Thursday, August 19, 2010

Be Where You Need To Be

I have had many conversations lately related to people’s schedules and priorities and commitments. After all, it’s the end of summer - everyone is getting back into some sense of school schedule and have moved beyond what is now a 60-day summer.

Karla and I joke how much we hate August. It truly is a useless month. I grew up with school starting appropriately the day after “Labor” Day. In a period of 24 hours, the summer has ended and school has begun because we go from one day of “rest” to the next day of “new teachers/new classes/new beginnings, etc….”

What is the deal with starting school on August 12? Good grief……

When you are in “my line of work” as a person whose success is pretty much totally dependent on the involvement, faithfulness and contribution from “volunteers”…. well, it makes for interesting times to say the least.

It is amazing the number of “things” that people can juggle/maintain/deal with on a regular basis and somehow still find time for some level of commitment to the ministry of the local church.

We have just begun a new “season” of Choir Ministry. I divide up the year into - well, seasons - shorter, more focused periods of time that allow people to pick and choose if they can commit for 8-9 weeks at the 70% level.

Now think about that - 70%. Think about the things you currently spend the majority of your time, money, energy, affection, and allegiance. Tell me how effective you would be at those things at the 70% commitment level?

Before you think I have “lost it” and believe that a person’s commitment to a church choir should not be compared to…..well - quite frankly anything else - well, I agree.

BUT - if we are going to talk about how effective the Choir Ministry is at our church, and how important this ministry is to helping people encounter the presence and life-transforming power of Jesus Christ, then wouldn’t one think we should have at the very least a 70% commitment level?

The vast majority of the people even remotely involved in the Worship Choir Ministry of Brentwood Baptist Church have the best of intentions, do the best that they can given all the pressures of life, and contribute significantly to this ministry.

The most compelling e-mails that I receive from choir members are hands down the ones that tell me that the reasons why they can’t be at a rehearsal or lead on a Sunday morning are because they have to care for a sick relative, the ones who tell me they can’t be at our choir retreat because they are counseling a married couple on the edge of divorce, the ones who are working two jobs to make ends meet, the single Dad who has his kids that night and he needs to care for them, the ones who are serving in preschool ministry instead of the choir that morning because immature parents who said the would serve simply didn’t show up to serve, the uncle who is helping his nephew move into college because that kid’s Dad passed away this summer and that new college student needs a “dad-figure” in that moment …… I could go on and on…..

The people who send those e-mails are telling me a very important and powerful reminder - they are “where they need to be”

All of this is challenging me to ask (as I always try to ask) the right questions, and in this case, maybe the right question we should ask each morning when faced with multiple “places to be”…….Lord, where is it YOU need me to be?

I truly believe that if we answer that question honestly and consistently, then more times than not we will “be where we need to be!”