Our fingers were numb before the set started. The temperature was 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit). Last night, our band set up the PA and our instruments outdoors at Nightshift (nightshiftministries.org). We played for an hour while people ate. This is a nightly dinner served for people in need. The volunteers mingled with the crowd, and prayed for some.
We’ve been playing at Nightshift a couple times per month since last summer. In the winter, it’s kind of crazy but it’s always fun. We bundle up in several layers and my guitar goes way out of tune because it’s so cold. Why is it fun? Because we love to play good music together and see people touched by God—mostly people who wouldn’t go inside a regular church. This is the closest thing to church they have. Most of them are too broken and wounded to have the courage to walk into a traditional church (even if it’s a church that would welcome them).
Another reason it’s fun is that we can play whatever we want to, and turn it up. It’s not the regular “church rules.” When you play outdoors during a meal, the boundaries of what’s appropriate are much larger. Outdoors, the sound disperses and you don’t have people complaining that it’s too loud.
Last night was typical – a handful of guys approached us to express their gratitude for our music, and our willingness to serve. They always tell us what a huge difference it makes that we’re there. It creates an entirely different atmosphere to have worship music (along with a few secular/Christian tunes) playing during the meal. We welcome the Holy Spirit to speak and heal and he does it.
This is where the action is. “The meat is in the streets,” as John Wimber used to say. It’s in giving that we receive. We started playing at Nightshift because it was an obvious opportunity to bless the poor with our gifts of music and worship.
God healed my arms in 2014 to show his love for me and to enable me to worship in places like Nightshift. Freely you’ve received, freely give.