Ear Plugs or Standing Ovation – A 5th Grade Band Concert Insight

Recently I had the joy, some would say dubious joy, of seeing my son play in the 5th Grade band at his school. What had been weeks of hearing the same notes played to a mixture of “nail on chalk board screeching” and then to “proud parent best in the world” status I got to hear the over 50 strong band play.

It was a good evening and the band was a joy to hear.

However, while watching the band I was struck by the similarities to what you do as a faith group leader. Go on a journey with me as I try to explain. In the band, there is the teacher conducting with pride, hope, patience, joy and no doubt a little frustration. Each band has a section of instruments, each waiting on their queue to play the notes in front of them. No section has all the notes, only their own. The conductor does not play all the instruments, but he or she knows when they need to start, how fast they need to go and when they need to stop. The music will have melody, harmony, rhythm and sometimes even discord. Each part of the music adds to the whole experience.

You are the conductor of your group and in each group you have sections – people who have their instrument to play (be it a passion, a past experience, an insight or need). Your job is to know when each part gets to play, for how long and at what speed. At the same time, you also have to hold the music of your group in tension – the melody, harmony, rhythm and even discord. And like the conductor, you no doubt feel pride, hope, patience, joy and even a little frustration as each person plays their part. Some play too loud, some too soft, others at the wrong time, and sometimes it works just perfectly!

What struck me, as I sat there on that cold December night in a slightly too hot theater is that as parents, most of us didn’t mind the mistakes, or the rushing, or the slightly out of tune notes. Most of us just sat there proud, openly expressing our love through the snapping of photos, loud applause and the pointing of fingers at our children and those we knew.

What struck me is that this is exactly what God does when your group meets. He is the audience, listening to the music of your group as you grow in relationship with one another. He doesn’t mind the mistakes, or the errors, the failure to share or the sharing too much. He listens and watches with pride, snapping photos (however God does that!), giving loud applause and pointing fingers at each one as they experience the shaping of His Spirit in their lives.

You get to watch this! You get to conduct this experience on a regular basis! You get to see how God is working in the lives of people in our church. And I want you to know, that you do a fabulous job. I want you to know that your sacrifice and effort, your diligence and work makes a lifetime of difference. Keep going FAITHful Group Leaders. Conduct your groups well and let the music of the lives of those in your groups sound out for God to hear and then may we all rejoice at the lives that are changed as a result.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Dorian Botsis

1 Comment

  • Terri Lodge

    20.12.2016 at 16:33 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging visual!! I will definitely keep it in mind as we start the Daniel Plan group in the new year!!

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