David Ash
Worship Day Review

It was with a sense of expectation that I arrived at the first ChristCentral worship & leadership teams day. The purpose of the day was to gather both church leadership teams and their respective worship teams for a day of training & equipping. The day started somewhat predictably with a time of worship led very ably by Matt Weedell from Kings Church Leicester. (You may remember that Matt led worship at our North Camps for a number of years).  

That's when the predictability ended. Very quickly there was a real sense of the presence of God amongst us, there were a number of words brought about us entering closer in, reminding us that we are to usher in His presence, to point others to him. 

We were encouraged by new promises from God about creativity in worship & that we would see salvation during our times of worship together as communities across the nation. There was also a time for specific words for particular churches and people, which was a further exciting dynamic and remember the scheduled teaching time hadn’t even started yet! 

God was saying this is our new normal, an expectation of times together when we know the presence of God, where the gifts are represented, honoured and encouraged. Where people come in and go away changed! 

Session One - The Presence of God
The first teaching session looked at ‘The Presence of God’ - how God always planned to be amongst His people, that what marks us out is not our excellence of music, teaching, hospitality, times together or living out our daily lives but when we gather that the Holy Spirit is amongst us - that is what makes us different - we are to primarily be a place where the presence of God dwells. 

“We are a product of our history, our movement (Newfrontiers) is a movement of the Spirit, we don’t want to loose this, we mustn’t apologise for that…"
“WE can be so enamoured by the presence of God that we forget we are always his people, always carrying his presence but there is also the kingdom now dimension, God with us in a manifest sense…"
“As leaders we initiate things, we spark things, we can be atmosphere changers, leaders set the pace - model receiving the Spirit, step out!"
“God can & does speak through the most unlikely people…"

Session Two - Authority & Creativity
Session two talked initially to the leaders in the room regarding authority. It looked at how leadership authority can bring direction, oversight and help facilitate the move of the spirit, bringing correction and growth in spiritual gifts and how it is a vital part of our meetings. 

We then moved on to look at creativity in worship, looking at whether we have created a new structure which again limits God and places him in a box? Have we dialled down?

Questions to ask a worship leader before a meeting:
Are you starting or am i?
What do you feel is the key thing God wants to speak about?
Do you feel there is one song which is the key to the spirit breaking out?
"We can have worship conferences - where the worship leader occasionally brings something but this isn’t all believers sharing…to get from a worship conference to a fellowship of all believers - we need oversight, we need to be a team…"
“Do we restrict God with our new structure"
“Are we hungry and thirsty for more of God in our meetings?"
“Encourage people to be themselves to be unique, we are all unique"
“Studies are showing that we have become so used to low level noise that it is having a detrimental effect on our attention and listening, silence enables us to recalibrate - silence is not an enemy"

There were also some really practical answers to tough questions on what to do when people bring words or songs or interpretations which don’t quite fit or which are always the same. How to care and love for people whilst still bringing correction and support to them and others in the congregation. 

Session Three - Leading a Life of Worship 
In our final session we looked at the pursuit of a lifestyle of worship. Matt focussed in on the stories of Saul & David in the Bible and how the difference between them was the heart - Saul looked the perfect candidate but David was found to be a man after the Lord’s heart. 

“Lights, big stages, can be a great temptation to those who have wrong motives. David’s one desire was to be with God."
“It is possible to want to see church growth & great worship but to still have wrong motives. How do you define an idol? David understood that if you have God you have the thing…"
“Cultivating a heart of worship - this heart doesn’t grow unaided, you have to create the right conditions"
"Connect with God - it’s like food, it’s what we need"
“John Piper: ‘if all other variables are equal, your knowledge of God will work conversely with the amount of time you watch TV’ you have to spend time"
“Our responsibility to model a life of worship in the private flowing out into the public. If your personal walk is dry your public worship will also be found dry. Abide in me and I in you”
“you can’t lead people where you haven’t been yourself! Its there is no intimacy we will run dry."

As you can see it was an excellent day and I was so encouraged by it! I hope there will be many more!