So, I led worship today . . . gained a little more experience of how they do things here at Harvest . . . got an opportunity to share how I experience God . . . how I experience the Spirit's dealing with my soul. When I came to this congregation I wasn't sure how they would respond to me . . . this United Methodist who isn't really a traditional United Methodist, who worships quietly. . . who worships without having intimate engagement.
I'm somewhat different. I'm a shouter. It's not uncommon to hear me shouting "Amen" or "Praise the Lord!" I'm a jumper -- depending on the service -- I'm fully engaged and moved easily by the Spirit's leading. When I came here, I wasn't sure how to react in the service, made up mostly of congregants who were Catholics or who had no or little history of attending or participating in church until they came to Harvest. So on my first and second Sunday I was reserved. I felt like backing the ministers when they said something I agreed with, but didn't. I felt like clapping more and jumping to the worship songs, but I didn't. And I felt in bondage -- that was until I had a conversation with the pastors and one of the District Superintendents for the UMC church here who convinced me that I wasn't doing anyone any good if I failed to be my authentic self. My being there is an opportunity for me to share me with the people I am in ministry with . . . it's a chance for me to share my worship tradition . . . an opportunity for them to see and experience God differently than they have before. . . an opportunity for all of us show God in our own unique way.
Today, a woman's husband told me his wife cried when she heard me pray. And she herself, said, "When I heard you say continually, 'Thank-you, Lord!' It made me want to say it. I felt it!"
Another shared that they love the vitality I bring to the worship service. And many others have shared their joy in having me there.
What a wonderful testament of how faith works. God tells us to do things and trust. When we do it works out far better than we could have imagined. That's how these past Sunday's and weeks have been -- a realization of God's answered prayers and some pleasant surprises in between, such as confirmation that apparently I'm on the right path. In fact, more than one member lately has said I should consider work as a minister.
More and more, it's not sounding like such a bad idea. So maybe I will!