The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Hi there, Mark here. 20 this year, serving in the Navy, serving in SHINE Youth.
About a month ago, we managed to pull off the incredibly stressful task of leading our Saturday and Sunday worship services. Every year, on the first week of July, our youths are given the opportunity to lead the entire service – from planning the flow of the service, to leading the congregation in singing praises, and worshipping God. This year especially, we faced many unforeseen challenges along the way, but with the heart and hard work of all the youths involved in this year’s Youth Weekend, we saw God come through for us.
We started planning for the praise segment in April. The leaders agreed that more than trying to achieve a perfect praise session that would wow everyone, we wanted to cultivate in our youths a heart of worship and service. We planned it such that our youths who were already serving regularly in Zimrah would mentor youths who had the heart but lacked experience, preparing and teaching them over a period of eight weeks to lead the congregation as a band. The plan seemed solid, we had a comfortable runway, and I was confident that team was going to pull this off.
But alas, what could go wrong went wrong. We were slapped with a new set of safety regulations in May, and our plans were brought to a grinding halt. Practicing together was out of the question, and we weren’t even sure if we would be able to resume onsite services by July, which meant we needed to be ready to record as well.
After an agonising 37-day wait, the situation got better, and the regulations were relaxed a little. We had to fit eight weeks into three, and I was having serious doubts about whether this would even work. O, ye of little faith.
By the grace of God, and the hard work and sacrifices of everyone in the team, we managed to pull it off with only three practice sessions. It wasn’t perfect, but everyone came a way – not just in their skills, I believe, but also in their hearts.
I, for one, was humbled to learn that what I thought was the perfect plan was maybe not so perfect after all. I was agonising and worrying so much when our plans were disrupted, I failed to recognise that it is God, in His sovereign goodness and wisdom, who establishes our steps, and that I can trust Him instead of the plans that I held on so tightly to.
I’m still reeling in awe of what God has done in and through us this Youth Weekend. All glory, honour, and praise be to Him.
Mark is currently serving in SHINE Youth (Youth Leader) and Zimrah Worship (drummer) ministries. He guesses he's part of the Usher team too. If you see him welcoming you at the Sanctuary door, or anywhere in church really, then you might catch a glimpse of his elder sister, Pastor Eliza. Just saying, in case you were wondering if they're related. Don't forget to say 'hi' too!