“His Strength is Perfect”

Years ago I read a book which referred to the music ministry of a church as the “War Department.”  At the time I didn’t really relate to what the author was writing about. I grew up in a church culture where people by and large willingly sang the songs which were an integral contribution to the service. But that’s not always the case.

Music is understandably – and rightfully so –  a huge part of worship. For me personally, music touches my heart in a way the written or spoken word doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, words are important to me. A good homily can be inspiring and is an important part of a service.  But long after a worship service is over, a song will sometimes remain in my mind throughout the week. What a blessing.

When we come to church on Sunday we all drive into the parking lot in cars where we’ve preset the radio to the kind of music we enjoy … the music which feeds our soul. We then walk into church with others who have arrived in cars with the radio set to the music they love. Everyone arriving to sit in the pew comes with their own preference for the music they enjoy. See where I am going with this? How difficult it is then, for a music minister to select music that will appeal to a whole church-ful of individual musical preferences. Enter the battle! In many churches parishioners just grin and bear it; but in other churches music decisions are a battleground where people weigh in with their feet.

Years ago I started introducing Contemporary Christian Music into ministry. When I was involved in youth ministry, the teens and young adults craved music which was more in keeping with the sound they enjoyed. When they came to church there was often such a huge disconnect. They would tell me they felt like most of the music more resembled a dirge than life-giving joyful music which they could hum the rest of the week.

One of my favorite songs was written by Contemporary Christian Music artist Steven Curtis Chapman, called “His Strength Is Perfect.”  (Click on the video above to treat yourself to a great song.  Click here for the lyrics.) One of the many reasons I love this song is that Steven used scripture which gets right to the heart of the matter. Do you ever feel as if you just don’t have the strength to do one thing more?  Ever feel as if you’ve left it all out on the field, only to be asked to give more you just don’t have?  Ever feel depleted to the point of empty?  Then this scripture is tailor-made for you, and God knew it:

My grace is is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.’  … For when I am weak then I am strong. –  2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

What we learn from this scripture is that when we just don’t feel like we have any more left to give Jesus tells us His strength is enough for us to complete the task. In essence, He’ll see us through.  I can’t tell you how many times I have relied upon the truth of this scripture. Christ’s strength is enough; especially when we are through.

This song came out in 1988, and is now already 25 years old. Although some people might find it “too contemporary”  try telling that to a teenager who listens primarily to Lady Gaga, Mumford & Sons, FUN, Adele, Gotye, Kelly Clarkson, Black Keys, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Beyonce, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band … and those are just a quick listing of some of the Grammy Award winners and entertainers from this year!

God is timeless. God gifts artists in all times and seasons, and as a church we need to embrace music which speaks to a generation today.

When we worship together as a community everyone needs to sacrifice something. When everyone sacrifices something it is then that we experience unity. May our worship together give God the glory and honor He deserves, for it is all about Him when we gather together to pray.

Praying for you.  Thank you for praying for me.

Peace friends,

Chuck

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2 Comments

  • Marilyn says:

    Who said, “When you sing, you pray twice”? I always tell people, God gave you that voice (good or bad) participating, by singing is a way for God to hear your voice which must sound beautiful to Him. Let’s give Him praise!

  • Nick says:

    Heard the song “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave on the radio recently. I’m not much of a music expert, buy I liked it and think it may have the cross generational appeal you are referring to.

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