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Saturday, July 19, 2008

To: Westwinds Re: Service

Dear Westwinds (and everyone listening in),

I've been thinking about you today.

I’ve noticed something interesting as a musician in the church. Quite often, people will come up to me and say things like, “We have an illegal amount of talent in this church. This music team is incredible! I can’t believe what you guys pull off every weekend.”

I have a few internal responses with this.

First of all, I am encouraged that people love what is going on—our volunteers do an incredible amount of work each week—I enjoy the encouragement.

Sometimes though, I will hear things like—“I wish God would have blessed me with that kind of gifting.” “I played guitar as a kid, but I just couldn’t get it. Now I am paying the price.” “Sure wish I could add something to the mix here but I am horrible at music.” Sometimes, there is almost a “woe is me” kind of thing going on.

I call this the Eeyore Disorder (ED for short. Wait, is that one taken?). Remember Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh? He went around kinda mopey—head hung low—saying things like, “thanks for noticing me.”

It’s what some have called a “SERVICE INFERIORITY COMPLEX.”

“If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.” I Corinthians 12:15

God has designed us for a purpose in his church and I believe we find greater fulfillment when we recognize what that role is. No role is greater than another.

I love that the musicians get kudos. I really do. I wouldn’t trade that encouragement but I often tell people at Westwinds, “If you want to be real encouraging, as you have been to me many times over, look for the servants that clear the parking lot and salt the pathways for us every weekend to make this a safe place. Shake the hands of the team that cleans this building inside and out each week. Give a big hug to the men and women who change poopy diapers, wipe snotty noses, and love our children each week. When you suck down your third cup of coffee, thank the people who prepare hours in advance—exercising their God given spiritual gift of brewing your cup of morning ambrosia. When you listen to a message in your car, think about the people who burn CD’s by the 100’s. When the music sounds great and the experience is awesome, take a walk to the back and thank the myriad of people who dedicate their skills to sound and video and lighting and computer graphics. Send a letter to the visual artists that create an environment that is so ripe to worship in. Give a hug to the people that volunteer time to manage the church’s finances.”

Someone once told me the true test of a servant is “How do you act when people treat you like one.”


The Bible warns against this in I Cor. 12. This is where the head says to the feet—I don’t need you!” I see this with musicians because that is the world I live in. “How many musicians does it take to change a light bulb?” ONE. He just holds it in place and the whole world revolves around him. But we also learn in I Corinthians that “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”

Truth is, I need you. He needs you. She needs you. The shape of Westwinds will be determined by the shape of its people. The passions, gifts, desires, skills of this people will set a course for the future. YOU have your finger on the pulse of Jackson just as much as the next guy. You are the pulse.

Imagine what kind of place Jackson would be if the talk around people’s kitchen tables when Westwinds was mentioned was the kind of talk that reeked of servanthood.

Imagine a Westwinds that creates a buzz in the community that God is working through his people and meeting needs.

Imagine a Westwinds where people are finding the contentment they have been missing through serving one another.

Imagine a Westwinds where YOU are an influencer—here and abroad.

Imagine a Westwinds that is a servant farm.

Imagine a Westwinds where newcomers feel like they are missing out on the good stuff if they are not serving—because, quite frankly, that IS where the good stuff happens.



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