the melody of mission

post by: KrisAnne

I have spent most of my life singing, whistling or humming one tune or another. My kids will attest to that fact, and to the fact that asking me to please stop does not necessarily mean I can or will. It is an unconscious habit– my daily life is accompanied by melody.

Since music is such a part of who I am, from the time I was very young, I was drawn to the music in church. I grew to become a choir member, hymn leader, worship band member/leader, and most recently, a pastor of worship. And then it happened….

I woke up in seminary and realized that at the heart of God was not a desire for beautiful or excellent music, but a desire to see Creation redeemed. Not that music isn’t a gift from God, or that He doesn’t enjoy great music when we create it.  But our God is a God on mission, and everything else about Christianity flows from that center.

This threw me into a serious dilemma. I have spent hours upon hours trying to figure out what worship has to do with mission. What is the point of singing songs, playing music, reciting prayers together? We can do that alone or with our families, and I can mail in my tithing check. I don’t have to be there to give it in person. What is the point of this two-hour block on Sunday morning that costs us so much time in practice and preparation? That time could be spent being with our neighbors, actually doing something on mission, instead of doing stuff  “for church.”

But obviously in the book of Acts, which tells us part of the story of the early church, the regular gathering of Jesus’ followers was important. Very important. But why?  Frequently in the New Testament, the church is called The Body of Christ. We are each a part of that Body, and the parts do not function well alone. We need each other in order to be healthy and whole. We’re also told that our love for one another tells the story of God’s love to a world may not know God yet. And there is more…

I believe that the rhythm of gathering  and scattering is embedded throughout The Bible for a reason. God gathers His people, gives them instruction and then sends them out. Jesus gathers disciples, teaches them and then sends them. The church gathers for worship, spends time in The Story and then goes out into the world. It’s a rhythm that shapes the people of God.  Worship should shape us for mission.

So this humming, whistling, singing church mama is committed to weekly worship. Worship that shapes us for mission, not just worship that sounds good or feels good to us. Not music for music’s sake, but music that gets stuck in our heads and reminds us of our God who is on mission… our God who also calls us to join Him there. Can we commit to being shaped together, to having that as our purpose for worship?


~ by missionindtown on August 5, 2011.

2 Responses to “the melody of mission”

  1. Good points here. There is something inherently spiritual about music isn’t there? Portions of the scripture are poetry, songs, lyrics.

  2. I agree that coming together for worship is a great way to prepare us to “scatter.” I also love worship music that gets stuck in my head to remind me of my Maker during the week. I often listen to worship music when I’m in the car for my job. Thanks for sharing.

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