Wednesday, March 16, 2011

30 things that thrill me - Day 6

Being on the "B" team.

I led worship this Sunday at South Lansing Christian Church. Wally was hosting the Michigan Statewide Teen Convention, so I got the nod.

Here's the thing: Wally Lowman is one of the most gifted worship leaders I've known. What is more, he is the most gifted worship leader I have ever personally worked with. That isn't just praise from a starry-eyed preacher either. I was trained as a worship leader and led worship in two churches for nearly ten years before being called to preach. When I came to South I owned a couple of guitars and had a whole file full of worship  music. Six months in I sold both by guitars and bought a deer rifle. Wally's just that good.

So Sunday I got to play with the worship band. Dr. Joe and Tim played guitar; Carey was on bass; Jared Harris, a college student played keys and my son, Caleb, was on drums. My daughter and three of her friends from GLCC sang background vocals. In other words, it was an "A" band with a "B" leader. And I loved every minute of it!

One might think that, with the "A" preacher subbing as the "B" worship leader, the preaching might be sub-par. Nope. South's Director of LifE Groups, Greg Steere preached, and did so with exceptional clarity and transparency. People were genuinely moved to consider their life and doctrine and how they match up to what God desires. People will be talking about Sunday, March 13, 2011 for some time, and it won't be because I pinch hit for Wally.

Every Senior Minister approaches days "out of the pulpit" with mixed emotions. One is naturally grateful for the chance to be refreshed, and one welcomes the opportunity for the congregation to hear a different voice proclaim the same truth. But every preacher I know secretly wonders, "What if the congregation hears better preaching from that guy than they do from me?"

Truth be told, I believe SLCC heard a highlight sermon on Sunday. Our folks will be eager for Wally's return this week. And I am excited to preach this week. I suppose I could wrestle with some insecurities - who wouldn't with Greg's sermon fresh in the memories of the faithful. But truth be told, I am just grateful to have so great an "A" team that I am, from time to time, able to be on the second string.

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