This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be a part of the annual Write About Jesus (WAJ) conference which is held in St. Louis. I had heard about the conference a few years ago, but had never gotten around to attending. As I drove into the parking lot, I was not sure what to expect. I knew absolutely no one that was attending. Since I tend to be more of an introvert, this is not exactly the type of situation I look forward to being in.
I sat in my car for a few moments and then decided to go in. As I walked in, there were already many people there. Pockets of excited people, where reunions were taking place, were scattered around the room. In other places, individuals sat quietly, by themselves, looking through their workshop book. I walked up to the registration counter and my journey began.
Everyone I met was extremely helpful. You could tell immediately that this is something they love being a part of. This is a weekend that they had been looking forward to with anticipation. At each registration stop, they made sure that I had the information I needed to get me started on a successful workshop experience.
I am not going to detail my entire journey through the weekend, but I want to give you glimpses of what I experienced. Because what I saw was of great encouragement to me. Yes, I saw many songwriters who were, and are, successful in the music world. I saw a lot of people who were excited about writing and performing. However, more than that, I saw people who loved Jesus.
As I sat in sessions and talked over meals, I listened to others talk about the ministry in their churches and other venues. They expressed desire to see God work in the hearts and lives of others. They talked of new opportunities that God was opening for them and in their ministries. Experienced and successful writers, novice writers, and all of those in between sat and talked together. There was no air of superiority on the part of those who had been doing this successfully for years. They sat down with strangers and newcomers and talked, listened and encouraged. It was truly a picture of the body of Christ in action.
The weekend was also very challenging. I had the opportunity to have a couple of my songs critiqued by more experienced songwriters. It was both a humbling and encouraging experience. They noted things that we had done well, as well as offered insights and suggestions for improvement. The various seminars were both practically and spiritually focused, refreshing and challenging.
I met a wide variety of people over the weekend. I met veteran writers, who have written songs we sing at our church and songs I have heard on the radio. I met young people, full of excitement and ability, who are beginning their ministry journey with Jesus. There were those that seemed to know exactly where God was taking them. There were others who were seeking for God’s wisdom and direction, and the future was not so clear.
It took me a while to get my bearings because a conference like this can be like trying to drink out of an uncapped fire hydrant. But I am thankful that God allowed me to attend Write About Jesus. I came away with a renewed sense of wanting to be used by God, however He wants to accomplish that. God has given me the privilege of being a part of His church and the opportunity to love and serve His people. I have the opportunity to stand up each week and declare the wonders of our God and the glory of His salvation through Jesus Christ. Through the gift of music, I get to lead others in declaring the truth of the Word of God and declaring their devotion to Him. How great is that? What a great honor.
So, my prayer today is that God will help me to grow in my knowledge of His truth. I want to grow in my devotion to Christ, finding in Him my true joy and satisfaction. I want to grow in my relationship with those God has placed in my life. I pray that God will take the gifts He has given me and help me grow in my effectiveness in life and ministry. I want to be used for His glory and to serve others, helping them to know Christ more deeply. This is really the call that God gives to all of us, regardless of what we do or what are gifts are. It is the journey of the life of worship – to love God and to love others. Together, we make up the body of Christ. And we have the greatest message in the world because we get to tell about Jesus and what He has done for us.
Together for His glory…