Friday, July 24, 2009

Worship Friday!

This doesn’t mean that every Friday I will have a Worship Friday post. I’m really not that much of a blogger (yet). But, who knows? This might turn into something regular! Anyhow, I wanted to give a recap of my week and the National Worship Leader Conference at Church of the Resurrection in Overland Park, Kansas. I was most encouraged that such emphasis was placed on the reality behind the music, and the recognition that the church is in danger of becoming irrelevant. To continue our mission, we really have to return to things that we should be doing and start being an impact in our communities. People won’t give a rip about our message if we won’t feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and go to those in prison. In addition, to be “out in front” and communicate the way most of the world has figured out how to communicate. How do we get the attention of people these days? I was very encouraged by the answers I heard this week.

First of all, I think for me personally, what I got most out of the conference had nothing to do with the workshops or general sessions specifically. The entire event had the effect on me of making me re-evaluate my musical goals. Do I want to refocus my music career in worship music recording/performance/production exclusively? Do I want to do some of both? Today, as I am back at my regular job, I still have all of those emotions, facts, thoughts and stirrings fresh in my mind. I had an UNBELIEVABLE urge to go home, get my sax, and park it outside and play to the Lord all day and find SOME WAY of getting up on stage to worship with some of those folks, even if just during the rehearsal times. At the risk of sounding like I want to glorify myself, I have never felt stronger that I belonged with those folks onstage – not to try to “impress” people, but to follow that which is set before me as a vision, a calling. Almost out of fear, I purposely left my horn home on the last day of the conference and told folks I just forgot it. I regretted that decision later in the day when our worship team assembled on a grassy hillside under some trees and had some spontaneous worship with a very out-of-tune guitar. To sum up that portion, I had my eyes opened to another part of this big vision I have for music. Just Wow.

I started the conference by attending a session with Frank Hernandez on inspiring kids to worship, which I am going to use with my own children. Next, I went to a class with Dr. Leonard Sweet on Reaching Out to Where People are NOT: The Missing “Lead” in Leadership. I really got a clue on the use of words, pictures and technology for different generations there. To close out Tuesday, I took a songwriting class with Tommy Walker. I felt pretty good about that, and the evening worship was with Aaron Shust, Laura Story and Mac Powell. Very cool.

Wednesday was also good as I started with Tony Guerro and team rehearsal techniques, then attended a class with Laura Story and Randy Schlichting on Mentoring for All Ages. Very similar in philosophy with our own church, KC Baptist Temple. The evening was unbelievable with Meredith Andrews, Matt Maher and Paul Baloche. We could have gone all night.

Thursday started with a great set by Christy Nockels, then a sobering message by Iranian pastor David Nasser. That was followed by a very pivotal break out session with some of my KCBT co-laborers. After lunch, I took another songwriting class with Matt Maher, and finished things up with Worship + Web 2.0 with Fred McKinnon.

The lessons I learned and their lasting effects will be detailed in future Praise Fridays. I just might make this a regular deal! J

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