Renewing Worship in Southeast Asia
Twelve NC Baptists began a 36-hour journey to lead worship events in three countries in Southeast Asia last Wednesday. One week later, our team is now working in its second country. We are blessed beyond measure as we have been leading worship and training worship leaders in many regions.
Our team is very multigenerational. FIve of the team members are in their teens to mid-20s. The other seven span 30s through 60s. This, alone, speaks volumes to churches of how to cross generational barriers in worship. All of our team members have a passion for God and for worship. Due to difficult scheduling issues, all twelve team members were never together until we arrived in Singapore. Our group rehearsed on several occasions to learn our core of songs, but always with two or more members absent. Believe me, this has caused me to really trust God in a great way.
Our first weekend began with a worship concert the night we arrived in Singapore. This 90-minute worship event was an evening of corporate worship led by our worship band. The next day, we led a full-day Worship Leader Boot Camp to train worship leaders from around the country, complete with breakout classes in drums, guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals, wind instruments, and computer. Later in the evening, our worship band combined with additional instrumentalists and vocalists to rehearse for the Sunday morning worship services at our host church. It was an absolutely awesome experience working alongside the Singaporean worship musicians in leading worship that morning. I was able to share a message on worship in both morning services as well. There was such a sweet spirit in the church that morning, and we sensed God’s Spirit at work among His people. We were so blessed. The pastor of the church commented that something unusual had occurred that morning–in both services, people seemed to want to linger rather than to leave quickly as is the norm. I really feel that we encountered God in a powerful way that weekend.
Worship in our second country has been absolutely amazing. There is a real passion for worshipping God that seems to be missing from so many churches in the USA today. Perhaps it is because worship to these brothers and sisters is far more precious to them than it has become to us. I shared early in the worship time that I hope they had not come to see worship leaders from the United States, but that they had come to lift up Jesus Christ in His house. People from both sides of the world could stand together proclaiming the greatness of our God. The one hour and 40 minutes of worship in our second country was so powerful and meaningful to us, that it made all the preparations for the trip and strenuous travel all seem so trivial. God was in that place and He was receiving our praise, love, devotion, and worship.
We have many more times of leading worship events and another worship leader boot camp to do. Additionally, I am having opportunity to speak in a variety of settings with young worship leaders and worship teams. We have learned to place our dependence on God when our strength is no where near enough for our strenuous schedule. We have learned to trust Him when voices are too tired to sing as we would like. We have seen him take our efforts, devoted to His glory, and do great things to lift up His name in those places. Our group is so blessed to be used in this way.
Our group will continue to a third country and complete its work for this trip next Wednesday and begin a journey back to the USA. We will return with a renewed passion for worship and a holy discontent at the way that we so often worship God is such a half-hearted way back home.
Does your church exhibit passion in it’s worship? Is corporate worship a precious thing, or is it taken for granted?
Also, consider taking your worship ministry on mission to your neighborhood, the other side of the world, or places in between. We need to lift up God and His glory throughout the world.
This mission to SE Asia is part of helping churches with a global missions strategy by the Office of Great Commission Partnerships of the Baptist State Convention of NC.
For more information on the worshipASIA team, visit www.worshipASIA.org.