Dan & Carole McClelland, David’s Tent Leaders

We love it when worship teams from around America come and join the 10,000 hour love song at David’s Tent! The staff is always refreshed during the time when these teams come. We have wonderful stories of worshippers from all over the United States. There was the team that drove from Nebraska, led two hours, and drove right back. We have had people fly in and back from California or Florida with no other agenda than to stay for three days leading worship and praying for our country. In addition, we have had intercession teams that came, encouraged us, and prayed for America alongside us here in Washington DC. Every team or person who comes to serve is such a blessing!  This month is a complete year, 365 days, that God has received continual worship in DC! In light of this, I’m going to share one of my favorite testimonies that happened within the year.

Davids Tent DC Special
During the spring, when we were still at the Washington Monument, we had a team of not just adults, but families, from San Diego, California that was in for a week to lead worship two hours every day. Their team alone was so large that they filled the tent! Since they had a full band, many people were drawn to the tent during their worship sets. We were delighted to be able to get to know this team well because they were scheduled to lead worship during our morning watch.

On Saturday of that week, David’s Tent also had a youth group from North Carolina that was scheduled to lead worship right after the CA group. They had led at the Tent before, so we knew that they were a very lively African-American youth group who worshipped God joyfully.

Here at David’s Tent we actually try to have smooth transitions from one team to another so the song continues. Before any team leads worship, we ask them to come to the Tent at least an hour early. In that way, they can enjoy worship and connect with God before they’re leading others into worship. Sometimes it works out well; sometimes it does not. Fortunately, this time both of the groups transitioned so well. As requested, the North Carolina team was there for about an hour of the California group’s worship.  Both teams were very large so together they filled the tent to overflowing. During that one hour, the NC team’s bass player came up and joined in because the CA group didn’t have a bass player that day.

As it reached the last half hour before group transitions, the North Carolina team members joined in exuberant worship with the San Diego team.  The tent was filled with joy!  And then, when the time came to do the full transition, the San Diego group stayed in the tent and worshipped with the North Carolina team! Even though this was my day off, my teammates came home and shared about this crazy- awesome transition between two completely different worship teams from different places in America. We all rejoiced how God was glorified through their unity.

On Sunday I actually was scheduled to staff during our watch.  About an hour before their scheduled worship time of 9 – 11  AM, which would be their last time to lead before going home, the San Diego team showed up.  A few minutes later the North Carolina team showed up stating that they were scheduled to lead worship during the 9-11 set. As watch leader, my husband, Dan, followed the protocol of asking both groups to show him their confirmation emails. Most of the time, when a scheduling problem has occurred, one of the teams had read their designated time wrong. Therefore, it’s easy to dissipate the confusion and explain to one of the groups that they had read the email incorrectly. However, as Dan scanned the emails on this day, he realized that both teams had in fact been scheduled for the exact same time: 9 to 11 AM. This time, it was our fault as David’s Tent staff. As my husband tried to negotiate a compromise that was agreeable to both teams, it was clear that both groups had a strong desire to lead two hours of worship. It was suggested and reluctantly accepted that both teams would only have one hour to lead worship.

While I watched this process, my heart started racing as I remembered the testimony of our staff from yesterday about the unity that happened as these two teams made their transition.  With Holy Spirit leading, I approached the large group made up of both teams and said, “Guys, I think that God is doing something big here within the body of Christ related to unity!” Everyone paused to listen as I shared how I had heard about their set transition yesterday. It was such an amazing time that drew many people into the tent. My spirit was sure that God had big plans for today as well! By each team sacrificing their own desires, they were bringing unity on earth just as Jesus prayed in his last prayer before he went to the cross. As I spoke, I could feel the Spirit welling up within me. God’s Spirit was on the move!  I was getting really, really excited about what God wanted to do in the body of Christ.  As the Spirit swept through the group, everyone was in agreement. ”Amens!”  were shouted out as I began to pray for the teams.

The next two hours were glorious; probably one of my favorite sets at the tent. You see, both teams were there for the whole two hours, and both teams were worshiping together! No division! No grumbling!  It was a beautiful day outside and there was many people on the national mall that were drawn to the music.  Our staff was overwhelmed greeting people who wanted to know what was happening. David’s Tent was overflowing with people!
At the end of the two hour set, both team’s members were so excited that they ended up just mingling and talking. The conversations grew so loud, in fact, that one of our staff had to ask the groups to continue talking outside as we wanted to honor the next person that was leading worship.

Outside the Tent, I approached both groups and apologized again for the scheduling error. The North Carolina team leader said, “No worries!  Honestly it was God’s plan.  The San Diego team has invited our youth group team to join them for a worship event this summer, and our youth group is so excited about going.”

It’s not often that we double- book at David’s Tent. We have an amazing scheduling team that coordinates with all the worship teams that come to David’s Tent, and they are diligent to make sure that there isn’t a double booking. Honestly, in the 10 months that I’ve been serving at David’s Tent, it’s happened only once or twice. However, God had His own master plan that day!! Out of the scheduling misunderstanding, God called forth unity in the body of Christ. Master scheduler that He is, Father united two teams for a day so He would be glorified.

Many on the National Mall that day gave witness to the worship produced through the joint team’s unity. However, God’s plan was so much bigger than that. On the foundation of obedience, as the two teams laid down their own desires and chose unity, God built up a continual relationship with the body of Christ between youth in North Carolina and an older family team from San Diego, California.

How amazing is our God?