Our church’s concert last night was amazing, and a sweet relief to see it all come together now after 2 months of work put into it. Matthew Smith of Indelible Grace played for over 150 people in our small sanctuary, everyone from young families with their kids, to youth groups, to senior citizens.

He played songs from his solo albums, and many hymns that have been rewritten by other artists in the Indelible Grace music community.

He explained how Indelible Grace started and why they believe forgotten hymns are important to our culture and lives.

He took time to speak about Compassion International who sponsors his tour and what they do for children in third world countries, and took a few minutes for some Q & A. (I particularly enjoyed this part, where Matthew answered a man’s question “What is your criteria for selecting hymn texts?” by talking about how even many well-known hymnwriters like Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley sometimes wrote hymns that “woofed” and it’s a matter of finding the ones that really stand out lyrically and are worth reviving.)

Then we closed by worshipping together corporately with a few songs. We don’t even have Powerpoint capability, so we had to pass out printouts of the lyrics, with Matthew leading us into “Jesus, What a Friend For Sinners”, “Nothing But the Blood”, and “Be Thou My Vision”. At one point, I forget which song; Matthew stopped playing guitar and just the volume of our voices together was loud enough for people driving by to hear if we had flung the doors wide open.

 

Our own church people that attended were so excited and encouraged, and told me how glad they were that we did it. Most commented that “we need to do things like this more often”.

 

In all honesty, it was a rough afternoon preparing. Our pastor had driven 500 miles through the night the day before preaching and then preparing for this event, and was grieving losing his family’s dog of 9 years just the night before. We had sound system problems and I was the only person who knew much about sound equipment. I spent almost the whole day away from home, as I spent the afternoon running around getting things done. I spent some time climbing in the dusty rafters thirty-something feet above the pews tracing sound system wires trying to figure out why the main speakers weren’t getting power. I made countless repeated trips to a small closet upstairs to fiddle with our power amps and connections before finally patching everything through a simple power amp to get our monitors and main speakers to actually work at the same time. I silently prayed over a mixing board during our hurried sound check that we could limp our system through the night and somehow get Matthew’s monitor levels and the house levels to work out, since I could no longer control them independently. Thankfully, the sound that night was great and no one had a clue we had issues.

 

Evaluating it all, I have learned a lot of what works and what doesn’t, what to do and what not to do. More on that in a post to come.

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