Thursday, August 17, 2006

Family Night and Ministry

Perhaps the most powerful piece for me to work on personally at Pacific Yearly Meeting was granting my daughter’s heart’s desire to sing at Family Night (the PYM talent show) with my group Sacred Ground.

While one of my songs clicked back beautifully into familiar three-part harmonies with little rehearsal, we were less clear on which others needed to be sung. But my daughter repeatedly suggested a newer song of mine, which she and I have sung together many times for fun, and she chimed in on teaching it to the trio.

Her desire to perform it with us challenged me at first. I had a preconceived idea that this would probably happen much later: perhaps in her teenage years, after I was fully confident of her ability to carry a part on her own.

What rose up in holding her request, and my resistance to it, was that I had to listen more deeply to the vocal ministry I had been giving during the week, which was mostly about how meetings nurture the ministry of individuals. Finally—and partly through sharing this struggle with my worship-fellowship group—it became clear that I had no business squashing my daughter’s gifts.

And so we walked on stage as four rather than three. I started the performance by naming what was obvious to me: that a large part of what a Family Night audience does is to support those on stage in developing our ministries. Someone immediately yelled back, “That’s our job!”

Colin has posted some lovely pictures of Family Night, and of Young Friends at PYM.