This article is by Brian Fink-Jensen, who leads the contemporary style music gospel band at Holy Trinity Church in Utrecht on the first Sunday of the month at 10:30am and on the third Saturday of the month at the 7:30pm Evening Prayer and Praise services.
Dear brothers and sisters,
From the 24th until the 28th of June I have had the pleasure of visiting a conference called “The Week” in Birmingham. This is a jam packed few days dedicated to training worship leaders – both in who they are and what they do. I went there to be inspired, challenged, have fun and to grow in leading our worship band in the church. About 120 worship leaders from all over the UK and abroad (including a couple of other Dutchies from Drachten) participated. I stayed in a hostel nearby Gas St. Church (this is where the conference took place). It so happened to be that the Dutch people stayed at the same hostel as I did. I enjoyed their company a lot.
The program consisted of main sessions, hubs and streams. Every day would containthese elements. In the main sessions we had a time of worshipping together as well as listening to teaching (John Mark Comer is a great speaker!). The hubs were basically groups of ten people where we would connect with each other on a personal level. And streams were masterclasses in a certain topic (my topic was theology, the other topics were creativity and team dynamics). In the theology stream I learned about the historical background of worship music and the underlying beliefs andassumptions that charismatics value in worship music.
The input we received this conference was huge as it touched upon different areas of life. It was about leadership, personal development, emotional and spiritual growth, song writing, church life and many more topics. I learned quite a bit on all these different levels. Although the program was rather intense because of this as well.
The thing that stood out to me was the space for creativity during the conference,especially during the main sessions. At a certain moment the leader would invite us to praise God in our own words and melodies, which then harmonized beautifully together. Or at some point you could just walk up to the microphone and sing your own new words. Those words would then be typed into the screens and everyone would join in singing those words. Out of those moments came new songs.
Dinner time was the part of each day that we were off. On Wednesday I had the pleasure of having dinner with Trevor and Karen, who live close to Birmingham.
The Week has been an amazing experience. My passion for praising God through singing and making music has increased. I am very much looking forward to serving in the music team the coming year. There is a lot I’ve learned that I can hopefully put to practice in our all age worship and our prayer and praise services.
And by the way, should you be interested in joining our band, please do let me know! You don’t have to be able to play every single time, if that is the reason for you not to join in. Currently we are looking for a percussionist and a bass player. But if you play any other instrument which you think might fit in (e.g. violin), also just contact me!