Last weekend, although exhausting was just brilliant. Mum and I went to the TWIST music ministry conference – i just posted the following on the Sydney Anglicans website, thought i may as well put it here too:
I went to TWIST and found it incredibly uplifting and challenging. As always, it was just wonderful to be in a room with so many other people who were there to be moved by God, to worship him, and to give him thanks for the gifts he has given us. I think no matter what else you think of Emu (and that has been discussed in great detail elsewhere), you have to concede there is great value in running an event like TWIST, aimed at building up those in music ministry to serve God’s people in as godly a manner as possible.
Bryson Smith gave some very confronting and yet encouraging talks on 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. A couple of things that stuck with me from the talks were that although music ministry is very important, it is not the most important ministry or gift, and us musos can sometimes get this out of perspective. We need to remember why we are serving in this manner and remember that it is indeed service, not self-promoting performance. We also reflected on 1 Cor 13, and how we need to serve in love – we can play the most brilliant music, write the most amazing songs, but if we do not have love all of that is just the sound of a clanging cymbal in God’s ears.
We learned and recorded some excellent new songs for the next Emu live CD, which is due out in a couple of months. The recording itself was great fun, but the structure of the evening meant that it was a really valuable praise and reflection time. A definite foretaste of heaven (which made it really hard to leave at the end of the evening and cope with Sydney traffic on the way home!).
The workshops were helpful, although as the conference has grown so much it has lost some of the ‘hands on’ feel that there was in previous years (though this seems like a good problem to have!). Even so, one really good thing was being able to talk to people from all different kinds of churches – various denominations, big churches, small churches, places that have 5 services and 10 music teams and others that just have a piano and a euphonium – and to pray for one another and be aware that we can draw on the wealth of such varied experiences.
I come from a church where we have a fairly small, overworked music team, and it’s really easy to get discouraged and tired. So it was just great to be able to go away, drink in God’s word, have my spiritual and musical tools resharpened and my vision refocused, and to feel that I couldn’t wait to get back into it when I went back to church on Sunday night!
You could say I had a good time. 🙂