Playing from the Same Page

I recently took my youngest son Graham to a music store to let him bang on the instruments. I decided that even though I love music, I would hate to work in there because all you hear all day is noise. Not music.

Multiple people were playing multiple instruments around the store, and it sounded horrible. No one was coordinated. It was just an annoying cacophony of sound.

But I also noticed that if you isolated it out, a lot of the individuals who were playing were actually pretty good. You had one guy playing great R&B on a keyboard. Another guy playing a strong version of “Stairway to Heaven” on guitar. Another playing great jazz on drums.

It’s not that any of these players were particularly bad. They just weren’t playing from the same page. It wasn’t their individual skill levels that were lacking. It was the unity of all their skills going after the same purpose.

That’s what a lot of churches are like: A room full of talented people playing their own music. What could be really beautiful like a symphony has gone wrong because there is no unity. And the result is purposeless noise.

Many of you need the people in your church to begin playing some amazing music. A better staff person or better volunteers isn’t going to fix your problem. It will just add to the noise you already have. What you really need to do is get everyone to start playing the same song.

If you’re a pastor, it’s your job to pick the song. Cast your God-given vision. You could have some of the greatest people in their respective positions you’re ever going to work with. But if you don’t give them a common song to unite around, you’re wasting their talent. And your church is just going to make a lot of noise that’s going to repel people.

If you’re on staff, volunteering, or simply attending, it’s your responsibility to be united under your visionary. If God wanted everyone playing your song, He would have elevated you to a place where you could make it happen. But He hasn’t. He may one day, but in the meantime, you need to faithfully contribute to the song your pastor has chosen with your unique contribution. And do it with excellence.

We have too great of a message and too great a mission to let them get lost in a sea of meaningless noise. So whatever part you play in your church:

Unite under a common song. Play from the same page. And play your part flawlessly.

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Steven Furtick
Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Elevation Church meets at eight locations in the Charlotte area, as well as one location in Toronto, Canada. The church has been named one of the Fastest-Growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.