“Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:1-3
“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift my hands.” Psalm 63:3-4
Countless times in scripture we are commanded to sing for joy to the Lord; to glorify the name of Jesus; to praise the Most High God. Something incredible happens when our congregation at ECC meets on Sunday mornings and together lift our voices in worship. Over the last year or so, I have seen a shift in our congregational worship. Where voices were silent, now they shout for joy. Where hands have been still, they now stretch towards heaven to sing, “glory to God!” Where we may have been reserved in the past, we are now fearlessly worshipping and praising God with those around us. The atmosphere has shifted, in a way, and it’s part of a vision I’ve had of our church for years. I’ve seen prayers answered over this last year with our worship services, our worship team, and our church staff in a way that takes my breath away. God is up to something good….and it’s amazing to be a part of it.
As you may have seen, I have stepped aside to take an 8 week maternity leave in light of the birth of our first child. Both Sam and I are so grateful for this time away to transition as a new family of three and to find our groove as new parents. We couldn’t be more thrilled to raise this little one to know and love Jesus, and of course, introduce her to our beloved church family!
Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing in multiple ways to leave. We have an amazing worship team, filled with leaders who will step up at any given time and members who continue to be faithful in their volunteering year after year as their act of service to the Lord. I love my job, and I love my team. To leave everyone behind for 8 weeks felt incredibly overwhelming and defeating to me. All the negative “what if’s” started to come. What if tech problems are too much for my team to handle? What if I can’t get each week covered with people, etc., etc.??
All of a sudden, “God thoughts” crossed my mind. (I call them “God thoughts” because I never would think of these things on my own…) And then these “God thoughts” came one by one to silence the others:
What if other worship leader’s faith began to strengthen simply by experiencing and seeing how the Holy Spirit pulls together songs and sermons together to speak to us so powerfully?
What if our congregation becomes even more inspired and strengthened to worship simply by being led with multiple voices and leading styles?
What if God wants to grow our worship ministry in new ways in my absence?
What if God wants to do something powerful in me as I step away for 8 weeks? What if I come back full of ideas and a renewed energy for ministry?
Thank you, Lord, for you hold all things together. Always.
The Lord is good, and worthy to be praised. I have the best feeling about these couple months that I’m away. God has been so faithful to provide the people to step in where needed, as he always has. Thank you Greg Louk, Nick Rambo, Kurt Kincanon, Kara Webb, and John Satterfield for leading worship while I’m away! I know that God will be blessing you immensely during your weeks of leading. Thank you also to Katarina Webb, who is taking a lot of the tech responsibilities during my time away. I couldn’t have a better team of people in place to bless the family of ECC with.
If you get the chance, be sure to thank these wonderful people personally for their time and dedication to our worship services here. I know they would greatly appreciate it, as will I.
Of course, I cannot wait to be back worshipping with you all! Until then, I’ll be praying for our worship team, leaders, and congregation. See you soon!