are you listening?
All I wanted to do what to get involved in music in the church. As I was getting better on guitar, I wanted to be a part of a worship team. We had moved to Oley and found that our church in Mohrsville was a little too far to go for church every week. In addition, it was fairly conservative and not too big on drums. There was talk about starting a contemporary service there and I had hoped to be a part of it. I had a talk with the pastor and he told me that it would be a long time before there was a contemporary service at that church. There were influential people in the congregation that were against it (I assume he meant elders and people that probably supported the church financially).
So, we decided to try out the church my sister had been attending since she had moved to Hamburg and her old church was too far to go to as well. This church was kind of in the middle between our two houses and seemed perfect. It had a contemporary worship team – just what I was looking for. It was a new church, so I thought I had a chance on getting involved in the worship team. I had talked to the pastor and someone on the worship team when we first visited and I was lead to believe that it was a possibility. There were some requirements – you had to be a member, you had to attend at least 6 months, and you had to audition. So, we became members and started our time of 6 months. I started teaching the Kindergarten and 1st grade class (which was combined). They had music in the kids’ area, but they just sang to CDs, not even accompaniment CDs. For some reason, they did not want live instruments for the kids – and I could never figure out why.
As it came close to our 6 months at the church, I was there for a meeting one night and a woman that I had gone to church with at our last church was there for an audition for the worship team. They had followed us to that church several months after we had started there, so I knew she hadn’t been there 6 months. So I questioned them about it. After a lot of pushing, I was allowed to audition. I decided that I wanted to be a part of the kids’ ministry music. I pretty much nailed my audition. They gave me some hard songs to do as well (I did not get to pick). They told me that I did great… then the BUT. They felt that I was pushy. They wanted a Kids Music Director and they (for some odd reason) didn’t think that I could handle that. You had to deal with the CCLI licensing and PowerPoints. I am an Electrical Engineer with emphasis in Computer Engineering. I am well versed in PowerPoint and am a computer programmer. So, this made absolutely no sense to me. In addition, they said that they were afraid if they gave me that position that I would, at some point, bring my guitar in and play it! What an absolute disaster that would be!
I am a person of honesty and integrity. I would never do something that I was told not to do. But, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t push to get something that I thought was right. I was crushed. I complained to several people – who I thought were friends. I would even be in tears at times. I couldn’t understand why I was lead to believe I could be involved if I did A, B, C and how that turned out to be so untrue. One day, we got a call from the pastor and he said he wanted to meet with me and my husband at the church. He would not elaborate on what it was about.
We went and they sat us in front of the elders and the pastor and proceeded to tell us that I was to “cease and desist”… i.e. STOP. Stop complaining. Keep my mouth shut. Be happy with the cards I was dealt and nothing was going to be done about it. I was to step down from all ministries. If I was a good girl, in about 6 months or so, they might let me back into teaching the children. It was kind of implied that I would never be involved in music. I was further devastated and it hurt me to my very core. We were not being asked to leave the church at this point. I told them that that would not be necessary. We would be looking for another church. We gathered the kids and I left in tears, never to return. I could not understand what I had done so wrong to deserve the treatment that I was given. I decided that if I wasn’t able to play inside the church, that I would turn to places outside the church. My ministry was born.
I played at my first coffee house in August of 2006. Shortly after that, I began writing my own songs. My ministry has grown, and my main focus is playing outside the church. God put such a desire in me to play and sing, I felt like it was bursting to come out. As I look back on the incidents at that church, I can see God’s orchestration all over it. If that had not happened – if I had gotten on the worship team – I would never have pursued a ministry outside the church. It hurt so much at the time. I felt that it was a personal attack on my character. But sometimes God uses extreme circumstances to change the direction of our lives. When you are going through hard times, it might be a sign that God is trying to change the course of your life. Listen and try to hear Him. God may be calling you to do something wonderful for His Kingdom!