Friday, January 27, 2012

Break Forth - Day 1

Awesome start to Break Forth!

Today was the All Day Intensive Workshops. Gerald took songwriting and I took worship leading.

My day started with Paul Baloche. He spoke about the things we can do to put ourselves in the best place to lead worship - private worship, relationships with your congregation, and using scripture as praise.

Paul Baloche on leading workshop.

The next two sessions were lead by Robin Mark. When he goes into a church for a concert or worship event, he doesn't bring his band - he works with the church's musicians. So he spoke about leadership and working with teams.

For the second session, he brought us through the story of Hezekiah, and the importance of prioritizing worship, no matter how large or small our congregation.

Our day ended with Brenton Brown. He compared leading worship to offering hospitality, and now that mindset can affect the way we treat both our teams and our congregations.

Gerald had the same instructors for his day of songwriting, so after 6 hours of training, we met to compare notes and stories.

This evening, Break Forth officially opened with a huge worship gathering. One of the things that impresses me most about this conference are the hundreds of volunteers that make everything run so smoothly. As they helped stream the thousands of conference participants into the hall, one volunteer was smiling and singing a little blessing song over everyone that walked past her. Nothing showy - just friendly and sweet.

The worship was lead by Break Forth organizer, Arlen Salte. The amazing band opened the set with U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" which segued right into a praise song called "We are Free." The song incorporated band, a spoken word/rap artist, and a vibrant choir. It was a great collaboration of musical sounds and styles.

The moving worship set prepared us for speaker, Erwin McManus. I wasn't familiar with Erwin's ministry, but I loved the article he wrote for the Break Forth magazine, so I was looking forward to his message tonight. And I wasn't disappointed!

He spoke about the value of beauty and creativity, not just in the world, but in the church. How does God feel about beauty, and how would the world feel about the church if we genuinely embraced the creativity of all individuals. McManus has a fascinating life, and his talk was really inspiring.

There are concerts tonight, but tomorrow promises to be a long one, so we're settling in for a relaxing night, and gearing up for a great Saturday!

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