Sitting down to write this post, I feel a weird tension between several of the primary hats I wear.
As a mom, I want to tell you about a couple of my kids – and a couple of their best friends.
As a musician, I want to tell you how awesome it is to experience the raw energy of passionate, young players who simply let music flow out of them. And let us watch.
As a leader, I want to tell you that NOTHING makes me prouder than witnessing the results of letting go. That would be MY release – letting go and letting people do their thing.
As a friend, I want to tell you about a great message I heard yesterday, one that addresses the level ground we all occupy and the ridiculous notion that any of us are better than the other when it comes to the proving ground of the Creator.
Bottom line is this: I went to church yesterday. It was a day off for me, but I went and witnessed some awesome stuff. I worshiped, but I also felt the undeniable joy of being intertwined with so much of what was going on in and around the place. It was extremely rich.
Above all, I have to wave the Mom flag highest. My daughter Sarah helped lead worship with her best buddy Elijah. They premiered a song that Elijah wrote, one that I heard whispered around the dining room table last week. Elijah sang, Sarah fished for some harmonies, and I said, “Dude. That is a great song. You should do that song this week.” And they did. It was brilliant.
Travis helped Elijah lead worship. He is in and out of my house constantly, as the companion of my daughter Shannon. I admire and respect both of these young men. They’ve influenced my family in countless ways, and the mixture of emotions I feel when I watch them living out their faith with guitars and singing is vibrant and powerful.
Nathan played guitar – and RAPPED – and nailed every tune. Tony’s protege and student, Nathan lives and breathes music and his passion for life is contagious. He loves it and he’s unbelievably talented.
My daughter Sydni engaged the crowd with her dead-on performance of the Penelope character from SNL. She wrote the script herself, worked through the editing process with grace and then used the character to set up the message perfectly. It was truly, absolutely funny – and fitting. I saw glimpses of an incredible talent in her performance yesterday, one that will propel her out and away over the next few years into what I imagine will be some amazing experiences.
All the while, my daughter Shannon was upstairs leading the kids’ Power Jam ministry with the team of students going to Macedonia. Daniel prepared to lead worship at FOCUS last night, and David was just being David, which is enough.
All this stuff happens at my church. It’s not a closed, members-only society. It’s just a place where we get together on Sundays and celebrate. No matter my perspective, it’s a place where I can be real and authentic. I can’t help but think that the unique connection of my heart to the people I know who are living out their faith under the umbrella of what we call church is exactly what God calls us to do.
Love God. Love people.
Be the church.
Watch Sydni’s skit here: it starts at about 23:15. Prior to that you can see Elijah’s song and Nathan’s rap and guitar solos. After the skit, you can hear Brian talk about what we have in common with Osama bin Laden.