The Art of Following the Conductor

orchestra - violins

I love orchestral music. When I get the chance, I love going to see live orchestral music. There’s really nothing quite like 80-90 musicians playing their part in tandem with each other, led by the conductor, to collectively bring a composer’s vision to life.

I remember hearing a story about a percussionist in an orchestra. In the entire piece, he had only one triangle hit, which was a particularly prominent “pinggg!” However, because he didn’t have anything else to play, the lead-up to that one triangle hit was void of excitement and he fell asleep only to miss his one and only cue and let the team down! Percussionists, funnily enough, sometimes have really minimal parts but add a huge amount to the orchestra (except this Tom and Jerry medley). I know quite a few percussionists who are ridiculously skilled and have performed insanely technically-challenging solo stuff, but also play in orchestras where they only have a few simple key parts. Still, they follow the conductor to a tee and don’t miss a beat, because their small parts have huge impact… Well, except that guy who fell asleep.

I find involvement in church a bit the same. I have to follow a conductor – a pastor – a leader. Willingly and gladly, sure – but I have to follow. Not because that’s what they demand; in fact, our leaders are completely selfless and I’ve never heard a forceful “you have to follow me!!” come out of their mouths. Nevertheless I follow because it is biblical; it is what is best for the greater community of the church. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

I find this verse to be true of Elissa, our worship pastor. She keeps watch over us. She is so ridiculously caring and thoughtful, people will never know the lengths she goes to so that our team is constantly looked after and moving forward. Her heart for people is astounding, and we should be grateful for her! Not only that, but she is one of the greatest examples of someone who herself submits to the authority placed over her, our God-given senior pastors.

The Roadblock

Often people don’t get where they want because of a number of reasons – it could simply be timing, but maybe it’s also bad attitudes or wrong motivations (to name a few). However, a big one is because they don’t align themselves with the heart and vision of the authority placed over their lives. Luke 16:10 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” A conductor of an orchestra will never hire a percussionist back if they don’t follow their cues. A leader will never entrust more to someone if they don’t follow their leadership. And in the end, all our leaders really ask is pretty simple biblical things: love God, love people, and put ourselves second to others.

So my urge to us is that we will continue to pray for and follow our pastors and leaders. For some it comes more naturally, and for others it is a conscious decision we need to make.

I love serving with you all, it’s such a pleasure to serve with people who have a passion for God and for other people!

Love you all,
Daniel Tusjak

Daniel Tusjak is the music director at South West Christian Church