Church Life Recap

On Tuesday of this week we concluded our first Church Life Conference here on the campus of Trinity Baptist Church and Trinity Baptist College. It was a great time of fellowship, worship, and networking with other ministry leaders from across the country. I want to take a few moments and reflect on some of my take-a-ways from the conference.

It was a great honor to have Charles Billingsley with us for our Sunday night “kick-off” along with his pastor, Jonathan Falwell, Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist in Lynchburg, VA. Charles joined with our Celebration Choir and Orchestra and led us into a wonderful time in God’s presence. Charles is a masterful communicator, a phenomenal talent and most of all, an authentic worshipper and follower of Christ.

On Monday, Charles led worship in our morning sessions as well as an afternoon session for worship leaders and other church musicians. He dealt with the idea of “Transitioning Your Worship without Starting a Worship War”.  This is a very relevant topic for most of us who find ourselves in transitionary ministry of some kind. Actually, like Charles said, if you’re alive, whether you like it or not, you’re in transition.

On Tuesday, I led corporate worship along with the Trinity Baptist College worship team, Lifesong. This is a talented group with a heart for worship and they did a fantastic job. If you are interested in having them in your church you can get more information by clicking here. It was also great to have the Nelons leading us in worship and providing special music. The Nelons (pronounced “Nee-lons”) serve as Artists in Residence here at Trinity Baptist College. They are a multi Dove award-winning group that has tremendous talent and a heart for the local church. You can find more about their ministry by clicking here.

We also introduced a couple new songs written by Trinity alumni, Joel Carney and Shannon Foldy, as well as a custom hymn arrangement of “Our Great Savior” entitled “What a Savior You Are”.  It was a privilege to share these with the attendees and many of them purchased music to take these songs to their churches. “Isaiah 53” really connected well and is an incredible description of the sacrifice of Christ as well as an opportunity for us to respond to Him in worship. If you are interested in sheet music and demo tracks of these songs, you can contact music@tbc.org and we will be happy to take care of that for you.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lindsey Terry, author and worship ministry leader for many years, spoke into our lives and gave us a great perspective on worship ministry as seen from over four decades of leadership. I am delighted as I recall his stories of conversations with song writers over the years. I encourage you to check out his website here and check out the many resources that he has available to help educate us and help bring greater depth and understanding to so many of the songs that we sing.

I was thrilled to be able to speak with several old and new friends. It’s amazing that, though we have such variety and diversity in our ministries, we have so many of the same challenges and opportunities before us. I am grateful for the opportunity to exchange ideas and sharpen each other as “iron sharpens iron”.

One of the topics that kept coming up during several conversations was the idea of “balanced vs. blended” as well as how we can have a comprehensive ministry that is biblically sound as well as culturally engaging. I will be discussing this idea in my next post and look forward to continuing this conversation.

I am already looking forward to next year’s conference. We will be continuing the conversation of many facets of church life at www.churchlifeconference.com and keep checking back for updates and video posts of the conference sessions. For those of you in music and worship ministry, we will be continuing the conversation right here as well. I look forward to your comments and continuing our discussion on how we can make our worship ministries as effective and God-honoring as they can be.

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About jasoncrosslive.com
A former pastor reflecting on matters of faith, culture and the arts in the context of real life.

One Response to Church Life Recap

  1. Lee Tomlin says:

    Jason, excites about seeing you blog again!
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the Church Life Conference. I figured I would hare some of the key points that really challenged me this week in regards to Worship.

    In our session with Charles Billingsley here are some thoughts that stuck with me:

    1. Any time you bring in new music you have to let something else go, be very careful and slow about getting rid of certain music!

    2. Many people love their “traditional music” not because they are stuck in their old ways, but because those songs remind them of a time in the past where God used that song to do something great in their life. We shouldn’t rob them of the memory of what God has done in the past.

    3. We need our music to match the culture of our church. In other words we cannot expect a church with majority of seniors to love Hillsong, or a young church to live the Gaithers.

    4. When the musicians are sick of a new song, the congregation is just starting to love it!

    I also got several good tips from my conversation with you on Tuesday.

    1. Practice separately with Rythm
    2. Tempo is so important
    3. Medley’s are overrated
    4. Also, I got alot if great resources for instrumental music!

    Thanks for your investment!! Looking forward to next year already as well!!

    Lee

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