Recently, we planted some packets of seeds with our kids. There were various types that we planted in planters on our back deck. The kids eagerly waited to see the first sprouts. One of the things we noticed was that in the very beginning, every sprout looked almost the same. There were two mirror leaves opposite one another atop a tiny stem. There was no way to make a distinction between them. They all were almost identical. It took a week or two before there were any distinctions. As they grew, the complexity of what topped each stem grew more and more specific from one another.
It has reminded me that as our church grows, the systems and structures become more complex and more specific to our church culture, identity and values. This has been true in almost every detail, from what our set up looks like, to community groups, greeters and how we organize and plan worship services. There are a couple of areas where our systems are becoming more complex and distinct in our church right now. One of the areas is our gathered worship services. The first Sunday we gathered we had a guitar and djembe, and not much else to help lead our singing together. Gradually we have added vocalists, bass, electric and other acoustic guitars, drums, keys, mandolin and the occasional choir. It has been great watching the worship ministry grow as we add various personalities and styles.
Currently, we have a growing number of incredibly talented musicians and singers coming to our church. Some are completely new to church music and some have led in other churches or settings before becoming a part of Exodus. We have left the door wide open for new talent to come and begin serving and floating through the rotation of folks who lead us in song each Sunday. As the number of talented folks has grown, the ways that we manage this has needed to grow as well. We have given a great deal of thought and prayer as to how we would seek to raise up worship leaders for church planting and continue to seek excellence in our gathered times of worship. Moving forward, some of our experiences on Sundays will change so that we can continue to develop and equip worship leaders. Rather than an ever changing rotation of individuals, we will be developing teams whom lead together regularly. This will be a slight change that may or may not affect you very much. Either way, I am asking for your prayers and support as we round the corner in how we lead our gathered times of worship on Sundays.
If you are interested in being part of a worship team at Exodus, you can contact Nathan through email at firstname.lastname@example.org