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Worship for the rest of us went well…..

Worship for the Rest of Us Conference exceeds my expectations.
About 12 months ago the pastoral team at Inglewood Community Church were chatting about the struggles a medium to smaller church has in resourcing and encouraging vibrant worship.
At times it seems like some well resourced churches have an entirely different set of expectations, expectations which are unrealistic to the average church.
They felt like some encouragement, exhortation and upskilling was needed for those who needed a more realistic set of values.
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In partnership with Vose Leadership we organised a conference and were hoping for 30-40 delegates. Attendance well exceeded those expectations with 80 people in attendance. They came to Inglewood Community Church from all over the state including some from Wagin Baptist and Bunbury Salvation Army.

Pastor Jess led the congregation in some simple but enthusiastic worship. Having 80 worship leaders in the one place means their was a passion for worship.
I led a session on cultural change. I talked from Isaiah 29 and encouraged the leaders that God has given them responsibility to lead the whole church in worship. This involved using what God has given them in terms of musicians and singers, to mould them as a potter moulds the clay.
Professor Michael O’Neil gave a rich session on the theology of worship. Giving a deep analysis of the place of worship within the local church and an encouragement to lead from a place of understanding who God is. Our worship can be anaemic if our vision of God is anaemic.
Monical O’Neil from Vose Leadership gave a practical session on stage presence, using the natural adrenaline that kicks in when on a platform. This session was relevant to anyone who finds themselves doing public speaking.
Pastor Jess Magowan from Inglewood Church spoke on ‘leading from the middle’. Her session was well received as she spoke on needing to lead from a place of influence, not position. Worship Leaders often find themselves needing to be aware of the different expectations of the congregation, church leadership and visitors. It is not a easy role, but is a rewarding and important one.
Pastor Andrew Binns lead a technical session which was well attended as various sound engineers from different churches dealt with issues of eliminating awkward gaps, excellence in sound and serving the overall vision of the church.
The morning finished with a interactive session where no question was out of bounds.
Finally Pastor Josh Thomas led the group in a prayer and ministry time. “It was so great to see whole teams come forward for prayer and encouragement. It was obvious that although we face unique challenges, the time offered hope and encouragement to those in sometimes challenging and difficult circumstances.

All the sessions are available for free in audio format from our churches sermon page.

Worship for the rest of us

You may know the Seinfeld clip where Georges dad, Frank, explains his families tradition of ‘Festivus’, his made up celebration replacing Christmas. He feels out of his place at Christmas, like it does not include him, so he makes up his own.

I felt this way a little when attending large worship conferences, where churches with seemingly unlimited resources can make you feel like your average church is totally inadequate, unable to participate in worship. They don’t mean to, its just some churches live in a far different reality to average churches.

Our Church, Inglewood Community Church, has been through quite a journey in its worship. We have been through the worship wars, and more, and find ourselves in a pretty hopeful place. We feel part of our churches mission is to dispense hope and practical ideas to churches who are like us, average churches.

We are really excited to partner with Vose Leadership on this event. Michael and Monica O’Neil will both be presenting some excellent material at this conference as well as myself and Pastor Jess Magowan.

You can register here ‘Worship for the rest of us”.
Worship For The Rest of Us

Worship, so powerful

Is it any wonder that we have been through worship wars in church.
Such a powerful thing. God is ‘jealous’ of us. Jealous that we worship Him, alone.

As I hear stories of nasty personal things being said to worship leaders, it does make me wonder. Fortunately we have no such issues at Inglewood, despite what may have happened in the past.

Remember, worship is a spiritual background. The stakes are high. Our God is a jealous God.

Beach Driving in the Zook

This year at our annual get away we managed to get some good fishing in. It has not been great in years gone by, but this time we tried a different spot.
This spot was accessible only through some reasonably serious 4wd tracks and beach work.
One of the seriously important things to do is let the tyres down. Especially in the lighter Suzuki. Plenty of power, but not much weight in the body. That helps and hinders sand driving. A heavy Landcruiser will naturally ‘balloon’ out the tyres. The lighter Grand Vitara will not. So a tyre setting of around 15 made a huge difference. It helped the engine not work as hard as we ‘floated’ over the sand.
It was fun judging the tide as well. The particular beach we had to drive along for about 20 minutes before entering the bush track to get to our beach was chopped up, very light and airy soil. However near the water it was much harder. Problem was there was a significant bank of sand. So you had a choice. Drive near the water, where is was harder, or drive near the bush where the sand was really boggy. The only time you could drive near the water was when the tide was out sufficiently so you could access the harder stuff.
On the way back from one great fishing trip my friends Landrover went back before the rest of us. He got through, but in his own words ‘it was a bit dicey’ there for a while!

Lots of fun, fish and sand.