Moving Your Worship Ministry Beyond Your Four Walls
Ever have one of those days when 5pm finds you feeling worn out, stressed, and beaten down? It happened to me once on a Tuesday. That Tuesday also happened to be a day when I couldn’t just go home and recover because the small group I was leading was scheduled to serve at Convoy of Hope‘s warehouse here in Springfield, MO that night. To make matters even “better” our group was struck by the most ridiculous & inconceivable confluence of legitimate circumstances: people were getting sick, straining backs, attending funerals, leaving town at the last minute… So my wife, Julie, and I were suddenly the only members of our group to be able to make it.
So there I am, after a very loooong day, about to work 2 more hours for no pay. But you know what’s interesting? I hadn’t smiled so much in a long time! Isn’t that weird? Our “human logic” would tell us: after a long hard day, you’d be much better off reclining in your Lazy-Boy and flipping on the TV than standing on your feet for a couple hours of serving. On my way home that night, I remembered what may be the most-forgotten secret of life. In fact, even when we remember the secret, we scarcely believe it to be true. The writer of Acts got the secret from the apostle Paul. And the apostle Paul said he got it from Jesus, himself: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NLT).
I have come to believe whole-heartedly that our worship ministries need to discover that secret, too. Wait a second, you say, aren’t they already serving? Already giving of time and talent to their local church? Yes but there’s something about getting outside your four walls…taking your ministry TO the people who need it but won’t be gracing the doors of your church building.
Here are two ways our worship ministry has broken out of our four walls to serve. Maybe one or both will generate some ideas for your context:
- Nursing Homes. The Bible is chock-full of mandates for the church to look out for the widows, the orphans, the foreigners…basically the lonely & forsaken. I can think of few demographics within the U.S. that tend to be more lonely & forsaken than the folks that inhabit your local nursing homes. So sometimes we choose some classic music of the church (along with some new ones we think they might appreciate) and we schedule a night with a home’s director to bring some instruments and vocalists in for a night of music. We sing to them, our drummer passes out shakers and tambourines to some very excited little ladies, we pray for them and–when we’re done–we take a moment to shake some hands and share some smiles.
- Neighborhoods. Our church is plugged in with a nearby low-income housing neighborhood. We often provide volunteers for events they hold at their Community Center. At their last big “Neighborhood Night Out” bash, I asked if our worship band could play some live music in place of the DJ they paid for the previous year. We worked up some oldies, some rock, some country along with a handful of our favorite worship songs and had a blast playing an outdoor “concert” for some folks who might just need a church home.