Collaborations often result in works far greater than the sum of their parts. The United States Constitution, for example, although largely worded by James Madison, was the result of ideas brought forth by 55 men, and continues to be amended today by hundreds of patriotic minds. Very few of those individuals have won names for themselves by personal accomplishments; however, in working together with what gifts God gave them, these people have given birth to one of the greatest political documents of human history.
Would you believe that the tradition of music in worship was also the result of collaboration?
Most Christians know King David’s name, and know that one of his greatest contributions to our faith history was through music. But David was not alone in establishing a music ministry. He had buddies. Talented buddies, according to 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and the Psalms. Asaph, Ethan, and Heman appear again and again as music directors, composers, singers, and musicians, right alongside of David, sometimes arranging David’s own works into finished pieces.
The bible tells us that Heman was the best singer, and that he and Ethan would usually handle the percussion during worship. Asaph conducted, and coordinated the voices, instruments, and arrangements - second in command to the King in these matters. Imagine David, Asaph, Ethan, and Heman, young men with their strings and drums, working out new songs for worship; then preparing the choir and musicians and congregation to use the music to glorify God.
Each one of these men had very different musical gifts. Each was talented; however, before reading this article, how many of us really deeply contemplated the unique abilities of Heman the Ezrahite, son of Joel, son of Samuel the Seer (yeah, that Samuel)? It was not in his individual ability that a timeless greatness resided, but in his collaboration with other faithful people, which resulted in a lasting offering to God. Check out “Book III” of the Psalms to see more of these four great men’s work for our Lord.
God takes what we can offer and combines it with others to make something far greater than we could have given on our own. He does it with our tithes. He does it in our committees. He does it in our ministries. He takes what is “ours” and makes it far greater—He makes it into “His.”
November 8 marks the first anniversary of Mark and Treva’s collaboration at Sharon Church. For a year now, Mark and Treva have combined their individual gifts in order to bring others closer to God. We collaborate not only with each other, but with singers, sound people, musicians, ministers, committees, children, guests, and you, the congregation, to give glory to God. For this honor, we thank you, and we thank God.
Mark and Treva