I listen to a lot of music and a lot of worship music. Recently, as any reader of this blog will know, I have been listening to a lot of Elevation Music, and also Bethel Music.
In our church we are doing now around 4 of the songs from Elevation’s new album. And more to come. Why is this? Because they are keenly biblical, singable and most of all fresh. What brings this freshness? This is the intangible element I have been thinking about.
I spoke to my worship pastor about this and she said that many churches are now doing Elevation worship songs. This surprised me, I thought this was our little secret! It can be a risk to go away from what you have always done. A bit like moving from hymns to the ‘Brown Book” all those years ago. (Obscure reference, let the reader understand).
Then I had a long and frank conversation with a key leader in a large church and she too was sharing how they are now doing Elevation material. We discussed why this is.
My conclusion is that when God is doing something, He is doing something. And the freshness comes not from listening to what contemporary secular artists are doing. Although actually that is important to. The freshness comes from hearing what God is saying, to the church, right now. And churches are picking up on this. They are listening for the Spirits voice. Hearing and responding to what God is doing, today. Yesterdays message was wonderful, but it was for yesterday. Todays message is what we need to hear.
Recently the media have been reporting that James Hird, the former Essendon player and coach, has lost his bid to have his insurance pay for his legal costs. It is not for me to say who was right and wrong in this whole saga.
But I will say this. Hird said he as Senior Coach would take responsibility for the supplements program at Essendon. This supplements program has caused Essendon players to suffer under sanction after sanction. Yes, they took the supplements, but they followed the lead of their senior coach. It seems to me that since this supplement saga broke James Hird has done as much ducking and weaving with almost as much skill as he did when he was a player for Essendon.
As an opposition supporter I watched Hird on the field with a mixture of jealousy and admiration. What a player he was.
Yet what do we all remember him for now? This murky business where he has done interview after interview ducking the same responsibility he said he would take at the start. This is what he is now remembered for. Not his onfield heroics, but what he as Senior Coach has overseen, and then actually refused to take responsibility for. The players, at least in part, must have a deal of frustration for him, perhaps wish he was never coach in the first place.
It is a sober reminder to me. It is not how you start. It is not even how you do in the middle. It is how you finish. Of course the best example of this is Jesus. We remember His birth, we remember His miracles and His teaching. But most….we remember those famous words…’It is Finished”. And the miracle afterwards.
I hope and pray I have many years left of ministry. I hope and pray my next 20 are as significant and meaningful as my last 20. I hope and pray for those older than me, that they finish well.