I fully believe that God gives us many personal gifts for us to use to glorify his kingdom. He gives us gifts to encourage and to care for those less fortunate than ourselves. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the special gifts we have, but many people in our lives affirm them in us. However, there are special gifts that we can identify early within ourselves that when we use them, we have the opportunity to grow deeper in our faith and experience God’s blessings.
In my time being active in the church, I have seen pure joy exude when people use their God-given gifts, and I have seen it shape the course of someone’s life.
In this past week, I have gotten to learn about Tanya Allen’s journey a little bit more. I can say with full confidence that she found one of her God-given gifts early and has used it often throughout her life, which has lead her to become our new Director of Traditional Music Ministry.
Tanya has been active in church ministry for over 30 years. Since Preschool Choir, Tanya knew one of her God-given gifts was music. She was not always going to be involved in ministry, but this gift in “God-like fashion” changed her course away from studying to be a music teacher. She directed a small church choir in college, which lead to an acceptance from SMU and onto Perkins School of Theology to study as a Music Minister.
Tanya has experienced “that music reaches a part of one’s soul, that simple words cannot reach.” Music provides a unique opportunity to understand scripture in a new way and to stamp verses on our souls, and music can give us such a direct connection to God.
A love of music can be such a gift from God that many people recognize but never fully use. I speak from personal experience when I think about my love of worship and my time in choir, but always shy away from the opportunity to recognize and use that gift. However, the ability to praise God through music creates such a joyful heart, that no one should shy away from that gift.
As a church, we are getting closer to the beginning of a new choir year, and no matter your ability, the choir is open to you. There is an opportunity to connect with God and share your gift with others (in a way that will not produce immense stage fright). And who knows, maybe using your gift of music will completely change your faith journey in the best way possible!