Those who know me and who have read my writings for some time, will know that I am passionate about unity, especially Christian unity.
A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by my local Pastor with a request to lead worship for a combined harvest of songs service in the town where we live. I accepted the role and began to prepare for the event. As someone who preach unity, this was a great opportunity for me to stand and lead people from different denominations and cultures to praise God!
As the days drew close, apprehension began to set in. Questions started creeping into my mind like ‘What if some churches don’t like my style of worship?’ What if I am unable to coordinate the musicians, especially since we had a bulk of them from my local church and possibly on volounteers from other churches,
The next concern was that the two drum set players from my church sent me email that they were not going to be able to make it. Some of the songs I had selected would in my opinion sound better with drums!
A few days to the event, it was beginning to look like things were not working out for me. To make matters worse, I was getting emails from the Vicar coordinating the event, that they were expecting a worship session that would ‘bring the roof down’. Deep down within me, I groaned, wondering whether accepting the role was a good idea.
Then I began to think of my passion for Christian unity. I remembered that it was not about me or how well I could sing. It was all about Jesus! He and He alone was the only reason for us all coming together as one family, under one roof, to sing together and celebrate in His presence!
God’s peace flooded my mind. It didn’t matter whether some musicians would not be able to make it. We were going to sing with our voices and the heavens would know that a group of Christians have gathered together to sing praises to God!
I realized then that one of the churches is a local branch of the Salvation Army. A light bulb came on and an idea formed from a heart that was now truly at peace with God. I looked at the list of songs I was about to send to the event coordinator so that the Lyrics could be obtained for the projector display and asked that the Salvation Army band accompany the hymns. I chose other songs which were easy to sing whether there was drumming or not but emphasizing on the message of the cross.
On the day of the event, I stood on the platform with joy in my heart as I looked at worshippers from different churches, nations and cultures lifting up their hands and joining me as I led in songs of worship to the Lord.
When it was times for the hymns, I was really glad that I passed on the responsibility to the Salvation Army to accompany us with their instruments. It was absolutely beautiful singing and hearing them play beautiful pieces of music.
At the end of the service, I walked to the band leader of the Salvation Army and commended him and his band for playing so wonderfully. He replied, ‘You guys were not bad at all, we were truly blessed’. While I was singing, I noticed that there was a lady jumping up and down and enjoying herself in God’s presence. I remember wondering, ‘Who is that woman?’ I was surprised when the Vicar walked up to me after the service and said, ‘Did you see that woman jumping up and down during worship? That is my wife!'
What did I take away from this experience? Two verses of scripture jump into my mind;
‘Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.’ (Psalm 22:3)
‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!’ (133:1)
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader, Home Group Leader and Bible Teacher in his local church. He also speaks at invited events. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org