Posted by: Chris Sandel | June 25, 2008

Unity and Worship

Right now I’m in St. Louis with a group of students on a short mission trip.  We’re doing some work projects and helping lead a VBS for a group of inner city kids.  We usually do this trip in August but because of some scheduling conflicts we ended up coming in June instead.  On a typical trip we are the only group here.  In fact, this is our 6th trip here and the most we’ve done with another group is share living space or help together on one small project.  We’re usually on our own.

This year though, we’re doing pretty much the entire trip with another small group of High School students from Texas.  When we initially left for the trip I was a little wary.  I’d talked to their youth minister and he seemed like a cool guy but anytime you’re thrown completely into something like this with another group you never know how it is going to go.  People lead differently.  They have different priorities.  And in this case, they are actually from a different denomination.  The church we’re working with is a non-instrumental church of Christ.  (If you don’t know, they are kind of a sister denomination to the Christian Churches but they do not use instruments in worship).   

The trip thus far has been great.  The leader is a good guy and he’s been very conscious about working together as we plan our time with the kids.  It has actually been nice having another youth minister here because we can each take some of the leadership load. 

Last night we had a cool experience.  Some of the guys from the neighborhood are also staying here over the summer and they asked if we could have a worship time together.  Being a non-instrumental church, that is a different experience than most of us from West Side are used to.  Three different groups, one from a non-instrumental church in Texas, on from a christian church in Illinois and one from inner city St. Louis, sat in a circle singing songs (acapella) and praying together.  I only really knew 2-3 of the 7-8 songs but I really enjoyed it.  In my life, worship has been a way that I have really connected with God and even just sitting there with my eyes closed listening to the words brought me back to some of the times when I’ve felt really close to Him.

I guess this is getting long, but it basically comes down to two reminders I had last night.  First, we are united in Christ with all kinds of different people around the world.  I need to embrace that and remember that we are all a part of one Church.  Second, I really connect to God through worship.  I need to find more ways and times in my private life to come to God through musical worship.

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