I'm a pastor of a little church. We're a newer church. A young church. A church plant. We are blessed to have any person with musical ability, but we are short on skilled worship leader types. So we are thankful for the ones we have.
But I knew our Sunday morning worship service would be a little difficult with all our faithfully serving men up at a men's retreat. However, I didn't anticipate what could have happened when I woke up Sunday morning. We planned to do what we always do on Sunday and see others would fill in as God called upon them. It wouldn't be the normal team, but it would still be great.
And then I received a text message at 7:30am, Sunday morning. The worship leader and her son were really sick. No worship leader? Nope, they were all up at the retreat. Hours away. Okay. Anybody else available to sing? No, not as a leader. What were we going to do?
A year ago, I probably would have freaked out. But not this time. The truth is, church is not our order or worship. Our church is not a welcome, three songs, and so-on. No church should be. Our Sunday morning is not about dong stuff and doing it right. It's about being the Church. Sadly however, many people have turned Church into an event. It's a service. A thing you go to an enjoy or not enjoy. A moment in time from which to consume or give.
So when it was the time when we normally stand up and sing worship songs, I stood before our church and shared this short message. I preached a sermon later, but I think God wanted us to think about the question, "What is the Church?"
It's one thing to talk about being the Church, it's another when you don't have a worship leader. I know many churches that would rather cancel services than be the Church.
If you'd like to listen to that seven-minute message in place of our songs, you can listen on the player below or you can listen here. Following this message, we listened to Emily and David play and we prayed and meditated on the Lord.
And guess what? Church was still there because we are the Church. We gathered. We prayed. We opened our Bibles and heard from the Lord. We praised our King. We remembered that the Church is a family and it was good. Nothing blew up. Nobody died. And it we worshiped Jesus.
God used our morning without a worship leader to remind us of who we are. And we celebrated that.