Monday, September 16, 2013

What Has Moved You?

Yesterday at our church we had a great guest band who were both the worship leaders and the message for our entire service.  They are the representative road band of Indelible Grace.  

The music was great as was the message.  They are known for making new music and putting it to the words of old hymns.  That sounds cool and kind of unique if you just know the basics of what that entails.  But there is so much more to it than what it appears to be at face value.

I came home yesterday and looked on the Indelible Grace website and learned what a truly unique ministry this has been over many years.  The best way to learn about what IG really is you need to watch this video.   Sure, quite a few of our modern Christian music "celebrities" are represented in this group of songwriters and musicians.  But more than that, they consider themselves part of a movement.  This movement  grew out of a college Bible study group who were learning about themselves and God and how to make theology and their lives converge.  

If you watch the video you will see how completely the Gospel has been instilled in these people's lives through the music that they sang together with the words coming from very old hymn texts.  THAT has grown into a ministry of music infused with the Gospel of historic texts being taken to churches and individuals all over the world.

Kind of sounds old and dusty if you don't realize how powerful the music is that these folks have woven and crafted together over the years.

What is a movement anyway?  I've always thought it would be amazing to be part of something so organic and thriving as a group of people who were of common mind and heart in connection to the Gospel.  As I got to thinking I realized that my life has been touched by a couple "movements" in the past--one that merely touched my life and the other which shaped my life.

When I was a little girl there was a similar movement to IG that happened in my home community.  No, they didn't write music, but they sang it.  A local pastor in our community started a Bible study for high school students which grew into, yes, a movement.  In fact, they were called Mountain Movers.  I was young and didn't really know all the details, but from what I do know, it was a group who got together, studied the Bible and desired to share their faith with people through music.  They went around to local churches and other gatherings and shared singing and testimonies.  

I LONGED for the day that I would be old enough to join Mountain Movers.  When our extended family (who had members of MM in it) went on camping trips and we sat around the fire singing Mountain Mover songs I felt like I was in heaven.  

But, alas, as many movements go, MM disbanded at some point and I never got to be a part of it except to receive the blessing of hearing them.

Throughout my childhood there was another movement that affected my life and ultimately my destiny.  It was the ministry of a group called Lutheran Evangelistic Movement (see there, it is even in the name) that really has affected my life dramatically.

LEM's website today looks like this.  But their movement began in the 1930s which you can read about in their history.  Its imprint on my life happened in the 1970s when they started sending out youth ministry teams in the form of singing groups to churches that were hosting Bible conferences or outreaches.  There would be a visiting evangelist, a singing group either large or small, and sometimes even a youth minister.  The singing groups were usually made up of college students taking either the summer or an entire school year off to be part of the ministry team.

As a child and then later as a teenager I looked up to the members of those youth teams and thought they were such amazing, spiritual leaders.  Then, when I was 19 I got the amazing privilege of being ON one of those youth teams.  My team, The Living Dimension, was supposed to be different that year, though.  Instead of focusing so much on the singing we were supposed to be more of a ministry team to the youth and adults that we came in contact with during our year long commitment.  We were also pretty diversely different than their "average college student" makeup.  We were in age from 31-19 and were not all singers though we did sing.  Many times over our year of travel we joked about how we never dreamed when we were younger that the people on LEM teams were really just normal everyday people like us and not spiritual stand outs.  But they were.

Being a part of that ministry changed my life in many good ways.  I met people from all over the U.S., Canada and even a little way into Mexico.  My teammates and I are like family even to this day.  The memories we made over 9 months traveling across the country in an extended full size van could not be duplicated in any other setting.  The people we met and were able to minister to as we sang and did youth ministry in churches, youth centers, nursing homes, and other venues are still locked deeply in my heart and mind.  

We got to live ministry on a day to day basis unlike most normal life experience.  It would take a book to put into detail the many sacred, hilarious and growing situations we encountered.

Those are the movements that changed me and are still changing me today.  Learning about Indelible Grace helped me to see how God has touched my life.  

Oh, and I met my husband on that year long journey across the U.S.  That's how I ended up in Kansas.  

What movements have changed your life?

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