Music has always been my ministry as a Christian. And although I dragged my feet about it for a long time, I finally recently joined the choir at my church in London. As a boy I was in an all-male Cathedral choir, where we the young boys sang the soprano/treble part and the older men sang the alto, tenor and bass parts. My father and both of my older brothers were also in the choir, (Dad was a tenor), and singing for me has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In the choir we had vocal training and were taught to read music, and at school I learned to play musical instruments. I distinctly remember that time many years ago, when the choir of Kings College Cambridge travelled all the way from the UK to visit us and robe with us during a special service at our church on the Marina in Lagos, Nigeria. I was still a boy, well under 10years old, but the memory of that very special occasion is still fresh in my mind. Ours was also the church that the then Head of State of Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon would attend now and again. (Indeed I was present at his wedding at the church, although I must have been too young to have joined the choir at the time, since I was made to sit quietly beside Mum a pew or two behind Gowon.) This is just to provide some history.
Coming back to my story, having joined the choir at my church I attended choir practice for the first time yesterday. As we all know, the weather in London has been bad recently, so there was a need to offer a lift to any of the others who needed a lift home. I wound up with the pastor of the church sitting with me in my car and within the 20 minutes it took to drive to his house, he had made the decision that I was to become the leader of the choir.. Ahem! I mean, I had not even been in the choir for a day and more importantly, I'd never joined the choir in ministering to the congregation during the Sunday service.. But this pastor is one of those assertive people that you just do not say "no" to.. So I said "yes", when after he told me he was appointing me, he had asked me what I thought of his decision..
Now, I have never been the leader of anything in my life. I have always been content to stay unnoticed on the sidelines, such that even if occasionally I raised my head to voice one opinion or the other, I would quickly retreat to the 'safety' of the sidelines. So the fact that the church authority after seeing me just once at choir practice had deemed me a suitable candidate for the job of choir leader seems rather surprising. I suppose this suggests that they were sufficiently impressed with my vocal ability, and with this I don't have much of a problem. But leading a group of singers involves a lot more than just singing. It involves co-ordination and organisation. And having never had any experience of such, I find it a bit daunting. However, I'm diving into my new role with enthusiasm and intend to do the best that I can, always being willing to learn new things and listen to advice.
By the way, I ministered with the choir at Sunday service today and I even got to do a solo part. The people at church all seemed surprised and one of them even made a comment about "hidden talent".. At this rate, it won't be long before we will be auditioning for the X Factor :)