One of the greatest joys of following Christ is when God allows you to be a part of something much bigger than yourself. Last night was a reminder of His lavish grace and extravagant love. I stood smack dab in the middle of the floor of the American Airlines Center in Dallas and watched as over 19,000 people sang and worshipped. It was the Rock & Worship Roadshow featuring Addison Road, Tenth Avenue North, Hawk Nelson, Jeremy Camp and MercyMe. I was overwhelmed at how the Lord uses such ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary tasks. And I couldn't help but wonder why.
(image courtesy of mercyme.org)
We've had the privilege of watching MercyMe's ministry since its inception back in 1994. At that time, Big Joel was a youth minister and MM was playing the youth camp/DiscipleNow circuit. (Our ties go back even farther as we'd known Bart, the lead singer, since childhood.) I remember one day about 12 years ago when Joel brought home their latest indie CD called The Worship Project. He said, "There's one song in particular on here that could be really big..." We sat in the living room floor and I had cold chills as I listened to "I Can Only Imagine" for the very first time.
A few years later Imagine hit the charts, created a whirlwind of "success" and the band felt they wanted someone to keep them grounded and accountable. Unfortunately, there was no money for accountability, but they did need to hire someone to drive the bus. So Joel resigned his youth ministry position and became the bus driver/road pastor for the band. After just a few months and some restructuring, he stopped driving the bus and became their full-time road manager.
And so its been a unique experience...watching God work through a bunch of ordinary men (not just the six guys in the band, but Joel and other crew members as well).
Last night I was struck once again by the notion that you never know where the path will lead when you give your life to Christ's service. It may take you to an arena filled with thousands of people singing words to a song you wrote, or it may take you to South America to work with impoverished people and orphans, or it may take you to your own living room to watch the miracle of your daughter come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
But hopefully, wherever it takes me I will never lose the wonder and awe of someone like me being used by Someone like Him.
"...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9