Monday, November 24, 2008

Farewell Concert

Last Thursday night we had a farewell concert for Rob. We showed a lot of classic videos and had an amazing night of worship. It is pointless for me to attempt to write down how much the night meant to us. It was the culmination of 8 years of ministry and it could not have been a more meaningful night for us. Someone might have wondered why we had such a big fuss for someone who took a new job. After all, people leave church staffs all the time. But it was more than that and it's hard to explain why everyone wanted to have the concert to say good-bye.

When John Schmidt started the Contemporary Worship Service, he did so in a small sanctuary with a handful of volunteers and a congregation of about 50. When Rob came on board the two of them grew a service into what it is today with years of hard work, prayer, laughs, and focus. The main reason for starting this service was to present the gospel in a fresh and innovative way to those who wouldn't normally come to church.

Over the years Rob and John along with others such as myself, Cyndi Lombardi, and Shane Segars have had quite a ride seeing the service grow into what it is today-with a typical Sunday attendance of about 2000. We have had many joys and many tears as we have seen people come to know Christ. So, Thursday night wasn't just a send off for two staff people, but rather a celebration of how far we have come from those days in the East Sanctuary and a celebration of all the Lord has done through us as we strive to do His will.

I know a lot of people are excited about the changes that are coming to our worship service. I fully recognize that it's time to see what God has in store next as He takes the service in a new direction. I pray that the service continues to fulfill its original purpose of reaching Non-Christians while taking those who are already in a relationship with the Lord to a deeper and more personal level.

I for one, count it as a privilege to have worked alongside Rob and John for so many years. The team we put in place have not only been my co-workers, but some of my dearest friends. I cannot tell you how many late nights we have spent working on videos, brainstorming sermon series, practicing skits, going over sermon points, working on music, and painting sets. I don't think it has really hit me yet that we are leaving. That service will always have a piece of my heart and if I had any small part in anyone coming to know Christ either for the first time or though a re-dedication, or even just a deeper walk with Him, then there is nothing more I can ask.

Here are a few pictures from Thursday night. I hope everyone there knows how much we appreciate them coming and how much we will miss our Frazer family.

A Shot of the stage from the back of the house

I don't know what we are going to do without Shane. I don't think anybody could ask for a truer friend.

Rob leading worship for one of the last times

Being in ministry with Shane and John has truly been an honor

Saying good-bye

Bennett wanted to come onstage to thank everyone for being so good to her parents

2 comments:

Jay said...

Lauren,
That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it so openly and in so much detail. I wish that I could have been there to support you. Just know that we are continuing to pray for all of you and we love yall so much.

Keri A. Ward said...

you know Lauren, I think there are certain moments in our lives when there are NO words to describe certain things, but there are feelings that we, as brothers and sisters share. And with the love of Christ in our hearts He allows us to speak those words in various forms.

I know that both of you think that it has been a privilege and an honor to serve Frazer, but let me tell you; from someone of the congregation, and one who previously worked beside you on staff, and just a friend, you and Rob both are a privilege in return to sooooo many people and for soooo many reasons. You both will never know the depths in which you have reached others and served others until that special day when the Lord says "Job well done." You both are in my prayers for the places that the Lord will take you and what He has in store.