I’m fortunate enough to work with one of the most amazing worship teams I can imagine.
Our team has a very informal devotional time before most of our Thursday night rehearsals, and recently we were gathered in our usual informal circle, discussing a video I had seen earlier that day. The video was 12 minutes long (a huge time commitment these days), but I was impacted enough by it that I wanted to share it with the team. It was a TED talk by the 4th generation leader of the longest running study (75 years) on happiness in the history of the world. After studying hundreds of people since 1938 and routinely asking them questions about quality of life, they concluded that wealth and fame (which most people tend to desire) are not key indicators for a happy life. Rather, the quality of real relationships with friends you can truly trust, predicted longer life, better health, absence of alzheimers/dementia in old age, and much more.
Our team had an informal discussion on the video itself and the concepts it outlined. I don’t usually have much of a plan for our devotional times other than some open ended-questions as a springboard for discussion, and whatever else comes to mind as we talk. But I realized that the church–for all it’s faults–often fosters these sorts of relationships.
I found myself asking in our discussion–first silently then out loud–how long I had known the people on the team that week. One vocalist I had taught guitar lessons at least 15 years prior. I had known our drummer that night since he was about 6 (because that’s when his father, also an amazing drummer, started attending our church and playing on our team). Another singer I had known for 26 years (she had attended my wedding and my father’s funeral). I had married three of the people there that evening. (Meaning I had officiated their weddings; not that I had three ex-wives on the team). The small group I attend meets in the home of the two drummers I just mentioned. I was overwhelmed by the depth of the relationships that had come about simply by continuing week after week in simple things like:
- Ministering together on the worship team
- Small Group Bible Study
- Staying the same church when sometimes it would have been easier to run
It’s not always easy to persevere in church world. Like in marriage, conflicts arise, and there are seasons when it feels impossible to keep going. It’s often easier to jump ship and try the new church down the road. And there are certainly times that God truly calls people to leave a church. But there is value in persevering through seasons of conflict and turmoil, and staying faithful in your calling in one place if you can. I wouldn’t trade these friends that God has blessed me with through all of these experiences.