Mother’s Day is a special time of celebration at many churches, and while there isn’t a shortage of sermon-related content on love and family in the Bible for a pastor to choose from, worship leaders may face challenges in song selection for such a specialized day. Another challenge a church may face is that there may not be enough female instrumentalists to even feature an all women’s band for a service celebrating a day like Mother’s Day, says Shanda Perkins, Worship Coordinator at Oasis church in Nashville, Tennessee. Despite such challenges, churches like Oasis, have planned an empowering, engaging and uplifting Sunday service for the mothers in their churches.
Oasis Church believes that “one moment in God’s presence can turn a lifetime of hurts, disappointments and mistakes into a miracle of God’s Grace and Mercy,” as it states on the church’s website. As music is one way to point people to God, the worship team invests a lot of time and energy into song selection and preparation in the hopes that “everyone from Grandma to Hipster hears something that they can relate to.”
The Oasis worship team takes the same approach in preparing song selection for holidays and special occasions as well, striving to create what Shanda describes as a corporate worship experience where the congregation can participate rather than spectate, and one that is cohesive and supports the sermon. This past February, for example, the sermon themes for the month centered around love, and both the song selection and worship team members reflected this theme – songs like “Amazing Love” and “Good, Good Father” declaring God’s love for his children were sung, and and even worship team leaders for the month featured a married couple and a mother and her son. Relationships of family and love were both being celebrated through song and physically represented on stage, creating a unified worship experience.
For this Mother’s Day at Oasis, Lead Pastor Jillian Chambers is delivering the message for all three Sunday morning services; recording artist, author and speaker Ilonka Deaton will sing a special song selection; and afterwards, gifts will be given to each mother in attendance. Shanda also shared with Scripturally Sound that a worship team member whose mother will be in town for Mother’s Day, requested to serve on the worship team this Sunday. Indeed this will be a special moment for the mother and her adult child, as Shanda says there’s something beautiful about “family from out of town having the opportunity to see (their) child use (their) gifts.”
The Friday leading up to Mother’s Day laid the groundwork for a weekend of empowerment featuring a service hosted by SheNet, the women’s ministry of Oasis church. Ilonka ministered through both song and word, singing “What an Extraordinary Life” and her new single “Washed,” in addition to sharing her personal testimony of surviving human trafficking. Ilonka imparted a message of hope and encouraged the women in attendance to share their own personal life stories of hope with others.
The evening concluded with a glow-in-the dark themed reception, which drew inspiration from the idea
that glow sticks are broken before they can emit light. In a similar manner, Ilonka shared that God can use our brokenness to make something beautiful like the colorful light emitted by broken glowsticks.
Celebrating all bright and beautiful mothers and motherly figures on this special occasion. Happy Mother’s Day!