It is easy to settle into a routine where we use the same instrumentation and the same general vocal arrangements each week. We get comfortable in what we use and what we know will work well. But is that the best use of our talents in planning and the best use of the talents of others that God gives us to work with? In recent months I have been reminded that stretching our teams beyond the routine allows even the routine to become better. Here are a couple of examples.
We use worship choir almost every Sunday and even though that group's ministry has evolved over the years they still on three out of four Sundays prepare a 'ministry song.' Most weeks these special songs are one that are easily attainable in just a few rehearsal settings. But they become better at the routine when I present them with a song that takes hard work, challenges their reading skills, memorization skills and musical ability. On a typical Sunday we may sing a song like "With Every Chance," but then the challenge is learning "Holy Is the Lord."
Our church is also blessed with a leader and gifted musician, Ed Kee, who leads a 'orchestral' instrumental group. They minister both in our traditional and contemporary worship venues on a rotating schedule. Ed is always pushing this team to excellence and putting before them some challenging music. For this past week's service he pulled the brass and saxes out and rehearsed them on some jazz pieces. WOW...the challenge was great, they met the challenge and they are better for it. What they now offer is a more excellent offering to God.
Here are some take away points.
- Don't let the simple and easy drive all our decisions
- Challenge yourself and the teams you lead to a high standard
- If it is too hard they will get frustrated and quit
- If is too easy there is no growth
- If it just right it takes work, hard work, but the end results and continued results are amazing.