Wednesday, January 25, 2023

LEFC Worship Ministries 2022 Report

Worship Ministries Report
(Part of the 2022 Annual Report for Lanse Evangelical Free Church)

“All my life, all I know
God's been good, good to my soul
Mountain high, valley low
I'm gonna sing wherever I go”
(We The Kingdom)
In 2022, God’s unchanging goodness once again led us to sing His praises Sunday after Sunday as a joyful church family.

Praise God for the return of the LEFC Celebration Choir! Amy Jo Belko and her erstwhile band of singers lifted up their voices for us once again on Resurrection Sunday, Celebration Sunday, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It was so encouraging to have the choir resume after a few years off due to the pandemic.

Cody leading the kids in worship at FBW!
Praise God for coming closer together in worship! In 2022, we continued to offer outside and spread-out seating options on Sunday mornings, but as the year progressed, we saw more and more people choose to be inside worshiping shoulder to shoulder. We also got to worship together indoors for Resurrection Sunday and Celebration Sunday for the first time in a few years. I’m glad we continue to have the outside options to accommodate people who are ill, exposed, or remaining cautious (I used them a few times myself when our family was touched with covid in 2022!), but I’m really encouraged that people feel increasingly comfortable being close to one another once again. As much as we’re able, we need to worship together (Psalm 122, 133).

Praise God for people getting involved in leading and serving! This year Randy Albert began helping to lead the hymns on Sunday mornings. Cody Crumrine and Joe Quick continued to help to lead the worship team. Ben Schiefer and Rick Sipe returned to the worship band after living away, and lots of others shared special music, picked up an instrument, and stepped up on the platform to make a contribution especially for our Christmas Eve candlelight worship service. Our Tech Team continues to grow as they project and record the sound and video for us each week. I’m very grateful that we have so many people serving on these ministry teams!

Praise God for continuing emphasis on older forms of worship! In 2022, we sang many of our beloved favorites songs from throughout church history and proclaimed in unison what we believe in creeds, confessions, catechisms, and our own EFCA Statement of Faith. We also memorized Scripture together throughtout the course of the year: 1 Peter 2:11-12, Isaiah 40:10-11, Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 17:7-8, and Jeremiah 29:11.

Praise God for new music! One of the biggest highlights of worship ministry in 2022 was how many new songs we learned together as a church family. In the previous year, we only were able to learn one song, but in 2022 we learned seven! The worship team held many rehearsals this year and were then able to teach the church family new songs with rich theology and diverse styles: “Almost Home,” “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death,” “The Lord Is My Salvation,” “Gotta Know the Books,” “Sing Wherever I Go,” “Every Step,” and “Sing We the Song of Emmanuel.” 

I love that our church weaves all of these diverse elements together into a rich tapestry of worship. Our Lord deserves it!

“O sing hallelujah!  
Our hope springs eternal;  
O sing hallelujah!  
Now and ever we confess  
Christ our hope in life and death.”
(Keith Getty, Matt Boswell, Jordan Kauflin, Matt Merker, Matt Papa)

As 2023 stretches ahead of us, I hope all of these good trends continue and increase–especially the development of new leadership as during my sabbatical people will need to assume some of the roles I’ve been filling.

We know that God will continue to be good, good to our souls, so we will continue to sing His praises wherever He takes us.

In His Grip,

-Pastor Matt