Tuesday, October 7, 2008
After spending all day Saturday listening to Terry Tekyl talk about prayer ministry, I was well primed to go to Springfield UMC on Sunday afternoon and offer some teaching and a sermon on prayer. Ben Martin, a pastor and friend, had invited me up some months ago to share in this event at his church. It was interesting what happened. I have seen it happen before. You go somewhere to offer ministry and find yourself being the one receiving ministry. It seems almost inevitable.
The truth is it is hard for a pastor/worship leader to worship. At least, it has always been that way for me. Throughout the service, my mind is always moving a little ahead of where we are, almost like there is some check list I am monitoring to make sure the worship is on track. I know it sounds like the confession of a control freak. I like to think it is more the confession of someone who wants worship to be everything God wants it to be. Anyway, it is not always easy to worship when you are in charge. So, at Springfield all I had to do was preach. I could sit and experience the service as it started and unfolded. I could just be there and allow what was happening to wash over me. I could just sit and have more than just a moment to receive. Those moments are such blessings. I left there Sunday night renewed in my spirit. I hope those Springfield folks just felt a measure of the blessings that I received. If they did, it was a great moment of being in the presence of the Lord for them as well.
I guess that is not exactly the way it is supposed to work. The one coming should be providing a blessing for those who are already there. It usually works the other way around for me. While I am never sure what is experienced by the home folks, this preacher on the occasions of being a guest preacher, usually ends up being blessed in surprising and unexpected ways. But, then, God is a God who is full of surprises!