I know this is late, but I was out of town last weekend on a ministry trip. It’s amazing how it’s taken me five days to catch up from being gone for two. So yes, I went to Nebraska last weekend to a friend’s old church to lead worship for a conference. It was definitely an experience I’m really glad I got to have, and not just because traveling was one of this year’s goals.
Lesson #1: God backs up His children. There were times before a session that some of us would start to feel nervous, but when we would pray, we would feel the strength of God. I could feel Him in anticipation, excited to see us successfully do the things we’ve been trained to do. He was excited in a way that a parent was excited for their kids, and that made the nervousness go away.
Lesson #2: Things never go the way you think they will. As prepared as we were for this trip (both spiritually and musically), things didn’t always go the way we thought they would. Just because it doesn’t look like what we’re used to doesn’t mean the people aren’t responding or that God isn’t doing anything. At World Revival Church, people are used to responding in worship. Singing and raising our hands is the normal, but outside those walls, responding that way is the best response some people have for where they’re at.
Lesson #3: Showing honor builds trust. One of the biggest things my friend told us over and over is that we were there to build a relationship with the pastors. In many churches like that one, pastors have lost their trust in their congregation because people leave over small offenses. Pastors and churches won’t walk into their full potential until the people learn to honor the pastor in a way that the people are then trusted to minister freely. Pastors and leaders shouldn’t be doing everything.
Driving back home, I could feel an ache for those people. I was feeling an ache for people and pastors that I had just met because I want them to experience the same life and freedom that I’ve been experiencing for almost four years. Yes, ministry trips are physically exhausting, but I’d go back again in a heartbeat if it meant helping people experience revival.