From our perspective
We are passionate about seeing the Church, Christ’s Body of believers, join together to worship Him. Our hearts long to see people connect with their Father and their Savior in a personal and meaningful way. We desire to see people surrender to follow and trust God no matter what. We are passionate about seeing people respond with thankfulness for Christ’s gift of forgiveness, redemption and salvation.
This is who we are. This is what drives us. This is what moves us.
Awhile back we led worship through song for a conference. While singing Kari Jobe’s song “Forever,” I, Kerry, was overwhelmed by the Lord. I couldn’t keep it together. Tears began falling, my voice could no longer sing and weeping took place. Right there, in the middle of the stage, lights beaming down on me, the band still playing, background vocalists picked up the lead as I allowed the Spirit to speak to my heart. I’m listening. What Lord? Why now?
I was asked later by a curious participant what that was about. What did I experience?
While that experience isn’t a regular occurrence, it also isn’t completely foreign to us. Kert and I are both known to begin tearing up and sometimes weeping during times of leading. What is that about?
Well, it’s the result of several things. Most of it is a matter of our perspective.
There are several difficulties to fulfilling this calling of pastoral ministry, but there are so many rewards and gifts in being in full-time ministry. This is one of them — having a front row seat in watching God do His thing.
To give you a glimpse of what we experience, here’s a little of what took place on that particular conference day. And please be kind. I hope you know that what I’m sharing is a place of vulnerability and the hope is that you will have understanding as to what we experience when we lead worship and the hope that you will be encouraged in your own worship of the Lord. Also, know that I’m trying to use words to describe a moment that is difficult to describe.
So here’s what happened that particular day:
I pray during the introductory instrumental, “Lord, please give me strength to sing this. Please use these words to speak to our hearts about who You are. May we hear You.”
I open my eyes to sing the first words of the song:
“The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him”
As I sing these words, I imagine the weight that Jesus took on. I feel heaviness and tension in my heart.
“One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken”
I am thinking about the battle and the victory that Christ won. The power of hell broken. BROKEN! Forever! As I’m singing those words, I’m looking across the congregation. I see a variety of activities taking place. I see a person yawn. I see a person staring blankly. I see a young woman whose face is contorting in a grimace of pain and pleading to the Lord–but at the same time there’s a beauty in it like a surrender is taking place. I see a tall man standing with both arms raised to the sky and palms facing outward. He’s adorning the Lord with praise. I see another person sitting, one arm folded with her hand across her stomach and the other hand on her face and she is sobbing.
And I know their stories. I know the young mom has recently added another child to her family, and they have medical difficulties in their family. They are struggling to find strength through the exhaustion of having a new baby; they are struggling to find help and provision as they endure the constant faith-testing of finding enough medical coverage to help their family. I know that this mom is fighting for joy and she is honoring the Lord in the midst of their trial.
I know that tall man’s story too. We’ve seen him grow from a man of uncertainty and passiveness to a man passionate about leading his family and community to Jesus, and he’s a man certain of God’s call on his life to lead out in a specific ministry that the Lord is overflowing with blessing.
I know the weeping woman’s story. Just a week prior to the conference, she and her family had an unexpected and tragic death take place.
And I know my story. Dealing with emotions concerning our own lost loved one, struggling through stress of mounting responsibilities and then having sick kids, etc. I’m sure you can relate!
And then I sing:
“The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated”
And then I fall apart while the other vocalists pick up the slack and sing,
“Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive”
The Lord says to my heart, “I will be glorified. Forever.”
And I look at these dear people in front of me and I think, “Of course! Of course you will! You will be glorified no matter what!” In difficult events of our lives, God has shown up and He has proven Himself to be faithful. He has shown up at the right time to give comfort, wisdom, provision, strength and peace. It was a moment of the Lord saying, “This is who I am for you. Trust me. I have overcome and you can trust that I’m gonna bring Myself glory.”