My first couple of years working in church ministry were great. The church that I was born in, Glad Tiding Church, had hired me to conduct and arrange music for their 100 voice choir and orchestra. It was a bit intimidating at first, I was only 27 years old when I started and many of the choir and orchestra members were significantly older that me. But leading in the old GT church was so much fun. I remember the power of the music as we belted out great songs of worship to the Lord…. ‘Bless the Lord, who reigns in wisdom and in power’… ‘Worship the Lord, let’s praise His holy Name!’
I was even blessed to be the choir director when the church moved into it’s new 2200 seat auditorium. The stage had all the bells and whistles. Their was a huge platform in the middle of the stage that went down to the floor below to pick up sets. Their were two huge revolving turntables on each side of the stage for rotating sets and two great curtains for the front and back of the stage. To this day, it is still the best stage that I have worked on in church ministry.
But unfortunately, there were some problems. The church could not afford all this grandeur. Because of some significant leadership problems the church did not make the transition to the new building in good shape… not to mention that they owed millions of dollars and the interest alone was killing them. So in the fall of 1984, a couple of us staff members were let go. The church did not have the funds to pay us.
At the time, we were enjoying our nine month old son, Josh, and my wife Anna was pregnant with our second child, Stephanie. So as a family with one child in arms and one on the way, we had some praying to do. I started to put my name out to other churches, went on unemployment (thank you Canadian government) and continued to conduct the choir. We were living in Anna’s parents basement suite and Anna was back working at the Royal Bank, so we were getting by.
A few weeks later, I was leading the GT choir on a Sunday evening and I spotted two men in grey business suits sitting in the middle of our congregation. Something told me that they had come from another church to check me out. To make a long story short, they had come from First Assembly in Calgary and in short time I was hired to conduct their annual Singing Christmas Tree and become their new Music Pastor.
That fall, I was flying back and forth from Vancouver to Calgary and working on two Christmas productions at the same time. I later turned over the Vancouver production to another leader and my little family and I moved to Calgary in time to conduct the many performances of the Singing Christmas Tree. Busy times!
But in the midst of all that change, God finally showed me what my true calling was. I could lead music groups and conduct and write music for choirs and orchestras… but that was not my main calling. When I arrived in Calgary, they just assumed I could lead worship (and I didn’t tell them I had never lead before) so I was soon scheduled to lead. At that same time I turned thirty years old and I began to lead people in worship for the first time in my life.
That was many years ago and leading people to set their hearts and worship on God is still one of my greatest passions and joys. Leading people to God through worship has taken me around the world numerous times and allowed me to minister in front of hundreds of thousands of people on almost every continent. I agree with what King Hezekiah said, “The Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to minister to Him, and to lead the people in worship.”
God knew what He was calling me to do…
Question: What is God calling you to do? What is your true calling?