Carrying Others to Jesus: May 22nd - 28th

This Week & Beyond...

Pursuit: In the Loft - Details...
1. This Sunday!! May 28th @ 7pm
2. Please come between 6 - 6:30 for setup & warm-up
3. VERY IMPORTANT!! Please open 'Music Stand' at home(with your own wi-fi) and ensure you can view all songs!! There is no wi-fi at the loft, if you don't do this before, you won't have access to the list!  This should be done before you come, on Sunday, to ensure the latest list is up.
4. We are meeting at Ron & Hedy Loeppky's... Last driveway on the right, before Oakridge nursery. Black gated driveway.
5. Park on the road after you have unloaded.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Devotional...

Carrying Others to Jesus
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, MIssour
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Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. (Luke 5:18-19)

Sometimes worship ministry can begin to be a drudgery. Between the time for rehearsals and the early Sunday mornings, it can become time-consuming and wearying. In this midst of this, I find it easy to become self-centered and focused on feeling used or taken advantage of. When this happens it's time for a heart check to help me recognize that what I'm doing isn't really about me at all.

Some time ago I received an email from a woman named Julie Ann. She lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area. In her email she shared a great testimony. In part she said this:

"During June a few years ago, I had the opportunity to worship God in the midst of heartache and chaos. On June 9, I was told at work that one of my close friends was on her deathbed, and I left to go see her. She was already in a coma by the time I got to the hospital, but I knew she had recently re-dedicated her life to the Lord. Sunday morning I was scheduled to sing on the worship team. While I was on my way to church, I got word that Wanda had passed away.

"A couple of weeks later, during a major summer storm that hit our area, a tree came through our home, stopping just short of the interior. The electric was out and we were displaced for an entire week. I went to church the next morning to a candlelight service. When the congregation began to sing "Amazing Grace" a cappella, I was undone. I was so grateful to know that my God was with me even in the midst of no power, no immediate home, horrific heat that week, and a heart that still ached for my departed friend. While the immediate circumstances were uncomfortable and frustrating, I had higher hope."

If you ever wonder why you do what you do with the worship ministry of your church, let Julie Ann's testimony help keep you on track. Don't misunderstand my meaning here. Our worship is for God. But our leading of worship is for the people.

Every week people come into your church, and mine, with hurts and heartaches that no one else knows anything about. Sometimes those pains are self-inflicted. Other times they are the result of harsh words from another person or situations over which they have no control. Maybe a son or daughter has declared they are leaving... and leaving their faith, too. Perhaps they have just received a negative medical diagnosis: cancer or some other serious ailment. Some of the things that trouble people can be minor and others can be life-threatening. All of them, though, are very real to the person who bears them.

And just like the paralyzed man's friends, you and I have the privilege of helping to carry that person to the Lord. Oh, we don't usually physically carry anyone. Yet we get to, in a very real sense, lift that person before the Lord by guiding their eyes and heart and attention to Him.

If we had an inkling of how often people are renewed in their spirits because of our ministry, we would jump for joy at the opportunity to be involved in worship ministry. We don't get to hear all of the stories, but those people are out there, just like Julie Ann.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Have you ever before considered that your involvement in the worship ministry can help "carry people to Jesus"? What should that mean to you now that you know it?
2. Have you ever heard - or experienced - any testimonies similar to Julie Ann's story? Any you can share with the group?