Well, yesterday (after the wheels spinning in a long process) I accepted the role of Assistant Chapel Coordinator at Fuller Theological Seminary. Or, probably I should say they accepted me. It’s a role set aside for a PhD student to participate in the chapel leadership team. There are a plurality of denominations represented at Fuller and so, appropriately, these many liturgical expectations collide within the chapel space each week, offering an amazing opportunity to model unity in diversity within the body of Christ. Orthodox student worships next to Reformed student worships next to Mennonite student, each seeking training in their calling to serve the Christian church – and opening themselves to be also spiritually formed as they study psychology, theology or intercultural studies/missiology.
This has been another step in a prayerful journey of me trying to figure out how I can best help churches and seminaries educate Christian artists, especially songwriters and worship leaders. It’s the next chapter of my story, and it’s also about readying all that I am to be used by God. I still passionately believe in the spaces where we as a self-consciously trinitarian community encounter our God in prayer, song and through His Word. As in, I’ll never be “over” gathering – I believe it’s powerful.
But also, a question burns deep within me – how to really support church musicians effectively. What I do know is that we ask a lot of them. Many of us wish for them to perform for us, to move us, grow us, lead us, surprise us, educate us, inspire us, and draw us into the very presence of God. And although we want artists to innovate and experiment, we don’t necessarily want to be experimented on. Now, there’s something to be said for championing a mature Christianity rooted in the spiritual disciplines of our faith, but, if we dared to admit it, much of the church is more focused upon obtaining a good parking spot than upon entering the worship service with a right heart and mind. Perhaps our expectation should be set low – however you come, come. But once you’re here, we encourage you to lift your eyes and see our King.
So, it will be an interesting year, come August 2012. I will be stretched and will learn prayers of illumination, to sing the psalms, and will join the theological discussions that occur around the deeply ingrained identity markers that so often divide us. Oh, and happy Ascension Day tomorrow, everyone.