Facebook Messages and The Road Back to Youth Ministry
I know it's quite lame but I started deciding to come out of hiding and get back into kingdom building because of a Facebook post from the Message from God app. On my late grandfather's birthday I found this one on my wall.
It's true. I have been hiding for quite some time. Pained by conflicts in ministry life, I did not expect that serving God would entail a lot of confusion, frustration, loneliness, condemnation. I was disillusioned by the joy that is experienced in a worship gathering and the struggle that is experienced behind the scenes. I keep saying this because I don't think I've said it enough, "Ministering is easier said than done. Whoever claims to have gotten it figured out is missing the point."
So for the past 3 years, I quit something that I really loved doing. Being a Youth Minister gave me so much meaning and purpose. It showed me creative paths I never thought I could walk on. It opened up for me a world that helped me believe in the unseen even more. But I quit because I could not handle the conflicts. This shows how weak my faith has been and how little of that faith truly relied on God.
But something has been stirring up in me during the last few months of 2010 when I started to visit community gatherings again.
Yesterday, I played for the praise ministry again. The first time in 3 years. I walked through the same old routine of calling people so I could pick them up and head to church to set up band equipments. Make a quick run for lunch and engage in more talk about preparations and song sequences. Waiting for time to pass until the tech team finishes hooking up all the wires and testing the sounds before a band run through can commence. Being ready for any diversions that can take place in the song as the Spirit led.
I have learned how to be receptive to the promptings of a prayer leader in the prayer hall dimly lit for solemnity with nothing but the glow of candles flickering by the altar. The quiet glances and head-nods. The meek hand gestures directing the songs to unleash the utterance of praise. Prayer becomes the conductor of this orchestra designed to worship a God who is unfathomable and yet slowly unveils Himself in a very human way through the emotions that stir up the heart to lay open for anything that wants to move in resonance with the divine.
It becomes a very mystical experience. The technicalities of a "musical production" tempered to give room for something more than musicians can comprehend. My fingers often wait for the music to move instead of the other way around. And I find myself at the foot of the leader's prayer instead of my own skill pressing the keys to render its sound.
Yesterday was one of those days I rekindled this experience once again and I've forgotten how much I missed it. My most recent memories of serving for a worship gathering have been tainted with bitterness and alienation. But yesterday was different and primarily because of an uncanny Facebook message that changed my mind about my perspective in choosing to reconnect to my God the best way I know how.
This morning I find another one that's pretty affirming. It says.
I think I've denied myself of the desire to pursue something I really love doing for the longest time. It's one of those very human emotions where you "deny yourself" because you feel that others will judge you for wanting something like that or would stereotype you for not being able to control your passions and say you're undisciplined or immature or misguided.
I've battled with those silent condemnations for years and I think I have reached a point when I do not have an excuse not to even try wanting what I want anymore. I want to make music. I want to share music. Simple as that.
Yet in this world of beautiful paradoxes, simplicity and complexity have the same face but wear different clothes. And I know that desiring to make music has many other things related to it. But here I am transparently opening my heart to my Creator saying, "I want to make music." And He said yes, okay. Go and make music.
So I did. And yesterday was beautiful. And I was happy in the dark. And I wept sweet tears because I missed it so much. And I hope that this will never be taken away from me again.