Written by wInterAppLe
2nd January 2004
It’s 2004. Some aim to do better in their grades, some a better relationship with God and some a better character. For others, it’s earning more than in 2003, get a wife, a car and a humungous house. As the New Year creeps in, new resolutions are made. As people figure out what they want to achieve and do, some just go with the wind and sail along through the year without a planned vision and resolution.
I’ve always done that including 2003 but in the middle of the year, I made targets and achieved them. In the middle of the year, plans changed …. I changed and that has made me think for something I will strive and work all the way to achieve until the end of the year. Nevertheless, there are targets and aims which cannot be forgotten and must not be put aside. Many leaders of churches, Christian Fellowships, Camps, Conferences and Christian organization come up with different vision statements and focuses for the year and for the event but are most forgotten after all is said and done.
This Christian Fellowship had many interesting and unique themes before the year 2003, for example Faith Keepers and Hope Bearers (2002). Every theme has its meaning and it has mostly been made to last. As Christians we were made to forever be faith keepers and to bear the hope Christ has brought into the world. Changing Hearts Impacting Lives Lah is another statement made which should not be abandoned. Changing is a command
(Romans 12). Though it is difficult, it is possible
by the strength and grace God provides. We have to always strive to change – to be like Jesus. As we change, impacting lives is also another command in the Bible. We live to carry our cross daily and these themes help us to focus, to remind us of our responsibility and duty.
You don’t have to make New Year resolutions if you don’t want to but these themes were made for you and the people around you - with God's permission and with His hand upon it. Keep striving and make these themes your lifelong guides. I know of a church camp’s theme with themes that tell a story and that’s cool. Strive for the best this year and as we wait for the coming CF theme, lets not forget the themes made for the past year.
As we plan for 2004, whatever our vision is, may Christ be the center of our focus and may all that we do glorify His Holy Name. May God continue to use this CF - to shine His light, to impact and influence this college and most importantly to bring more people into this Kingdom!
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Posted at 10:34 pm by Helpcf
A letter to the worship team - a reminder to myself.
Written by: wInterAppLe
3rd January 2004
To the worship team and [myself],
The fact that we are talented and good, had us up at the forefront of the line leading others into a time of worship and this, is a blessing from God. Praise and Glory be unto Him for all our talents – may He continue to expand and multiply these talents for His Name’s sake.
When we serve though, we’re always reminded to give our best for God and all unto Him. Though, some of us have realized that there are a few things we focus on too much. A very good example would be technicality. Techniques and skills push musicians and singers up to being the best in the team. Techniques and skills are most times the main factor of passing an audition. This shouldn’t be so. Skills shouldn’t be the main factor and requirement but the heart for God and the heart for worship should come in first.
Techniques are important but it is not the most important. Yes, techniques are important and every musician and singer must train and practice. If a guitarist or drummer strums the wrong chord or hit the wrong beat during worship, the attention and focus of some or rather most of the congregation would be shifted from God to you. Practice – It is one way of giving God your best but your heart is more important than your skills.
On stage, in front, when playing for the Glory of God, He will guide our fingers and voice, He’ll take control. We will most probably not do any mistakes. I’ve realized that I only do mistakes if I get carried away into my own world and when I’m not focused. Though so, making no mistakes doesn’t mean we’re not worshipping God and vice versa. We only are worshipping God when you mean all that you’re doing / singing.
Alertness is another factor which will really help in keeping focus. The worship leader has to always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the congregation and not be carried away with his or her own worship. Let the Holy Spirit guide as to what songs to sing, which to sing first or last and what next in worship. The musicians and singers should be alert to the instructions given by the worship leader. As musicians and singers, we somehow will know when the mood of the song should pump up or go down with the guidance of the Holy Spirit even when the worship leader doesn’t instruct or give signals.
Pride. We realize that poisonous factor in our lives when we serve in the worship team on stage. How though does it creep in? Naturally, it comes when we’re praised and when we receive attention when we’re in front. Though so, there is another realization here. We are always reminded that we’re leading the congregation into worship and therefore, we feel important. But the truth is, whether we’re on stage playing or not, we’re never more important than the congregation we’re leading.
Their clapping, jumping, dancing and raising of hands are as important as our drumming, strumming, singing and piano playing. Our leadership is just another responsibility given by God – something He allowed us to choose, a way of serving Him. Every individual serves God in different ways. One could serve as a worship leader in church, another could serve as the best student in college. We are still worshippers in the end of the day – worshipping Him with our different talents.
As the worship team leading the congregation to worship, we are excited, pumped up and hyped when the congregation responds and goes crazy but we are disappointed when they don’t respond the way we expect them to. First of all, do we realize that it is our fault for not preparing ourselves before leading worship? It is our fault for not praying and worshipping God before we step into the leading position. We have to spend time with God and get our focuses right. We have to set our hearts right before God. Ask of His anointing, consecration and holiness to fill us before we even lead His people into a time of worship. When we don’t prepare, we are underestimating the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. We can’t lead anyone into worship ourselves as a team. We need the Holy Spirit. We have to always ask Him to guide our actions and to help us focus and be alert. Nothing can be done well without the guidance and help of the Holy Ghost. As a worship team, we not only lead the people into a time of worship, we invite and usher in the presence of God. Preparation is very important.
It is also dangerous when the crowd goes crazy and hyped up during praise and worship sessions cause ‘Are they worshipping God or are they worshipping the songs they’re singing?’ Singing without meaning the words they sing and just enjoying themselves is not worshipping God. So, don’t be too excited or pumped up when they are hyped up. Don’t depend on them to encourage you. Be encouraged by the Holy Spirit and worship with all you have.
Another question set before us is whether we’re on stage just because we’re on duty or because we realize our choice of serving Him and we want to serve Him 100% all the time? There is a difference seen in those who serve because they’ve chose to and it’s their duty and those who has chosen to serve with all their heart every time they’re leading. Those who serve out of duty get tired and discouraged easily. Serving in the team would also be a routine. Those who realize that they’ve chosen to serve and are willing to serve will all they have all the time will not be tired easily. They would persevere to do better each time. Don’t get me wrong, they do get disappointed but disappointment will not stop them from striving for the best in the next round. These are the people who will also worship the same way they do on stage as when they’re not on duty. Some of us show and portray a good expression when on duty but when standing with the congregation, we are not the same. This shouldn’t happen. We were not chosen and given the right to lead to pretend and give a good show.
Being a worshipper is very dangerous because a worshipper lifts God’s Name and brings down God’s enemies. Being in the worship team is as dangerous, as we are the examples that they see and follow. Let us do self-checks constantly and remind ourselves of the choice we’ve made willingly to serve God in this ministry. Let us keep our hearts and minds right in focus for His sake, His Name and His Glory. Let us move altogether into another level of worship to God. May we glorify His Name!
From, another worshipper serving in a worship team just like you.
Posted at 04:41 pm by Helpcf