Volunteering for Music Ministry

So, last June, I took the step to return to piano. It had been fifteen years since I played piano, but no matter, right?

"Hey, it's like riding a bike," I figured.

And, as it turned out, I could still read music and play simple songs. The six years I invested as a child and teenager had not been lost. 

The goal, of course, was never simply to take piano lessons merely for the sake of taking piano lessons -- oh, no. The goal was to join a praise band and to play in church. I longed to perform, and I longed to play gospel. Never mind that I deal with anxiety and tend to get nervous about giving speeches and performing in front of crowds. I could do this given the chance, I felt sure. Give me time to work up to it.

So, finally, this past week, I did it... I volunteered for music ministry at the church I have been attending.

This came with a lot of caveats. In my application, I noted that I have just started working with lead sheets (music in which the right hand plays the melody while chords are written for the left hand and are often improvised). Lead sheets, my instructor explained to me in my last lesson, are key to church music, especially the kind of contemporary gospel performed by praise bands.

I would like, I wrote in my application, to sit in on rehearsal, perhaps learn the songs the band is performing. As I improve over time and become comfortable with the music, maybe I can get to the point of performing.

The head of music ministry at church gave me a call, left me a message, and told me to find him after church next Sunday, so that he can meet me and we can talk. I am excited. We will see what happens!

In my last blog, I quoted Pastor Peter Scazzero and the book I am reading, "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality." I will quote it again: "God intends our deeper, truer self, which he created, to blossom as we follow him."

God puts all these loves in our lives: For art, for music, for writing, for photography. For service. For socializing. For nature. For children and play. Yes, even for solitude.

He intends us to explore these loves, as he deepens and enriches our lives through these loves.

I think that, if we follow our loves, and they are healthy loves, they eventually will lead us back to God. After all, he created art, music, writing, photography. Other people. Nature. Children. The urge to play. Our own beings.

I have been touched with an illness, but like so many people who struggle with a mental illness, I also am creative. God calls me to use my creativity to enrich my own life and the lives of others, and, ultimately, to show him love. 

I realize getting involved with music ministry would entail a lot of responsibility. But I believe it also would bring me a lot of joy and give others joy. Ultimately, my time and my gifts are God's. What better way to acknowledge that? 


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