This post is Part 2 of the Memorable Worship series. You can find the introduction in Part 1 here.
While I was working on my degree at the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY, I spent some time attending St. Matthews Baptist Church. They were planning what they called an International Reconciliation Conference. All I knew about it was that there were people coming in from all over the world to be in attendance.
I was know by those in charge of music at the church, though I hadn’t been at the church long enough to actually be participating in the music ministries of the church. Somehow, I was brought into a conversation about the praise band that was coming to the conference. They were from England and were on their way, but, unbeknownst to the other members of the band, their bassist didn’t make his flight due to flu. So they were about to show up to the conference without a bass player and didn’t even know it.
I knew a little about the bass. I mean, I was a piano major and was self-taught on guitar. I had messed around on bass a few times, but never in front of people. But the pickings were slim. The church’s usual bass player couldn’t be there for the conference, but he did let me use his bass… a five string. I had never played a five string.
Then the band showed up. We met, and began rehearsing. I didn’t have an amp. I was plugged into the PA directly, but was never sufficiently in the monitors to the extent that I was able to hear myself. The instrument in my hand was borrowed, unfamiliar, and a five string version at that. I was playing songs I didn’t know with people from another country. Oh, and an Australian fellow was sitting in on didgeridoo.
And yet, the Spirit moved.
I don’t remember the song. I don’t remember much else about that conference. But I do remember seeing dozens of Christians from other countries LEAPING in the aisles. I hadn’t seen anything like it before, and I haven’t seen anything like it since. It was a truly amazing time of worship that impacted me greatly.