Tuesday, May 6, 2014


What's next? Seriously, I'm asking the question. What I know is that part of me is really tired. Yes, this *may have to do a bit with spending some time with Coz during phase 2 of my sabbatical where a few nights of xbox and other activities had me staying up later than I normally would. Part of me being tired is because when I did return I had a fairly busy schedule including a huge fundraiser that while it ran in-spite of me, I found myself fairly anxious about it. It also meant I didn't get my typical Sunday afternoon nap in.

The other reason I feel tires is it seems as though we keep having the same arguments over and over and over. On one hand we are in the midst of a struggle with how busy should our students be? Our schools are looking at having more practices while there seem to be more club type teams taking more and more of our students time as well. So trying to relate to students where faith comes in and why it is relevant seems to be more and more difficult. It isn't only club teams on the weekends (the school has practices on Sundays as well) and it isn't just the school having practices on Wednesdays as the club teams have practices and games on Wednesday nights.

One the other hand, we are still very much in the midst of discussing worship at church. Conversations that seemed to be happening in the 1990's in many places are being had now. Let me be clear, I really don't think people on one side or the other are trying to say things that can be hurtful to the other side, but the reality is worship can be a very personal thing and these types of battles can be painful to people on both sides. As the guy who has developed and plans our New Song service, it is clear which "side" I am on, but that doesn't mean I don't respect where others are coming from. 

In some way those two things seem to have nothing to do with one another, but to me they are very much related. On the one hand, I am trying to figure out a way (any way possible) to help students and families figure out why faith is relevant. I really don't have a magic way to do this, and I am also the kind of person that is willing to try anything. Then I sometimes feel as if I cam running into a brick wall when I go to try to do something at worship that might be outside of our congregants comfort zone, and there is enormous push back. 

These are the kinds of things that can suck life out of a person.

Then, suddenly, something happens to give you hope. This past Sunday, we had two such things happen.

1) After leading worship, as I am heading downstairs, I was walking behind a lady who was talking to her friend about the service. she was asking her friend if we did worship like that every Sunday and how much she liked it. Then, she tracked down our pastor and told him how much it meant to her and how the service and music really spoke to her. She hadn't been to church in a really long time and  this was just what she needed.

2) Sunday night we had a fundraiser. First of all, I was excited about 130 or so tickets being sold. Second, the fact we had a nice cross section of the congregation was also awesome. All of the money raised was going towards camperships to Ewalu as well as helping to pay for our Senior High students to go to Colorado. About $7,800 was raised. i was blown away. I was excited that, even though we can disagree over screens and worship styles, we can come together and support our students.

So, as we struggle to find the right course as it pertains to worship styles, screens, student ministry, finding times to meet with students, figuring out ways to better help students grow in faith, and whatever else comes up, I am reminded that we are still a people of hope. If I didn't think this mattered, I would just give up and find something else to do. But it does. This does matter. Jesus is still relevant. Our faith does matter. What we believe and how we live it out does matter. 

We just have to figure out the best way to pass it along is this rapidly changing, tech oriented world.
  • We are doing this song at worship on Sunday. I heard it at the Upper Room last week when i worshipped there and loved it.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are doing a great job! It is obvious that you have a passion for what you do. My personal opinion is that I have loved that First Lutheran offers both a traditional style of worship as well as a fun new song style. I have enjoyed attending each service and enjoy that we have a choice of which one to attend. The first service reminds me a lot of the services I grew up attending so it is comforting and what I know of church to be (which I want my kids to experience) but I have also really enjoyed singing with my kids at the second service and the relaxing environment along with it. Thanks for all you do!