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Church Musician Newsletter, Issue #7, July 2005 - Billy Graham Training Center
July 15, 2005
I can't think of a better way to prepare than attending a conference to be refreshed, instructed and encouraged by meeting fellow church musicians. So, I'll tell you some brief highlights of my time at the Billy Graham Training Center.
I hope you enjoy this month's issue.
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Last month I had the privilege of attending the best worship conference of my life. It was held at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, NC and featured the music and teaching of Darlene Zschech.
June 16-18, 2005, were the dates for "Fully Devoted to Jesus". The first night was Thursday and 500 lead worshipers, senior pastors gathered to hear Darlene teach on Inside Out Worship. When you want to be used by God, he always starts by changing you first. Sometimes we wonder what is going on, but He is only answering our prayer.
Worship is the union of humanity and eternity. It answers the longing of our hearts and God's heart.
Worship is not an event; it's a stance. It implies we are the same on and off stage. It's a way of life. It comes from revelation, from knowing who Jesus is and not holding back.
Like Abraham did not hold back Isaac, we too must not hold back our dearest possessions, if we are to worship in truth.
2 Samuel 22 - like David, say "no" to the cheap sacrifice. Don't give to God that which costs you nothing. Oh that our seen and unseen lives would match. Don't settle for a weekend understanding - be saying "more of You".
Lead worshipers must be thankful - if not, worship is reduced to songs, only music. Music is exclusive - worship is inclusive. Music is for the talented, the beautiful or the very lucky. Worship is for every man, woman, boy and girl. Every tribe and tongue, every nation and culture. Worship is like a yearning built into every person longing to find home.
Friday morning we heard about the characteristics of a worshipping church. Starting with team and overflowing to the church.
Consecration - teach what is holy - It's sovereign - it's not a gig. Consecration is a journey.
Commitment - to love what God loves - to bring your finest. Be committed to Christ, to His word, to obedience, to be on time, to be prepared. God will never be glorified higher than our roots are deep. Do you have deep roots?
Unity - one heart, one mind, great power. Acts 4 - the church shared their possessions, they were united, great power was evidenced among them all. Beware of little foxes - fight for unity, yes fight for unity. It's costly, but assures great power.
In wrapping this up, I'd like to say one of the best parts of the conference was that each participant was assigned to a small group. This was fantastic, not only for the comradery, but also a wonderful way to bear each other's burdens and help each solve problems. Of course, this resulted in many people making new commitments to keep serving. The song of Heaven is so big, what a generous and gracious God we have to let us play our one little measure in His song.
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Until next month, may grace and peace be yours,
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