"Welcome everyone to our Wednesday night friends of musicians meeting! I see you have brought your instruments which is great. I am so blessed by being with you on these evening meetings twice a month."
The musicians and those accompanying them smiled back cheerfully.
"Sometimes I wish more of our church family could hear you play your instruments."
The leader paused.
"But we have had our ministry to musicians twice a month like this for so long. The way it is, is just part of how we are."
Most of the musicians had always been separated like this and didn't have experience otherwise. So they gathered in groups and played their instruments together. There was much joy and laughter as well as genuine appreciation for their gifting. They were really quite skilled. Those with them did not have the same gifting, were not talented musically, but they sat with them, listened happily and provided encouragement. Yet, they had become used to the tradition of segregation where no musicians ever came to church or worship on Sunday.
"If musicians came on Sunday, we would probably have to change the way we do things" was the feeling of many people. "We would have to sing songs or listen to instrumentals being played. Our worship service would probably be a lot different if we included musicians and I like it the way it is."
But at one meeting where such a statement was made, a brave soul spoke up.
"I wonder if musicians are God gifted musically so that the way we do church would change, would be different. I wonder what worship would be like if we integrated musicians and allowed them to express their gifting?
A leader spoke up.
"I don't want people staring at people when they play their clarinet, their instrument. And some people don't like music so I don't want people to feel bad because of those people. Why should people feel bad about being a musician?"
The lone voice responded, "But the Bible itself talks about music and how people who are created as musicians are indispensable, have much to contribute and are to be celebrated. Their lives have purpose for the whole community."
"We are not changing so that musicians can demonstrate their gifting. Let them be together twice a month on Wednesday night and demonstrate their gifting then."