Had an interesting, challenging and at the same time rewarding time of ministry in music yesterday with the Happy Singers teen choir that I direct. Long story as usual. We got invited to a themed service evening at this Dutch reformed church (gereformeerd) in the city of Leiden where I live. Good news was that it was the closest venue to my house that I’ve ever had 🙂 The rest is another story. The church is actually beautiful from the inside, but from the outside, well…
Communication was hardgoing with the leadership of the church. We send a list of songs, asked for their lithurgy, but got nothing back. I did get to hear that a song
was left out but the order of singing of those which were left was not communicated.
We got there and the inside of the church will give the famous St. Anna’s church in jerusalem a run for it’s money in the echo/accoustics stakes! Wow! For instumental music, that was a potential problem, both keyboard and microphones. Then there were no monitor speakers. We had to make do with general speakers from behind the choir.
Previous email by the minister stating that they were not used to ‘our’ kind of gospel music did not fully sink in until we faced this reality. We did our best to cope with the situation plus 4 out a possible 15 singers not showing up ! But guess what God is still good, if your focus and heart is the right place. Ministry is the people. Reception appeared ‘lukewarm’ but on asking them to stand and join us in the rousing ‘You are good’ a la Israel Houghton, they could not stand up quickly enough. The place came alive! At the end the Minister and many of the congregation left with beaming smiles and gave compliments. Still, one dear saint walked up to me and gave ‘constructive critic’ You choir’s name may need to be changed, another, I listen to a lot of Gospel music ; brooklyn tabernacle, Oslo gospel, but I could not match what you were singing to the projected lyrics, another (janitor)we are not used to this kind of music, just metered psalms, and one man actually walked out complaining that such music does not fit what he expects of their church lithugie..However, one said that we transformed their normally sedate church service and people went home with gladness
People are just different!