Posted 1 years 66 days ago ago by Doug Lawrence 5 Comments
Pay it Forward...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
, in his 1841 essay Compensation
, wrote: "In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody."
When Kurt Kaiser
wrote Pass It On
in the late 60s I liked it. It was simple, you could sing it at camp, retreats, and home church meetings. Like Amazing Grace
, everyone knew the words. By the late 70s I still liked Kurt, but was really tired of the song—most church musicians were. Recently, however, it has become more personal and testimonial for me and many of my “senior” church musician friends.
We have found ourselves “passing on” what we’ve learned to our younger colleagues (most of the musicians I mentor and nurture these days are in their 20s and very early 30s) as a way of protecting them from some of the same slow, agonizingly painful lessons we’ve endured. It feels good to me, and it’s the right thing to do. “Paying it forward
” is more than an early, pre-Christian philosophy, it is a lifestyle...and it’s a joy for participators.
insurance and Coca Cola
have recently created commercials celebrating the benefits of good-deeds-thinking and it has increased folk’s awareness of just how valuable small acts of random kindness can be.
For years my wife and I have had the custom of anonymously paying for someone’s meal in a restaurant if they were dining alone and looked lonely. More recently, we do it almost every week at the small coffee shop where we have breakfast on Saturdays. The wait staff have learned to scout potential recipients of our small offerings (we call them Saturday tithes).
Last week, the receptionist came excitedly to our table to announce that the person for whom we had bought breakfast told the server that she wanted to pay for someone else’s meal, and she picked a young, slightly harried mother with two little kids. It felt good to know that our little gesture had begat another.
To our surprise, when we went to the register to pay our bill, the manager said that 7 other tables had joined the daisy-chain of considerate interaction with strangers. She had tears in her eyes. She said, “That makes my day—maybe my whole week!” Note: I was a little disappointed when she didn’t offer to comp our bill!
What does all this have to do with MME
and Creator Magazine
? Well, I’ve been thinking for a very long time that our writings sometimes border on self-pity around issues of loss in the church music world. That’s sometimes true, but generally, I believe that those of us who write for your edification (one hopes) are doing so for only one reason—no, it is most certainly not the money—we care about how your life turns out, how your ministry goes, and what you delight in.
Our greatest hope is that each generation of church musicians will love and support the next, without rancor, selfishness, or complaint about lost eras. If that’s what actually happens, imagine how many thousands of people will be encouraged, enlightened, and blessed as they pursue God’s call on their lives. Are you doing that for someone who shares your passion?
Doug Lawrence, internationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, helps churches assess and improve their skillfulness in creating engaging worship experiences by utilizing his more than 35 years of "deep trench" worship leadership in prominent mainline churches. has been a consultant to church leaders for 35 years and is anxious to be helpful to you in leadership, musical, and staffing considerations. Or, if you wish, call 650.207.8240 for assessment information and scheduling.
© 2012 Creator Magazine All Rights Reserved
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