Threshold moments are those points in your life that you use as a sort of “marker” or point where you define time before and after it. Marriage is a great example, as many folks talk about life before and after marriage. Kids are another example, as are changes in jobs, buying a home, etc. I think that there are certain threshold moments in ministry as well. Maybe it’s the first time a church breaks 100 people in attendance or possibly when a church breaks ground on a new building.
In my journey in playing in different bands and worship groups, I’ve had some of these threshold moments as well. The following is probably the most prominent of these times during my time at Mount Pleasant.
I remember when Brad told me we were going to start working on a song called “Victor’s Crown.” The first time I listened to it, I knew that it was going to be a real “threshold song” for our church, or at least, it’s a threshold song for me simply due to the drum parts in that song. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the song, let’s just say that the drumming on the last half of the song has a little more “oomph” to it than the typical praise and worship song.
I guess my first reaction was denial, in that there was NO WAY the congregation was going to go for this song…like, at all. You see, my personal history in playing drums at church has not always been an easy one. While our church body is very accepting of drums in church, not every congregation in my experience has been nearly as welcoming, and I have had to deal with my fair share of animosity from various people in other churches. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was expecting some of these same harsh reactions from the congregation the week after we played “Victor’s Crown” for the first time. As a matter of fact, I remember I half-jokingly telling Brad before we played that morning something to the effect of “If I don’t have a chance to say it, it was a real honor playing here because I’m not sure if I’ll be allowed back after today.”
I’m pretty sure he laughed, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t.
As I left that Sunday, I emotionally braced myself for what was coming.
Much to my surprise in the upcoming weeks, I was flooded with compliments from you in our congregation! What an encouragement that was, and I still appreciate everyone’s warm compliments. Receiving compliments was and is never my intent when playing drums at church; however, your kind words offered me much-needed relief. I knew at that point that I would be able to “open up” a little bit more in my playing. I've been able to do this, but it took learning and playing this song to get there.
I truly feel like our church culture changed that day, well, at least in my eyes it did.
At this point, “Victor’s Crown” is just another song added to the long list of music we have played in the past and continue to play today. It’s fun to play (it’s ok to have fun in worship, right?), but even more so, it’s good knowing that I can play it without fear of animosity. I’m sure that there will other threshold moments like this one, but “Victor’s Crown” will always stick out in my mind as a moment of change at Mount Pleasant.
Thanks for letting me serve.