Monday, December 6, 2010

Worship that first year

Pastor Keith and the Middleberry Church relished the early years.  Things were simple then (later the staff of Middleberry would look back on these years as the golden years of ministry)!  For the most part the building was empty during the week, but it came alive on Sunday Morning.

Trevor (the new part-time worship pastor) led the congregation in a mixture of hymns and contemporary songs.  At 20 hours a week, Trevor did all he could to lead dynamic worship.  His heart had always been set of being a rock musician, but at his age, dreams change.  Trevor set out to make worship at Middleberry as lively and transformational as possible.  The people at Middleberry were a tough sell though.  He had led worship on Wednesday nights at GracePoint prior to the plant.  Pastor Keith was the main speaker every week during that service.  Wednesday nights at GracePoint held a different group of people than most of the other services.  They expected the songs they had always sung! These were the people that had come over to Middleberry.

Trevor's heart was drawn towards contemporary worship music; the Middleberry Church wanted traditional.  The "fit" was wearing off quickly.  Where Trevor pushed; the church (and following close behind Pastor Keith) pushed back.  The biggest issue for Trevor was understanding that he had taken the job with.  When interviewed, Trevor was told that the people of Middleberry wanted dynamic worship that would reach out to the community.  But what they really wanted was a fine mixture of hymns and 80's Christian power ballads.  For the first time (and it certainly wouldn't be the last) what Middleberry said they wanted, and what they would stand to fight for, would be two axiomatically different things.

Soon enough Trevor was getting on people's nerves.  Though he angered and upset people, it never dissuaded them from asking him to acquiesce to their needs, so Trevor was asked to do great things with limited means.  Since Trevor was adept at sound systems Middleberry relied heavily on him to do amazing things with limited means.  Since Trevor was gifted at many instruments, many asked him to give lessons to their kids.  Ridicule him on Sunday, praise him on Monday.  The Middleberry family viewed Trevor through the lens of their last interaction with him.

Trevor struggled during the rest of his tenure there at Middleberry.  He constantly struggled to walk the fine line the congregation had asked of him.  He panicked while putting together set lists because he never quite knew who he would offend.  If he spoke in the middle of the set, he never knew if he would have an email later from Pastor Keith.  When he spoke during worship, he was never sure of how much information to give about his struggles.

The wheels were coming off for Trevor and the leadership were none the wiser!  That is the advantage of never meeting, no one has to be burdened with the struggles of another.  The Church went on as they always did, oblivious to the events inside the walls of Middleberry!

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