Few people know of my deep love for music. Okay, so it’s not the head-banging, ear-splitting variety. I like close harmony vocals and full orchestras. I like to sit right in the middle of surround sound speakers, crank it up and let the music pour over me until I get goose bumps!
Back “in the day” before we had children, I directed one of the Continental Singers groups that toured the United States and Europe for three
months doing about 100 concerts. Including choir, orchestra and sound technicians, there were 40 students traveling the countryside in a bus, doing concerts every day. I loved being the conductor—trying to inspire excellence in each individual while uniting them to produce a beautiful result that communicated a message.
On one of my file cabinets, there is still a plaque that few have noticed. It says “Maestro.” The kids in my group gave it to me at the end of the tour. I keep it as a reminder about how ministry in God's economy works. I don’t have a great voice. I can’t play an instrument well. I’m not a technician. But I don’t have to be. For 30 years, my job in the National Network of Youth Ministries was to inspire staff members and youth workers to excellence and unity that God can turn into a beautiful result — one that communicates the Message of Salvation.
We are not expected to be and do it all, but to do what God has gifted us to do to the best of our abilities -- in concert with others. There’s nothing wrong with soloists. In fact, today, we need every unique voice and sound that will capture the attention of our audience. But, if we harmonize our voices or instruments with those of others, we will be able to have the greatest impact, . And, if you are really blessed, you may have the opportunity to be the “maestro” that brings people together.
Our summer tour ended with a Grand Finale Concert in a big concert hall in Los Angeles. We were one of eleven groups that year that toured all over the world doing the same music. At the Finale Concert we all performed together — as a 270-voice choir and a 150-piece orchestra. What a powerful and thrilling combination! Everyone was impacted by the sheer magnitude of the sound.
Each of the tour directors got to conduct a number. I will never forget stepping up on that podium, picking up the baton and being almost blown back by the sound that resulted from the downbeat. It gives me a chill, even now, as I remember. All these talented individuals focusing their attention and energies in one direction! Merging their many different sounds into one harmonious melody. The audience responded with worship, praise and even conviction.
Over my years of helping people to build networks, I've seen so many God-ordained and gifted individuals -- not only talented in their ministry roles, but who also have a heart for joining voices that sound forth with powerful and thrilling results. It truly is amazing to see what happens when each of us focus, in our own way, on the goal of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person.
Imagine the result if everyone would join in the chorus instead of trying to make music alone. It’s an experience that we’ll never forget—a little bit of heaven. Someday, “every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11). We might as well get started now!