Search This Blog

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quiet Time: No Talent No Problem (God Skills the Servant)

No Talent No Problem (God Skills the Servant)

Read: Hebrews 13:15-17

And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16

God skills the servant for service (1 Chronicles 15:22 & 25:27), but if his heart isn’t in it he shouldn’t begin it. However, if he is willing to be used, who knows what God will do?

I remember my very first ministry opportunity. My wife, Des and I were attending a bay area inner city church. The youth pastor moved away which left the church in the lurch with a dozen or so tough minded, high energy kids. The pastor asked if Des and I would mind filling in while they looked for a new youth director (that’s what we called youth pastors back in the day). I said I’d do what I could, but really had no idea where to begin.

So, I did what I knew how to do. I told all the youth to show up in the main sanctuary next to the big grand piano on stage; we were going to build a band.

Our first night most the kids showed up. I asked if any of them played an instrument. “No.” “Have any of you ever sung in front of an audience?” “No.” “What kind of music do you like?” You should know that this neighborhood was in transition from mono-racial to multicultural so the answer was mixed; with quizzical looks and pinched expressions that told me I’d just asked a real stupid question, they said, “You know Meester Dog, what’s on the radio!” (Doug is a difficult name for Latin kids to say. My best friend’s mom called me Dogless up until the day I married; then she called me Meester Dogless). I really wanted to reach these kids on their level so I told them we were going to write a song. Well, that changed things quite a bit! Everyone, and I mean everyone (including the tough neighborhood enforcer) got excited and immediately focused on the project.

I asked anyone who felt like they were pretty good at putting words together to break off and start on some lyrics based on a piece of scripture I’d given them to read as part of a bible study. They were to bring in the verses as they came to them. “Don’t worry about getting it perfect, we’ll fix them at the piano”, I said. The remainder stood around the hulking grand piano and waited for the first set of words to come from the lyric factory. As we waited I tested some of the vocals. One of the older teens could carry a tune, but the rest had no, I mean NO sense of pitch at all. By the time the lyric group brought out the first set of words, I knew one thing for certain. We had no rhythm, no vocals, and no band. But what we did have was a willingness to work and for the first time in a long time, we had each other. We were a team, a family, and I wasn’t about to let that go. But I did.

As time progressed I’d like to say we turned things around sonically. But, the fact is, we didn’t have the God given skills to do it. However, we did put together a puppet troop, a drama team, and the one young man who could actually sing began to write music on his own. I showed him how, I, a bassist, put chords together on the piano in order to write songs that were simple yet meaningful. He actually sang a couple of his creations during the Sunday morning worship service. The congregation was blown away by his talent. He and I became pretty close before I eventually moved away to another part of town. Today, he’s happily married and has two beautiful kids.

The church did eventually hired a youth director and the teenagers, of course grew up. Some went on to seminary and into full time ministry. Others continue to serve their Lord through the local church, and I think a couple are on the mission field abroad. A few accepted Christ for the first time. But none of them went into the music ministry or anything musical. So what?

I do believe that the Lord skills the servant. Musicians and vocalists are expected to utilize their skills in the building up of the body, church, sanctuary of the living God. However, what is expected may be rejected. It really is a shame when gifted Christians refuse to be used. After all, who knows what God can do with someone who does what he knows to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment