I think in the end, if you ask me, it comes back down again to commitment. It comes back to the question of WHY you're in the team. All the stuff we spent so much time talking about - they're essentially non issues. This whole thing about it being tiring, dinner, sitting through the sermon multiple times, family time... I mean, how petty can you get? It's going to be the same for the whole team. Everyone who has committed to the worship team and all its supporting ministries are going to have to work through this. Everyone who has committed to serve in church is going to have to work through this - not just the worship team. Don't you think the people who usher, who tidy up the hall, who do traffic are all going to have to give up a little something as well?
If you're committing to serve in church, the question shouldn't be about how the church and the pastors/leaders are going to make it convenient for you or easy for you to serve. It should be about how YOU are going to rearrange your schedule to suit the greater needs of all the people coming to seek God. True?
I think that a lot of us still come with that 'serve us' attitude, that church should be about OUR convenience and needs, that if people want it bad enough they will come on their own. We're asking the world to come to us when Jesus has sent us TO the world.
Worship costs something. As Pastor Isaac said this weekend, most of us don't realize the deep personal cost that the old testament believers made to atone for their sins. We've taken grace so cheaply that we've lost its true value. I think it was David, who when he went to offer sacrifices to God and the owner of the land offered to give it him for free, he said, I will not offer a sacrifice to God that costs me nothing. That's something the church has lost. Our worship to God is not just the singing of the songs, not just the touted lifestyle; it's the offering of our selves in totality, including our time. Mook Chen said it right during cell today - in the past, monetary giving was the big issue. Most of the older generation just didn't have the cash to spare to give freely and that was the great sacrifice. Now, money is nothing. We've become affluent, we have learnt to give generously. Time has become the precious commodity as we struggle to juggle all the activities we are part of, all the things we do, or think we need to do.
So coming back to this:
1. The issue isn't really about the swapping. Yes, sometimes you have other commitments. But if it's happening so often, doesn't that mean some priorities are out of whack?
2. If you have committed to a service, you commit to it. You don't run off during service because 'I've heard it before'. Yes, I've heard it before too. I've heard some of my dad's sermons almost ten times over. But you STAY for the services, all of them, because you are a PART of the overall picture. You're there to support the pastor and the congregation, not to do your musical act then clear off. Each service, same sermon or not, has a different emphasis. And you can't know or sense that if you weren't there or if you were busy talking at the back. And you need to sense that because the pastor is going to call people for altar call/ministry and the TEAM has to be on the same page, not just the worship leader!
3. You have family. Fine, so do all of us. You're busy. Great, so are all of us. Your need to leave early due to xxxxx circumstances needs to be an exception to the rule - not the rule. Your children learn the true meaning of commitment, responsibility and passion from how you serve, not by what you tell them. After all, you have the other two or three weekends in a month to plan great family outings and times together. And why not initiate them into the ministry then by just having the there along with you? I've spent countless hours in church mooching around just because I have to wait for my dad to finish. It never hurt me any.
4. If dinner is THAT important to you, find a way to work around it. Don't just gripe about how tiring it is and how you really need to eat. How about fasting dinner? Have you ever thought that Pastor Isaac is preaching in all THREE services for much longer than the worship session AND HE IS NOT GRIPING ABOUT DINNER??
In conclusion, the thing I really want to say is, just grow up okay? Suck it up. You're better than that. This is bigger than you. If you wake up to that fact, it'll be much easier to adjust.
I KNOW it's going to cost. I DON'T have that time to spare either. But we gotta do what we gotta do. That's how you build worship. That's how you build the Kingdom. You are the worship TEAM not the worship solo, and this has to be done together as a team. This has got to click, to gel. We need to constantly move forward, not look back to what it used to be like. Because if we don't move, who is?