Be thou my vision: 75 singing men to the glory of God
I’ve always been told to hang around people who are smarter than I am so that I may learn and grow. One person that I’ve had the privilege to learn a little from in the recent months is the new director of LifeWay Worship, Mike Harland. (Mike is also a gifted writer, Bend The Knee, The Lamb Upon the Throne.) I had a chance to interview him for my September podcast, MoWorship (found at www.mobaptist.org/worship). I asked Mike, who is obviously a visionary, “What separates a vision from a whim?” Mike brought up three points in knowing whether or not what you have is a vision/mission from the Lord:
1) “Are you daily in His Word?” I think this discipline is a must for anyone wanting to hear from God. Chuck Swindoll in his writing, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity said,”No person was ever great for God who failed to discipline himself to live by biblical priorities.” Scripture study is paramount.
2) “You can’t get it off of your mind.” Is it something you think about day and night? Do your thoughts keep coming back to the same strategy, the same subject?
3) “It excites others.” This doesn’t have to be unanimous with people, but creates a stir in those whom you have great confidence.
A vision that I once had was to do a living Christmas tree, in a small church with no budget. When I brought it up – I had people asking me if I was crazy. I would doodle it, I would envision it, and I could see my choir in it. I presented it to so many people that one engineer in my church surprised me with blueprints for it. (I still have them.) Then a lady in the church, whose husband owned a hardware store, gave me a visit with a blank check to that store to buy the needed supplies. My wife designed a Gospel tract that unfolded as a Christmas-tree-cross, and hand-folded hundreds. That Christmas, we had a living Christmas tree – God-sized project – with a packed church (10 miles from town) three nights in a row.
Would that work for you? I don’t know – it was my vision, not necessarily yours.
May I share with you – a vision?
I have the opportunity to take a men’s choir to El Salvador in the first full week of January (details forthcoming). At the core of this men’s choir is the Missouri Music Men. These men have a great spirit and sound beautiful. But there are currently around 20 who are going. I would like to take and direct 75 men.
We would be singing for the 75th anniversary of ABES (Association of Baptists in El Salvador) as a choir, plus unlimited opportunities to sing and evangelize. Can you imagine how beautiful that would be? We would be singing contemporary, traditional, and a couple of Spanish numbers.
I am looking for 75 good men who sing well – music ministers especially, but not exclusively. But more importantly have a heart for Jesus – and who would like to go on mission in this beautiful way. You may call my office, 800-736-6227, ext. 450, or e-mail me at email@example.com. The cost of the trip would be around $1,500 plus passport and walking around money.
Let’s be part of something larger than ourselves! (John Francis is the worship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and produces MoWorship … www.mobaptist.org/worship.)