The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2
Never underestimate the power of music. No matter how plain (or just plain off key!) there is a force that flows just below the surface of the notes. A melody is a lot like one of the stones in David’s sling in the Bible story. Goliath had a serious size advantage over the puny teen-aged David. In spite of Goliath’s awesome armor and weaponry, the power of one smooth stone guided by God’s hand was able to penetrate his defenses. Music can be an armament for good if we ask God to guide it to ears that long to hear from Him.
I discovered the simple power of music from two dear shut-in friends, William and his wife Joaquina. For about two years I visited them every Wednesday afternoon and came to affectionately call them “Mom and Dad”. William began to slowly lose the use of his arms, then his legs and he became confined to his bed and recliner. William loved to hear the hymns especially the lively ones. But William didn’t only listen to music. He found that he could still whistle a tune so one of his pass-times was to whistle to his parakeets whose cage sat in the corner of the living room. Whenever William whistled the parakeets chirped loudly. Near the end of William’s life his family filmed a brief video of his two parakeets hopping on his chest while William whistled a song. In the battle of his life William still used the smallest melody to fight.
For those, who like myself, have chosen to do nursing home ministry, I would encourage you to prioritize music. Music’s purpose is often unrecognized and its value underestimated but in its proper place it has the power to touch the hearts and minds of people as nothing else. Whether you are an accomplished musician or an amateur. Simply share the songs of the church and God’s message will take wings and fly!
Excerpt from Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry:
Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry
Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Psalm 149:1-2
Singing is in fact an act of faith. When we open our mouth to sing we both connect back to our first childlike step of faith and strain forward towards our heavenly goal. We cannot see yet what heaven will be but the accompaniment of heaven’s songs can draw us forward. I am reminded of one dear elderly saint who was found passed out on the floor by her sister. The ambulance was called and Florence was taken to the hospital where after several days she regained her strength and returned home. Florence told us that while she was unconscious she began to hear the angels singing and felt them coming closer. She said that the song grew louder and louder but then suddenly it faded and then she opened her eyes and woke up. Since she had grown up in the Polish church I was interested to know if God would have His angels singing in her childhood language or in English. But Florence said it was in neither language rather in some heavenly tongue which was completely different from anything she knew!
I have never forgotten Florence’s angels and their heavenly song. As you lead worship whether in your nursing home ministry or church remember that you are giving people an opportunity to put words to their faith. God has given us songs for an encouragement and a help to our faith. Just as faith without works is dead, faith without words is unborn. What greater catalyst to our confession of faith is there than the words of our worship?
How do our relationships within the church affect our worship? Why can’t we worship the same way in the congregation as we do when we are alone? Relationship matters in music ministry is the most important and potentially most life changing of this series. In the last session we reexamined the importance of presentation (performance) because it has been so downgraded in recent years. That being said however; the concept of being in a living relationship with those to whom we minister still reigns as the single most important aspect of worship ministry in the world. Whether or not you are a worship leader getting a hold of this approach will revolutionize your worship and change your outlook on life!
If you have interest in learning more about music ministry in the nursing home you can get the e-format at smashwords or on amazon where you will also find a small softcover edition. Be blessed today as you stretch to grow in your ministry to God’s precious people at nursing homes.
Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry e-book
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God 2 Corinthians 5:20
We as worship leaders shouldn’t be putting on an act and when we do God has a faithful way of reminding us that we are missing His best. However there is also the idea that we are not just singing in a room all by ourselves. We are called as ambassadors to present the Gospel through music in the most appealing way. Whether you are a worship leader at a nursing home or at the biggest mega-church on the planet, the heart of the message is the same. God is longing for people who will come and worship in both spirit and in truth.
This second part in this series focuses us on our presentation. Because the message matters and because people are of infinite value to Jesus we are called to do our best to present it to them in the most effective way we can. Be blessed as you listen and be blessed as you minister to others with the songs that God has given you!