Here’s how it happened.
Last February, I responded to an advert for 40 men to supplement the Peterborough Male Voice Choir in a ‘Sing for Heroes’ concert on 16th July. I am at least a passable bass/baritone, so I decided to give it a go. For five months, we rehearsed every Thursday evening (not quite every Thursday for this pastor, with meetings interrupting), with a couple of smaller performances en route to the main event. In June, the pressure increased with rehearsals on Mondays and Thursdays (even more of a challenge, but at least I could usually make one of them). We also had a promotional performance in the city centre, giving out leaflets, although by this stage most of the 1200 tickets were sold. By this stage, the countdown to the big day was well and truly on.
The day arrived. We did our stuff. Lesley did her stuff, very polished and professional, as you would expect. We concluded by backing Lesley in ‘You’ll never walk alone’, a performance which was spine-tingling (even though it has been stolen by Liverpool FC as an anthem!) and was rewarded with a standing ovation. It was a great night!
I reflected a little on the ‘Sing for Heroes’ choir in my sermon yesterday. What if we had gone on practising and perfecting our songs? There were certainly some that we could have done better. What if we had gone on meeting week by week, enjoying one another’s company and the singing that goes with it? What if we had done all that, but never actually reached what we were preparing for i.e. a concert?
Church can be like that. We meet every Sunday, and in between. We pray and make plans for the future. What if we never reached the main event that Jesus gives us; that is ‘to go into all the world and make disciples…’?
I don’t think my church is like that, and I hope yours (if you have one) isn’t either. Yet we might all ask: what is the goal of what we do?