyday for allowing us to touch the lives of so many.

Jennie said...

Yes! It's amazing how you can hear a song for the tenth time, and yet it speaks to you in a different way... kind of like scripture does.

Rina said...

Jennie,
I don't know you, but I feel like I've "met" you through your family blog. I appreciate what you've said here, and am once again reminded to "Do all things as to the Lord and not unto men."
Rina

Benny Stofer said...

Jennie,

I agree with you completely. It doesn't matter about our opinion of songs, sermons, prayers, videos, or any other elements in a service when it comes to worshiping our Father. God desires our hearts to praise, adore, and thank Him. We are accountable to God for that. We are accountable to each other for our behavior and our words.

Well said, Jennie!!!!!!!!!!!

You are a blessing,
Benny

Jennifer Keene said...

Thank you for your blog Jennie! Sorry for the late comment. I appreciated what you had to say about singing to an audience of one. My prayer is that we would all be so filled with the Holy Spirit that we could come to the end of ourselves and truly worship our Lord! Thank you!