Last week I was listening to my iPod when a familiar song came on. I remember I first heard it while chilling after a Lenten dinner at my first church. The song reminded me of one of the youth. He called me over to listen to a new song he just wrote. This was one of those good- looking kids who seemed to always be in trouble at school. He struggled with grades and couldn’t keep his hands busy enough, but put him in worship on Sunday nights and he not only was in his place, but he was bringing life to a worship service that had been dying. The same thing happened at my next church with a similar story of a kid who got into trouble, but by the time he was a junior in high school he was a thriving part of our worship band.Early on in my ministry it became a challenge to learn how a younger generation, in a world full of media was overwhelmed. It became important to look for creative moments. Creative moments are moments when you have an opening. Sometimes it was a new song on the radio, sometimes it was a connection with a TV show, sometimes a sports connection, sometimes a relationship connection, and sometimes it was an “old school problem” like dealing with parents. Whatever it was I used it as an opening to take God’s word and apply it to whatever the youth or adult was going through. Looking for creative moments keeps me on my toes ready for what God has next.
This week is a creative moment. We wanted to meet our goal to get the parking lot done on time. The goal was met and therefore we had a limited amount of time to prepare for this Sunday and we will not have worship in our sanctuary. It appears to be a creative moment. This creative moment can be used to prepare us for what we will do in the future. With our new parking lot and the pieces we have worked together on this year, it is a time to look at our worship and dream of pieces and changes we can add, take away, or revamp in preparation for guests coming into our church home. It is a chance to move us out of our comfort zone, and into an extraordinary servant zone ready to not just welcome our guests, but bring them into our worship so they feel loved, and allowing them the opportunities to worship with us and truly be a part of our community. These are the moments that transform ordinary troubled kids, to extra ordinary musicians and ordinary people into extra ordinary servants using their talents for God’s Kingdom.
The first young man I mentioned is currently in a band, and playing in the House of Blues with other guys who all started on a stage at worship. While I can’t tell you where his faith life is I can tell you this: He seems to be focused on his band, which is a constant reminder that his beginning was found in church leading a community worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we prepare for June 2 and attend other worship places, God is giving us a creative moment to watch how other Christian families use His Word to communicate. This year I was able to spend time on my personal mission statement, “Standing firm on ancient words and creating new ways for all people to grasp the message of real hope.” It is my heart as pastor to take these creative moments and discover more ways for people to grasp the message you and I treasure in worship every week. I am not sure what that means for us. I have no idea what you will return with. How you will experience worship differently. What I am sure of is God will show us His plan for our church family allowing us to ask the question how can we use God’s Word for a creative moment both in our lives, and in the lives of people who walk into Mt. Calvary.