Music ministry as an extension of the local church is all I know. Twenty years ago my wife and I loaded up our Ford Escort with all our belongings as well as our first child and moved to Texas to be part of Last Days Ministries. My Irish Catholic, blue collar father-in-law was unimpressed to say the least. "What kind of life is that, runnin’ around the country singin’ Christian music like a bunch of gypsies?!" Our family thought we were crazy but we felt an undeniable call to "full-time ministry," whatever that meant.

The word performance itself, in the context of a musical worship service, has often assumed almost a taboo status and held an unnatural negativity-meaning human effort, entertainment, or the flesh in motion. It has been awkwardly pitted against all things of the Spirit. The secular vs. the sacred, the technically superior vs. the anointed, the studied vs. the spirit-led; the more time you’ve spent around church music, the more familiar these false dichotomies sound. Of course, plenty of examples of the opposite extreme also abound in which artistry is exalted to its own place of worship-our fallen nature is ever susceptible to subverting God’s glory.

This issue of the magazine is about Christ-centered worship. So I thought I’d choose Mary, mother of Jesus, as the woman to spotlight here in "Women in Worship." She was a key figure in Jesus’ life, and she points us toward who he is. So I think we can learn a lot from her.

© G. Baltes / T. Schröder

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