My previous thread I started entitled "Things Are Often Not As They Seem" got me thinking about another story from years ago at my church.
We had a church member that had been attending regularly for over 10 years. This person never participated in any music. It was assumed he simply was self-conscious about his singing voice and reluctant to let anyone hear him. One day, because of a host of issues all happening at once, we were left without a single one of our 4 pianists available for a church service, during revival week of all times. We were left to sing "acapella" for the congregational and choir singing. Suddenly this gentleman stood up and walked up to the piano and with "over-the-top" professional quality began playing the most beautiful hymn arrangements you will ever hear. Needless to say, we were all left, (from the Pastor on down to his closest friends) totally astonished and dumbfounded. He never entertained guests at his home in the woods, so no one even guessed he even owned a piano.
When we asked for an explanation, this is what we got:
Over 30 years ago I was a fresh piano graduate from Juliard School of Music. I got saved and started attending a Baptist Church who had a very talented, yet inexperienced teen, as their only piano player. I started playing specials for them from time to time, which little by little progressed into me playing the church prelude music, playing the offeratory, and then playing during the invitation. I essentially was given the entire piano music ministry. Little did any of us know, the music ministry was the only glue that was holding a very troubled teen girl together, and when that was taken away from her by me, she took her own life. My soul has been vexed daily for over 30 years now and I have not been able to play in a church service for over 30 years, or even let anyone know that I even know a keyboard from the pedals. He had never been able to forgive himself.
I can almost guarantee you that in every congregation there are members with something in their past that vexes their soul, and you would never guess it by looking at them. You also never know just how important even the smallest "ministry" contribution is to that person. Please make sure you thank, either in person, by letter, or even a gift, EVERYONE who does even the smallest thing in your church. Thank the bus driver and workers, the Sunday School teachers, the sound man (sorry I had to put that in for me the sound man), the person(s) who cleans the church, the child who straightens the hymn books after service, the doorman at the church entrance, the teens who go into the parking lot on rainy days (a lot in Oregon) with umbrellas to escort members into church, any ministry or blessing at all because you never know just how important that is to the person doing it.