I want to give our Worship Fertilizer community practical steps to follow during these unusual times: Notice, Do Not Fear, Pray, Fast, Feast!, and Grow.
As Ad Lib, we have always been deeply committed to eradicating isolation and burnout. And with mandates of social distancing, we are resiliently thinking of ways to continue our mission while this temporary storm passes. Here's what we're coming up with so far.
- Notice the condition of your soul and take measures to be healthy. When you feel your chest tighten or a sense of dread overtakes you, stop. Look to Him. I’ve listened often to the readings of Psalm 23 that I'll share with you: https://adlibmusic.com/129
- Notice how a Godless world responds - look, don’t be surprised when the world flat-out, freaks out. They don’t know the Prince of Peace. Imagine life without God(!) and you’ll know why they hoard TP. And notice how completely differently the Church responds. (Pray for her is you don’t notice enough difference, and certainly don't condemn the world for... being the world.)
- Notice what a gift of a cleared (or significantly altered) schedule is.
- Notice that Jesus has already overcome death, ironically by death itself. So we, the people of the resurrection, haven’t any fear of death.
- Notice the opportunity to embody love to your neighbor, to declare the good news to them, to shine the Light into the darkness. We have what they need!
Do Not Fear
Fear is not only an emotion, it’s a spirit - a spirit that has been afflicting what seems to be the entire world. And vague fear is the worst. We must get specific. What are you afraid of right now? Getting the virus? A loved one getting the virus? Having to use leaves (or whatever other items become unavailable)? The economic impact of the mandated protective measures? The social isolation? The loss of expected daily rhythm? What to do with kids while temporarily out of school? Wondering how bad it’s going to get?
Take each specific fear and put it at the foot of the cross. Ask Him to address it specifically. He has given us a spirit of love, a spirit of power, and a spirit of a sound mind. Not fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) In fact, His perfect love makes fear run and hide. (1 John 4:18)
PrayHonestly, it wasn’t until last weekend when a preacher was reading through 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, that I remembered our first line of both defense and offense. (Facepalm!) This is the time to pray in earnest. Like John Leach always says, “What happens when we pray? EVERYTHING happens when we pray!” And how fitting these verses are for this moment in time. “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Yes, Lord!
Fast“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Lou Engle put out this call for a 3-day fast, echoing the words spoken to Esther, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Feast!Take in copious amounts of the word of God. Worship at home. Listen to worship music. Encourage a team member with a text or call. Watch the Upperroom or IHOPKC Livestream. Drink deep of God and become overwhelmed with His greatness. What overwhelms us shapes us - if you take in too much news or social media…you may forget that all of heaven is in your corner!
GrowYou may or may not have extra time, but when the weekly grind of worship ministry is paused or altered, take advantage of it.
- Is your desk a mess, clean it. (If you’re allowed in)
- Finally delete your to-do about filing the big stack of chord charts and make the transition to PCO’s Music Stand. (Ask me to share my “pile” of ChordPro charts)
- Join us for a Worship Fertilizer Community Zoom (video call) on Friday the 20th at 10:00 AM Eastern. Feel free to invite others. https://zoom.us/j/634162186?pwd=cUo1NUoza0JVMk96RUNLZEtmb1JsQT09
- Sign up for a worship coaching session, just click here.
- Set up a tech coaching session via video. Have Coach Tony answer your questions. Email Tony@adlibmusic.com.
- Livestream you or your family worshiping on Facebook to encourage your friends (no matter how it sounds or how many times you have to stop to redirect your kids…LOL) And follow https://www.facebook.com/AdLibMusic for when we do it.
- Sharpen your guitar skills. Get out of your “electric guitar for worship” slump and be inspired. Email Jim@adlibmusic.com and set up a free one-on-one video lesson to work on:
- Learning the fretboard
- Using swells, beyond the chord progression
- Creating Soundscapes
- Picking techniques
- Creating ambience that’s not just swells
- Maximizing your current gear (I’m almost positive that you’ve got all the gear you need to get the sound you want)
- Learning to use notes outside the chord - they're WAAAY important... and they don’t have to be scary
- Dissecting “the why” helps make learning parts easier
- The point is, don't coast. You'll still be toast if you do. :)
The future has always been unknown. The future will always be unknown. The precious, holocaust-survivor Corrie Ten Boom reminds us “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
ps. In case you didn't hear, the Drums and Sound Clinic LEVEL TWO has been postponed. To be notified when its rescheduled, click here.