Friday, September 2, 2011
Thank you is a word that I am really good at saying. I have a ton of people that I serve with every day that I am very intentional about saying "thank you" to as often as possible. This comes very easy to me, because I am genuinely thankful for what people do for the ministry that I serve. I make sure that I meet one on one with at least one member of my team each week for coffee, breakfast or something. I enjoy being with them, and letting them know that they are more important to me than just for their skill as a musician, technician or singer.
I think I do thank you's pretty well... As long as I am on the thanking side and not the receiving side. I was recently on the receiving side of what was possibly the most extravagant thank you I have ever been a part of. About 6 months ago, a family in our congregation lost a family member suddenly. Our worship team was asked to play for the funeral, and we were told that the family wanted worship just like on sunday morning. After we did that, the family said thank you to all of us, saying, "we don't know how to thank you." we were honored to take part and received their thanks graciously.
That is not where the story ends though. About a month later, I was talking to the dad in this same family, and he asked me, "When does the band worship?" I told hime that a lot of times we worship in rehearsals together. He said,"no, I mean when are you guys LEAD in worship?" I couldn't Answer him. He told me that he wanted to come to rehearsal Thursday night and asked if that was ok. I said of course, and was not surprised to see him that night.
What happened next was an incredible, extravagant act of love and gratitude. When rehearsal was over, he came to me with tears in his eyes, and said I want you guys to get to worship like we get to. I want to take you, and your band to see Hillsong United in 3 weeks in Nashville. I will take care of everything. You guys just show up here at 5pm.
Well, needless to say I was speechless (which for those of you who know me...).
20 of us showed up that night, to find a big coach bus waiting on us. When we got on the bus, there was home made chicken salad sandwiches, brownies, soda and water. We were greeted with a huge smile from both the man and his wife. We got on the bus, and we just got to be together as friends. We got to take part in an amazing 3 hour time of worship and praise from the very front down on the floor. I was exhausted when we got back on the bus.
That is when the most incredible part of the night happened. The man stood up and told us that he was so moved by the time of worship that happened at his son's funeral, that he was moved to action. He said that he was going to make it his family's mission to make sure that the worship leaders in our church were able to get to worship. He said that we spend all week, every week preparing and praying so that our congregation could worship, and he wanted to give something back. That was his thank you to us. The gift of worship. The gift of the presence of God without having to worry about anything but God. No cables to check, no new songs to learn, no set up or tear down. Just worship.
As I sit here, tears come to my eyes, not because Hillsong United was so amazing, not because the bus was so comfortable, but because we were given such an amazing gift of thanks. God taught me something in that moment. Accept this for what it is, a gift of thanks. Do not rob them of the blessing of getting to thank you for what you do. Thank you God for the gift of thanks.