20 Lenten Ideas

20 Lenten Ideas

Today marks the mid point of the Lenten season. I probably should have written this post last month, but I was so excited about the concept of Blexting that I wasn't thinking ahead. Lent is an often misunderstood liturgical season, and, in many churches, is virtually ignored. In my experience, the misunderstanding and ignoring comes from a deeply rooted societal conception that Lent is about the sacrifice of "giving something up." And, as we all know, these days individuals -- and society -- has a great deal of difficulty giving anything up insert your favorite political/cultural rant here.

I've been thinking about this for some time now, in part because of a series of blog posts written by a friend and former student of mine who is practicing the discipline of doing for others by "giving something extra" during Lent. I think her idea is in tune with Christ's doing for others through His sacrifice. So since I got a late start here, I'm only listing 20 ideas of things that a church musician and/or worship leader might do for others by giving something extra. Here's my list:

• Before each worship service, greet and welcome someone you don't know (don't recruit, just welcome)
• Give a Score, CD, or DVD from your collection to someone you mentor
• Make a hospital or shut-in visit with your pastor
• Attend a children's Sunday School class and teach them a song
• Attend an adult Sunday School class and teach them a song (perhaps the same song...so that they can sing together)
• Take your music staff and/or volunteers to lunch at your personal expense
• Check with a local college and/or high school teacher to find a (church) music student you can meet for coffee and answer any questions they might have about what you do, why you do it, and anything else that seems important to them to know
• Give a free private lesson on your instrument or voice to a volunteer in your ministry
• Offer a solo concert (or with some of your musical "friends") to raise money for a deserving cause
• Donate to local libraries, care homes, and hospitals, copies of the music CDs your church has made featuring you and/or your musicians
• Ask your chief accompanist for congregational singing if there is some music you might buy for them and then do so
• Clean up your rehearsal area
• Invite your musical volunteers to come early to rehearsal to share a soup and bread supper together at your personal expense
• Take your church's admin to lunch at your personal expense
• Purchase and donate a supplemental projector to your church so that your musicians can see the same visual projections as the congregation
• Take your church's sound techs to lunch at your personal expense
• Donate all of your personal library of worship books to the church library
• Organize your ministry participants to participate in a program of sponsoring a child or another humanitarian project
• Organize a musical presentation, either yourself or with musical friends, at a care home, and/or hospital
• Write an article about something you and/or your ministry does well and submit it for publlication

Final Thoughts

Some of these ideas will take some planning and preparation, and you may not be able to accomplish them all during the Lenten season. Some of them may not apply to your specific situation. You may be able to think of better ideas.

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