Hey Lurking friend,
As some of you may know, I go to an Indonesian/Dutch small Church in Amsterdam each Sunday. I sing in this church each Sunday. In fact, since a few months I am a worship leader for the church. Now I am anything but perfect and I still have to learn a lot. But it is a blessing to sing in front of church, really.
To prepare myself for leading the church into worship, I obviously turn to God and pray for His guidance, strength and patience. I am honored every time I get the opportunity to lead the church into praise and worship. It’s quite a challenge every time. Especially since I’m a socially-awkward type o’ gal by nature.
What else makes it quite a challenge is that sometimes it feels like the church is filled with zombies instead of life-loving living things. They just stare at you with a tilted head, mouth shut or wide open.
Now I understand that some people go to church, without actually having faith at all. And I also understand that we are all just human beings and that it can be hard to be positive spirited and enthusiastic 24/7 a day… But I believe that my Lord and Savior is a God of love and life. And that He can make us positive spirited and enthusiastic. Because He is the most awesome above awesome. He is the epicness that is the Alpha and Omega. He is God.
It’s just a sad sight to see people who say they believe in the same God, going through a Sunday Service barely alive looking like a… Well, like a zombie. And so I see it a challenge to try and bring some passion into the church goers, by being passionate myself and hoping I can rub off my positivity onto others with God.
Not all of the church goers are like that. There are these sweet old Indonesian church ladies and men who come each Sunday too. Some of them I’ve known my whole life. They are warmhearted people, praying for others and always staying positive despite of what they have faced during their lives. I always look forward to seeing them each Sunday.
So last Sunday we had Holy Communion. It was the first time I was asked to prepare the songs for a special service like this. I do not get that nervous anymore, but there are a few elements that make prepping for a Sunday service quite chaotic. For starters; A few band members have gone on vacation for a few weeks. During practice there was just the piano player, the percussionist and myself. Which was fine. It was simplistic, but sounded pretty good actually. Normally we sing with 4 people, myself and 3 other ladies. But for some reason the other 3 ladies couldn’t practice with us. I hoped that they would practice with me a little on Sunday, before the service would start.
But I should have know better. They were late! To top it off, they wanted to have a small talk before the service started. A small talk that took in way too much time. This church is testing my patience so bad, really… Long story short; we didn’t practice.
Structure and being on time is something Indonesian people tend to have a problem with. When you tell an Indonesian person that you want to meet up at lets say 1 pm, you can count on it that they will show up at least 1,5 hours later. Same goes for Surinamese people. And I’ve been blessed with being mixed with both Indonesian and Surinamese traits. As a teenager I found it very hard to be on time for some reason. I could blame it on my genes or just the fact that I was a lazy teen. But as I grew older I learned how important it is to be on time. Because if you show up late for work, you might get fired. If you show up late for a ticket sale, tickets could be sold out. When you want a good spot at a concert, you make sure you are more than on time.
Remember my post about the Linkin Park concert? There were people who came to the concert hall at least 8 hours before the show even started. I came to the concert hall about 8 hours before the show began. Why? Because we all wanted to be at the front row of the show. Because some of the fans maybe hoped their long waiting in the rain would be awarded, by meeting band members of Of Mice Of Men.
Once inside; Everyone was ecstatic, enthusiastic. Thousands of fans were singing and shouting along in one voice with this overwhelming feeling of pure passion for the music everyone loved that night. It was great.
And then it’s Sunday. And I’m singing with a bunch of grumpy barely alive zombies, who don’t make it to band practice and nag about the fact that they don’t know the words to the songs. And because they are grumpy, the crowd gets annoyed. There’s nothing more annoying than being in a church with a demotivated choir. At least, to me that is annoying. Maybe I should’ve juste shoved the zombie choir off the stage, and do the service just with my pianist and percussionist. But that isn’t very Christian like, is it?
The first song went ok, I guess, but I couldn’t hear the choir sing along. The choir was just standing their, with their grumpy faces… Whenever they did sing along, it was without passion. My sibling records the services these days with a camera and even my sibling said that it was quite a sad thing to witness from their point of view. But I was not going to get their attitude put me down. I was on a roll, I was on fire and I just prayed in myself; Lord help these zombies, bring them back to life.
I take singing for the Lord very serious. Way more serious than a Linkin Park concert. God is my everything, and when I sing for Him I want to do this with all I have within me; with passion. And I expect my choir to do the same. So by the end of the second song, I couldn’t take it anymore. It felt like God wanted me to stop the music for a few seconds and talk to the church.
It’s sad to realize that rock fans at a rock concert sing along with their favorite tunes with heart and soul and are more passionate than us so called Christians when we are singing for our God.
So I ask of you, even if you don’t know the song, to sing for our God with an eager heart and soul. Because He should be everything to you, as you are everything to Him. He is worthy to be praised. Let’s do this with passion!”
It got quiet as soon as I had spoken those words. I could feel the eyes of the choir burning in my back. I could see frowning from people in the crowd. I could see the old Indonesian ladies in the back with their grumpy faces whispering to each other. A part of me thought that this might be the last time I’d ever be worship leader for this church. But then, from the back of the church it sounded; Amen. And soon the entire church said amen. Relieved, I invited everyone to continue singing. The rest of the service went on a lot better. People actually sang with passion. And then it was time for the guest speaker to bring the Gospel and then Holy Communion.
Afterwards, people came to me and thanked me for verbally kicking their butts. It was weird, but it sure was an interesting Sunday.