One weekend ago the music team was asked to play at Union Square by a group called SOS Ministries. They gave us a 2 hour window of time to perform and every so often we’d have a person from SOS sharing a 5 minute sermon. As we arrived, we were greeted by many different kinds of people. Some were enjoying a meal at the square cafe, while others were selling artwork. Most were just enjoying the scenery and sunshine, occupying every available area around us. It was the first time I took note of Union Square’s atmosphere. It was eclectic, urban, relaxed and peaceful. As we set up, others were noticing the equipment and banner being hung. One little girl approached us, “When will the music start?” “At 3pm,” I answered, wondering if her family would enjoy our music as much as we do. The experience, from the first time it was proposed to me, was a little scary. I wasn’t sure how people would respond to us. Would they like a church group singing in their square? Were we going to have hecklers? As we were right in the middle of setting up, I couldn’t help but wonder how this experience would turn out.
Our host opened the set up with a few quick words then our first group of musicians and singers began. I watched from behind for a moment, taking in the experience. Music filled Union Square, it was amazing. People were listening, some even mouthing the words themselves. I went farther into the square and joined some of our members to listen from their vantage point, it was beautiful. Our band was sharing songs about God, our Savior, in the middle of one of the most liberal cities in the world and it was well received. The sound was everywhere, even as far down as four blocks from where we were. As I listened and sung along, I realized how unique this chance really was. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, God knew and brought us there for a reason.
After the first group finished their set, my group began. I started to look around at the square and to those listening. It was beautiful seeing couples singing along and people in the Macy’s windows watching us from above. God loves each person we encountered that day and He gave us the chance to connect with them through music. I distinctly remember singing “Better Is One Day”, a song that talks about being in God’s presence and how there is no place is better than with Him, and the words really hit me. I was in my favorite city in the world, singing songs I enjoy to the God I love in the best weather…there was no better place I could have been than in His presence at that moment. It was amazing to worship God outside of our building and present His music to those who might not know him personally. God allowed us the chance to be used and we did our best to respond willingly.
This experience renewed my desire to reach out to others and proved, once again, that if we step out in faith that God will use us in ways we never could have imagined. I was amazed at how open and willing people were to receive us, some even joining in with our singing. It was a blessing to share God with other in this way. Thank you God for giving us the chance to sing and play for you. It is always an honor.
Jackie serves as one of the worship leaders at Bridgepoint and currently co-leads the youth ministry with her husband, Jaime.