How do you begin to summarize a life? Recently a good friend, colleague and worship leader, Wade Williams passed from this life to experience the wonder of meeting Jesus face to face. My first thought was that Wade is singing for Jesus! He who had spent his life creating great music for his Savior is able to experience Jesus presence in an all together new way. No more cancer, no more struggles with the sin that so easily entangles, no longer any shade of care. He is sharing in the greatest worship service that we only can imagine.
Wade was a friend and a role model for me. As I began ministry at my first church, I had the privilege of visiting Wade prior to his worship rehearsals where we talked about ministry, worship and creativity. I was green and even though I had grown up seeing my father minister with music, there were changes and challenges in worship ministry.
It was during this time that I saw Wade reach out to other young men who were pursuing worship leadership as a calling, and also some who were beginning their time in the church. I saw a musician who had a pastor’s heart, a shepherd’s care, a coach’s vision and an artist’s love for beautiful and creative worship.
It is hard to believe that that time with Wade was 12 years ago. Wade’s life and ministry still challenges my own ministry to worship leaders. I look at the people he impacted in his life and I want to share in the same fruitful and faithful work.
As I grieve over the loss of a friend, his memory inspires me to live with boldness, energy and a passion for leading people into the presence of God through worship. Death and loss brings us all to a place where we make an assessment of the life we have lived and consider the days ahead, uncertain as they may be. “To Life is Christ, To Die is Gain.” It is my desire to live knowing God’s presence in all of life right now and at the same time longing to worship face to face.
One of Wade’s favorite Hymns came to my mind and I have been playing it and thinking about the perspective this brings!
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.
Words: Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901
Sing For Jesus, Wade! We miss you and will see you again!
Wade Williams July 10, 1953 – May 1, 2014
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