Friday, January 25, 2013

Break Forth - Day 1

Today was so many kinds of wonderful that it'll be hard to summarize it in just a few sentences...

Break Forth opened today with the Worship Leadership Intensive. In past years, Gerald has done the songwriting intensive, but this year, we decided to do the same workshop, and really work our skills as worship co-leaders.

Kari Jobe was on the teaching roster, but a last minute illness delayed her flight to Edmonton. Songwriter, Andy Park, filled in, and the challenges began. Andy spoke on the topics of rejecting the ego-driven lifestyle, centring your life on the Lord, and worshiping God in the wilderness. It was the kind of talk where light bulbs were going off, we were scrabbling to write everything down, and six months from now, we'll still be making realizations.

Paul Baloche kicked off the afternoon session with his trademark good humour, and dedicated approach to worship. He interspersed practical lessons on working with your band, choosing songs, and creating flow, with the deeper issues of personal worship and our pastoral role as worship leaders.

The day ended with a panel composed of Andy, Paul, and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. It could have gone on for hours and hours. So much wisdom and practical information.

Every once in a while, the room would be invited to sing. If you want a glimpse of what heaven might sound like, check out the most beautiful moment of the day:

The conference had it's awesome, huge, opening session tonight at the Shaw Centre. Thousands of people gathered for an inspiring time of worship by Casting Crowns, and a fantastic message by John Ortberg.

I was so excited to hear John Ortberg (and Casting Crowns, of course!) and I wasn't disappointed. From the simple start of "I'm going to talk about Jesus tonight," he took us through a 2000 year journey of how Jesus and the Jesus movement has affected every conceivable corner of our world - art, political theory, education, compassion, human dignity, and even champagne! The talk was simple, entertaining, meaningful, and super, super smart.

Can't believe this has only been one day! Looking forward to tomorrow!!

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