Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heaven on Earth

reflections of serving in worship ministry

If you’ve listened to Contemporary Christian Music at all, you’ve probably heard the song I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe. This song spoke to me the very first time I heard it on a multitude of levels.

It’s become a very popular song at funerals (I’ve actually sung it at a funeral myself) because of its inspiring message of wonder and hope, but to me, where it speaks loudest in my life, is the unrestrained joy of eternally serving my Lord.

My favorite line in the song is “I can only imagine when all I will do is forever, forever worship You.”

Music has been a central theme in my personal and spiritual development - I wasn’t even a year old before I started pawing at my dad’s guitar. I even tend to “mark” my life by music – a song that represents an event or something I was going through – refreshing that memory every time I hear it. To this day, when I hear “Here I Am To Worship” I am brought back to the moment of my salvation when I gave my life to Christ, tears streaming down my face as voices sing “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross….”

When I sing “when all I will do is forever, forever worship You” it is the most exciting part of my vision of eternity in Heaven with my Lord. Yes, of course, worship is so much more that just singing or playing music, but it is the most natural way I connect with God and I believe he wired me that way for a purpose.

I have been so blessed, honored… humbled even, that for the last year and a half I have gotten to experience just a taste of Heaven on Earth as I have served a auxiliary role in the worship ministry at Fair Oaks Church. Being a part of the team that leads worship for the Wednesday night services has been an amazing personal and spiritual journey for me, but more so in those moments when others have let me know that something we sang had special meaning for them or that they were moved by it – well, THAT’s what it’s all about and I know I am fulfilling God's purpose.

This week, the staff and leadership at Fair Oaks Church had to make a very difficult decision. As the church grows and energies could get split in so many directions - it was time to reevaluate and focus on the essentials. It was announced this week that Fair Oaks Church would be discontinuing the Wednesday services to dedicate more energy to everything happening on Sunday on our campus (which is so much more than just the two services!).

I have full trust that every decision my church leadership makes is God-led and support them unconditionally. On a personal level – having felt a bit like I was just expelled ... from Heaven – I went through a tissue or two, which is a bit uncharacteristic for me. I cried less when I was processing the news of my cancer diagnosis. But I trust God as he closes this door that He will open a window to where He wants me to be, and so will I wait. (I’ve gotten very good at that over the last couple of years.)

I want to thank Joel Slater, Mike Zizolfo and Debby White for seeing something in me, for seeing my heart for God and blessing me with this amazing opportunity to help lead others in their worship during the Wednesday services. It has been a true honor and blessing to work with talented and godly musicians like Adam Miller, Nate Miller and Phillip Bassham who also brought their heart for the Lord as well as their instruments every Wednesday and to many practices. It was a joy to work with you, play with you, and worship with you, my brothers!

Stay tuned for new and exciting things to come at Fair Oaks Church. I’ve been there long enough to know that when one ministry is retired, something really cool is around the corner.

Over the summer, the Wednesday praise band had been working on some new music, and one in particular I wanted to share because it captures how how special that small group of people who would meet on Wednesday night are. It has meant so much to me to be a part of this gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ and not just benefit from an amazing bonus sermon from Pastor Stokes, but to be able to share our brokenness with one another and lift each other up in prayer.

This is the song that will forever "mark" this chapter in my spiritual walk.


tracey said...

I wasn't able to be in many Wednesday services but God used you & the Wednesday night team to bless me every time. Can't wait to see what God has in store for you next!

ML Yost said...

Thanks Tracey. :-) I wish I could be there with you guys for your big day tomorrow. I'll be praying for God to do big things in T.O. and to lead people to BCC!