Sunday, 10 January 2010

On becoming a leader..

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 :)

7 comments:

Akin said...

Hello Anengiyefa,

Congratulations!

The hills are indeed alive with the wonderful sound of singing.

However, the church politics of appointing you bothers me in the midst the possibility that the pastor must have been dissatified with the current leadership and there is the ambition/contention matter of others who might have been interested one the one hand, then they accepting your leadership on the other - I hope the pastor has really sorted that out.

I would hate to hear about the war of the decibels where envy/jealousy is played out with the piercing of eardrums through vocal ability.

My imagination getting the better of me :)

Regards,

Akin

Anengiyefa said...

Hello Akin,

How astute of you to have figured out that there must have been politics involved..

Being one who generally avoids political intrigue of any kind, at the office or elsewhere, it had been my intention not to mention the fact that the pastor had expressed immense dissatisfaction at my predecessor's tenure.

I guess it was because I realised that the choir needed a boost of sorts, that I had joined in the first place. Envy/jealousy are inevitable, but it will be ignored. It is hoped that the pastor will be vindicated, since I intend to make a difference by improving the quality of our singing and our ministration generally.

By the way, here's wishing you a Happy New year Akin and may you blessed with health and prosperity in all that you are engaged with this 2010..

c'est moi said...

Good stuff,Anengiyefa!,that sounds really nice.

Sincerely wishing you all the very best in your new position :)

Anengiyefa said...

Yep C'est moi, thanks a lot. We're off to Leicester on Sunday as guests of a sister church there. And guess what! I've been informed that we shall be called upon to sing at that church and I'm more nervous than I've been for a very long time.. :)

Rox said...

Wow! New year and you've started with great blessings, it can only get better!
Happy New Year by the way!!!

All the best in your new position, here's a chance to worship the Lord and bless some souls too

xoxo

Anengiyefa said...

Happy New Year to you too Rox. Its great to see you after such a while.

I'm not sure though whether to think of this new role as a blessing...it seems like a lot of work as far as I can see..

Rox said...

Trust me, it's a blessing. Probably not in the short term, but eventually you'll see what God had in store for you all along.
Have a fab week!!