“I didn’t know you could sing!”
It was a refrain I heard quite a bit Saturday morning at ABCNJ’s 1 annual spring training event. I heard it because we ended up hosting the event at the church where ABCNJ has its offices, and I requested the opportunity for my church to lead the singing 2. I sing with the band.
Aside from it being an opportunity to serve the region away from my computer, I also wanted to show a bit of myself to the wider family. After over a decade on region staff, and almost sixteen years as a pastor in the region, it amazes me how few people actually know me. I’m the “computer guy,” I make digital things look nice and project snarky comments on the screen during our Annual Session 3. As that’s how most people encounter me, it’s no wonder it’s how I tend to be seen. I grow tired when I meet people who are surprised I’m a pastor 4, or who talk to me about worship music like I’ve never explored a theology of worship 5. So when the opportunity came available to let people see a bit more deeply into my faith, I took it.
Singing brings me joy.
Not music in and of itself, which I like but tend to find distracting, singing. I want to participate in the music and make my voice part of the great cloud of witnesses. And I’m not drawn to mindless singing, songs with no depth 6 give me a headache. I want what I sing to mean something.
And that’s what I go to show the folks gathered from the ABCNJ Saturday morning 7. They got to see me joyful, lost in the transcendence of song and calling others to join in. They didn’t know I could be like that, and it was nice to let them see.
- The American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. ↩
- If anyone was able to come that morning, that is. ↩
- It’s six plus hours in one room with an endless litany of speakers, the comments are how I stay sane. ↩
- They think I work full-time for the region. ↩
- Sadly, that’s most church musicians. ↩
- And often less meaning. ↩
- Central Baptist already knew, it. But they know me better than most people. ↩