26 June 2005 ~ 1 Comment

Momentum ’05

I spent Wed. – Fri. down at Newport Dunes for Soul Survivor’s worship conference – Momentum. They ended up making it a free event, so Rachel and I took advantage of the opportunity and spent the three days camping on the beach down there. Throughout the three days there were times of worship led by Tim Hughes, Rita Springer, and David Ruiz and some teaching by Mike Pilavachi (one of my personal favorites) and several others. Unfortunately I didn’t have wireless access to blog as I was there, so i’ll throw up some of my notes and thoughts in retrospect right now.

Overall, it was a great time. As I said, Rachel came with me and one member of our team, Michelle, was there as well. I hope in the future to see more team members at stuff like this because the encouragement and the learnings are just great. The best part of the weekend was definately the worship itself. Tim Hughes especially is an amazing leader, and there is nothing like worshipping with hundreds of people who are really passionate about worship. The main sessions were ok – depending on who was sharing – and there were some useful lab intensives. Here’s a couple of highlights and learnings from the trip.

Momentum Day 1

To be honest, the opening session didn’t excite me too much, so I was a bit concerned about how the week would be, but the rest of the day went great!

Missional Hospitality

We started at a session called "Missional Hospitality" led by Greg Russinger from The Bridge Community. He is the pastor of a very artistic community of faith in Ventura. This lab was very interactive and creative and had some great stuff in it. He began by seeking to work on being hospitable before we could get to the missional part. He gave each of us a piece of paper and had us create a picture representing the current state of our heart. From there we had to walk around the tent and get to know each other by our condition. Condition_1


This was a way to encourage us to be real with each other.  Here are some of his other key points that I enjoyed.

  • Your Churches should be made up of naked people – We need to be a community of people open and honest with each other.
  • Those who live in their condition always bring us to the throne room of God.
  • Your conditions will lead one another to Christ.
  • We need to truly see people – when you look at others do you really see them through Chrsits eyes and see their humanity.
  • The Gospel is centered in the humanity of real people at real times with real emotions.
  • Just as Christ took the blind man out of his familiar area to heal him, so Christ will often take us outside of our familiarity in order to see more clearly and better "see" people.

     Main Session

Wed. evenings main session was particularly moving and powerful for me.  Tim Hughes led worship and Mike Pilavachi spoke on the topic of walking by faith.

  • Mark 2 – The Paralytic.  Christ knew the men’s faith by the whole in the ceiling.
  • Faith is a doing work – it is lived out through actions.
  • Romans 10:17 – When we’re in the world more than the word, we begin believing the world rather than the word.
  • If we want God to speak to us, we need to listen and be ready to obey no matter what he may ask.
  • Faith is obedience.

The night was filled with some amazing worship time, and Mike allowed for some serious time of ministry and invitation to the Holy Spirit.  I must say, I have had some great encounters with God and with the Spirit, but i experienced the Holy Spirit on Wednesday night in a way that i never have before.  I felt so immersed and so overtaken and I know it is something that will effect my worship life forever.

Momentum Day 2

     Leading Ministry Times in Church

This session with Hughes and Pilavachi was specifically aimed at leading times of ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.  They began by sharing some great insight and thoughts on the topic and then opened it up to questions.  It was great to hear answers to practical questions from how to lead a band in a way to allow space for God to work to working together as a pastor and worship leader.  Here were some key points that were made.

  • Make space and WAIT – invite God’s presence in, and then wait for Him to lead.
  • In waiting, when it get’s really really uncomfortable, sometimes you need to wait a little longer.
  • Don’t be afraid of allowing people to cry.  If you can’t bleed in a hospital, then where can you bleed; and if you can’t cry in a church, where can you cry.
  • Pastors and leaders – sometimes if you want to allow these times, you have to stop being such a control freak.
  • The only way to get it right is to give yourself and others permission to get it wrong.

As I said, Tim also shared some great tips on the leading of the band as well.  To be honest, the best thing I took out of this was feeling really good about my relationship with Dave and how we work together in ministry.  I am so blessed to do this stuff with a friend and a pastor who who is flexible, supportive, and encouraging.  So many others are on different pages with their lead pastors, and its great to know that Dave and I are together in this thing. 

     Acoustic Worship and Cafe Theology

Thursday night after the main session we spent time at acoustic worship with Tim Hughes.  More great worship.  Enough said.  Afterwards, we spent some time at a venue called "Cafe Theology" where we hung out for a late night discussion around tables with Paul Martin and Todd Hunter.  The topics ranged from effective friendship evangelism to postmadern ministry to the churches current emphasis on musical worship and whether it was healthy or unhealthy.  It is always interesting to hear the questions that people have and to hear other peoples thoughts and opinions.

Momentum Day 3

     Beyond Decoration: Art and the Christian Artist

This was a session exploring several aspects of art and the artists in the local church.  Some of the topics of discussion were:

  • Engaging Culture – What is "culture?"  What do we mean by "engage?"
  • Defining "Christian Artist" – How does one reconcile being an artist and a Christian?
  • Is art a viable ministry worthy of support?
  • Artists purpose – Is an artis’s responsibility to provoke and challenge or edify the body?  Or both?

This session tended to be mostly question and answer and theoretical discussion.  It was pretty clear that most "artists" in the church today tend to march to the beat of a different drummer.  A lot of artists tend to come up against opposition in the local church unless their art contains Christian icons and is always uplifting.  The most useful part of this workshop was toward the end with a short discussion on how art can be encouraged and used in the context of the local church.

     Free Worship Night

The week ended with a night of worship with Tim Hughes and Mike Pilavachi.  Jon and Jenn Gaw joined the three of us that night for a few hours of praise and worship.  Mike spoke this time on falling in love with Jesus and especially with the word of God.  It was a great end for the event.

I definately came away from the three days with some things to think about.  But most of all the time of worship throughout the three days with three seasoned worship leaders was refreshing and a blessing.  I came away feeling great about where I’m at and where we are at as a community.  I recognize that I still have a lot to lear on this journey and I’m in a great place to do it.

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