What we learned: National Worship Leader's Convention

Hello friends!
I did not do an update from day four, because by the time the evening had arrived, I was too tired to keep myself in the very uncomfortable office chair at the Comfort Inn of Overland Park. The bed was far too inviting, and I needed me sleep. So allow me a moment here to take a look back at the whole of the National Worship Leader's Conference 2009.

Overall I thought it was a great conference. One of my bigger disappointments was the lack of people around my age. There were a few of us, but you could absolutely see the disparity between "contemporary" worship and "modern" worship. People just didn't know what to do with bands like David Crowder Band and Leeland. I loved them, and was glad they were there, but I definitely felt like the exception rather than the rule. Maybe I misread things, but that's just kind of the vibe I got.

My only other complaint was that we spent just a little bit too much time on one particular style of worship, and that was loud music in one form or another. Granted, they did a VERY good job of finding a variety of musical styles to lead us in worship with. We had everything from the Rock and Roll of Leeland to Gospel in Tony Evans. I also got introduced to a bunch of worship leaders I would never have seen otherwise, and my iTunes account reflects that. But by the end, I was just kind of feeling worshipped out. I would have given anything to walk a prayer labyrinth or something like that. But all in all, the conference was great. Some of my favorite highlights:

Paul Baloche
Paul both led worship one night and spoke at a few workshops. The workshop I attended was supposed to be about creating flow in worship, but I think it turned into a bit more of the "Paul Baloche speaks his mind" hour. And what a wonderful hour it was. I think I have about 3 pages of notes to go over again from that one, just about the heart of the worship leader in church and all different kinds of ways that manifests itself. I am always so impressed by how much emphasis Paul puts on the local church, and not desiring to be a big rock star. You have to love the people God has placed before you, and I pray that God will allow me to do that more.

New Songs
It was good to hear in worship every night the kind of new songs that people are writing to bring God praises. Vicky Beaching's "Breath of God" and Paul Baloche's (...muttering because I forget the title of this excellent song...) were among the greatest. I am so looking forward to this week, sitting on the porch at Breezy Point with a guitar, and singing some new songs. And with a bigger Breezy house, maybe I won't have to worry about waking people up in the morning!

Fellowship With Worship Leaders
I really enjoyed hanging out with worship leaders from all over the country, getting to know them and their hearts a little bit better. I think it's important to remember every now and again that the kingdom is much bigger than our little congregations. Rob Bell says "It's dangerous when our world becomes THE world." So it was nice to get out and see a bunch of the world.

The Church of the Resurrection
The folks at the church that hosted us were absolutely the bomb! The little coffee nook in the lobby became my very best of friends. Even now, as I sip my lowly home-brewed Dunkin Donuts coffee, I feel as though I am missing out on the grandness that is a Monkey Mocha. So very good. But really, it was the people of this congregation that made the conference a ton of good fun.

There was so much more than that. The way David Nasser kicked all our butts on Thursday morning. The lessons on loops in worship. Rory Noland teaching me how to be a better team leader. So much good stuff! I can't wait to get back to Westminster and try out some new stuff. Timing is excellent too, as the new sound system shouldn't be that far behind, so we'll have the tools to do some of this excellent stuff.

But, there's something that comes first...

Stay tuned...