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Friday, July 08, 2005

Day #4, Sessions 1-4

Yes, you read correctly...DAY #4. A girl at church had a registration for the Worship Faculty for Hillsong conference this year, but didn't WANT to attend (I know, I'm still wondering). So, I took it off her hands for her. Then, I asked my boss for Thursday off (otherwise known as "Michael W Smith Day"), and she said YES!!

God must read my blog :)

So we left for conference at 7:30am...I'm usually still hitting snooze at that time of the day....and due to traffic, we arrived at 9:00, just as the first session with Reinhard Bonnke was starting. Luckily, the friends I went with were interpreting for the deaf, so we had allocated seating. How good is not lining up?! Reinhard was incredible. His passion for saving the lost has so consumed him, he can talk of nothing else. Just listening to him convicts you. Do you know how many salvations he's seen since 2000? I think at last count it was around 83,000,000. That's right - 83 MILLION!!!

As soon as that session was over, it was time for the hike down to the State Sports Centre - a good 10-15 minute walk. I hate walking in groups - everyone has longer legs than me, so I'm walking twice as fast to keep up, then I get all flustered and hot. Anyway...it was time for the stream session with the one and only Michael W Smith!!!

He took to the stage and spoke for a few minutes, then jumped behind his piano. The session was rife with technical problems - from microphones not working, to Michael's piano sounding like a tinny toy piano....then everything started working with a BANG (almost literally). Michael led the Worship faculty in worship for the next half an hour. I love it when people in creative ministries worship together. There's just something different about it. During the worship, Michael shared about how important it is to be quiet in worship, and not rush to fill the gap. This is one thing that I love about worship - the quiet. It unnerves us, and I think the reason that is so is because we (ie the worship team) are no longer "in control" - It's truly God at work. Michael said that "maybe if we're quiet more, we'll hear God more..." simple, but profound.

After the worship, Michael shared his testimony...but in reality, he was enjoying talking about his wife and their 5 children. His love for his wife and children just was so plain to see...it was obvious to everyone in the room that his family really does come first. When he spoke of his family, his face just lit up :)

Then MWS opened the floor for a Q&A time...and I got frustrated. Instead of questions, it was like people were trying to prove that they were the biggest fan. Of course, there were the great questions - "what inspired you to write ....?", "what do you do when you get writers block?", etc, but often they were hidden inside "self promotion" - "look at me, I'm really good too"...! There was a beautiful older lady who stood and thanked Michael for "one of your albums - the orange one"...Michael loved it! Oh - for all the MWS album collectors out there, he also apologised for the album covers and asked our forgiveness for getting a perm...!

The third session for the day was called "What I know to be true about worship", and the speakers were Vera Kasovich (Hillsong Kiev), and Jeff Crabtree (CCC Oxford Falls, Principal of SCA). Vera spoke about worship as being a balancing act, and how God weighs and measures our worship. The more in balance it is, the more pleasing it is. This sounds strange, but I'll try and explain it at a later date (I'm at work and my notes are at home). Jeff spoke on worship in the musical sense of the word, and how music is a spiritual force that we need to harness. I'll also post on this later. I think it was one of the most profound teachings on worship I've heard for a LONG time.

The fourth session for the day was with Michael W Smith's band, basically a Q&A session for muso's, and a chance to get an inside look at a touring band. Very interesting. If you want more info, you'll probably have to ask in the comments....

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