Complaining or Thanking: Sept 26 - Oct 2nd

This Week & Beyond...

Firstly, I want to thank those of you who made it out to the meeting last weekend.  It was so good to worship together and hear the Lord's heart through Mary.  I trust you were blessed and the Lord spoke to you.

As mentioned at the meeting, over the next couple of weeks, I want to communicate a few things about this upcoming year.

Blog posts...
Firstly, these blog posts will be my main way of communicating with the team.  In an effort to make sure you are all 'in the know', I will continue to send these out on a weekly basis.  They will contain upcoming events, questions, comments, and as per usual, a short devotional.  If you're not in the know, well, there's a good chance you haven't been reading them.  Wink Wink. ;)

In all seriousness, please take some time to go through them and respond as the Lord leads.  The survey was just the start of my desiring to hear from the Lord through the team as a whole.  I value your input and the gifts you bring to the ministry!

Planning centre...
If you have checked out Planning Centre in the last couple days, you will have noticed a few updates.  Events listed, graphics added, and additional times noted in each service event for pre-service prayer.  Planning Centre is a great hub of information, of which, will be maintained and added to often.  

I've created a schedule for the fall, including 'Special Event's' for the year.  These events 'will' happen.  In the past, things have been said, however, never planned and/or followed through.  It's my desire that this ceases to happen!   

If you have been invited to serve, please confirm you availability at your earliest convenience.  As for team nights, I will elaborate in next weeks blog! Oooooo, the suspense!   

Questions of the Week...

What impacted you the most as Mary shared with us last Saturday?
If you could go back and be a witness to an event in the Bible, which would it be?

Devotional...

Complaining or Thanking
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Ephesians 1:16)

I don't know about you, but I spend far too much time complaining. I complain about the weather. I gripe about the economy. I grumble about traffic. I whine about flight delays. I find fault with cashiers at the local grocery store or the lack of competent help at the new super store down the road. Honestly, I can complain with the best of them.

I have this peculiar feeling, though, that I'm not alone in my complaining. It seems to have surpassed baseball as the new national pastime. You hear it nearly everywhere. And if you happen to run out of ideas to complain about, just turn on the radio or television. There you will be inundated with plenty of fresh ammunition, especially if you haven't bought a new automobile or taken a vacation to Hawaii or Cancun or some other exotic location recently. There are lots of reasons to complain.

And as a member of your church's worship ministry, you might have more reasons than some other folks for complaining. After all, that obnoxious bass player can be really annoying, can't he? (Or maybe at your church it's the piano player or the tuba player.) And wouldn't it be nice if once -- just once, mind you -- the alto section actually hit all the right notes during an entire song? And, pray tell, why is Sharon (or John or Susan or... whoever) always late for rehearsal? She drives me crazy!

The Apostle Paul wrote to churches who had serious problems. Some of their situations were far worse than someone who is constantly late or out of tune or annoying. Paul addressed his letters to churches whose members were involved in gross sexual immorality. Some had blatant heresies. Others were stubborn and rebellious. These were not just little issues. Some of these things were toxic.

Yet nearly every letter Paul wrote, somewhere near the beginning he uses words very similar to our Scripture for today: "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers" (Ephesians 1:16). Over and over Paul told them that he thanked God for them and that he was praying for them.

Rather than griping at them immediately, he thanked God for them. Instead of right off the bat complaining about their flaws, he told them how thankful he was for them.

You see, thankfulness is the opposite of complaining. It puts us in a much different frame of mind.

What would happen if everyone in the worship ministry of your church began to thank God for one another? Would that, do you suppose, change how we interact with each another? Rather than complaining about one another, if we honestly thanked God for each other, might that change how we minister together? I'm pretty sure it would.

Of course, the problem is that we don't personally know the people to whom Paul wrote. We do know the folks in our worship ministry. But that's just the point. Paul knew the people to whom he wrote. He had been in their midst for months at a time. He had most likely visited in their homes. When he wrote, he named names and cited specific situations. These weren't total strangers. He knew them. He knew their flaws. Yet in spite of their failings he thanked God for them.

Shouldn't we follow his lead?

GOING DEEPER:
1. In general, are you more apt to complain or give thanks?
2. How would the worship ministry of your church be impacted if everyone gave thanks for all the others?