Setlist: Kingsway Christian Church (2 February 2014)

It’s an honour to be invited back to Kingsway Christian Church to lead worship. It’s been months since I’ve gone to Kingsway. The last time I was there, they were still meeting on Sunday evenings.

I can’t wait to see what God is doing in their midst and the growth they are experiencing. As it says in Phil 1:6, I am confident that God who began a good work in Kingsway will be faithful to bring it to completion!

We are doing a small acoustic set this week. Here are the songs:

// God is Able (A)
// Alive in Us (A)
// Here I Am to Worship (E)
// We Glorify Your Name (A)

Here is the youtube clip for We Glorify Your Name. What a great song with a simple structure and powerful lyrics.

2013 in Review: A Year of Open Doors

I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of another year.

In preparation for the new year, which I am calling the “Year of His Presence”, Ling and I have spent most of the last couple of days trying to remodel and reimagine our study room. The piano (not that I play it) and guitar will still be there, but we are setting a nice comfy chair right in the middle of the room where we can meet with God, read the Bible, pray and worship. It will be a space much like in the story Pastor Benny shared of the guy whose life changed as he met with God on his special rocking chair and in line with what Ken Lee recently preached about “making room for God’s presence”.

But even as we prepare for the coming year, it is always good to reflect back on the year that was.

The theme for this year was from Isaiah 22:22:

I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

What a wonderful promise for those who praise, because praise is the key to the open door. And it has indeed been a year of open doors and unceasing fruitfulness.

In January of this year, I had the privilege of going to East Timor on a short-term mission trip. Our church had been making a concerted and consistent effort to plant an indigenous church in the village of Kamalalera. It was the first time I had been on a third world mission and we were able to minister to a group of believers there. At this point in time, FCC is already on a program of training indigenous leaders towards planting a “church proper”.

Photo9

I also had an awesome holiday in Bali straight after the mission trip with some of my cell group who had come along on missions.

In February, I started a Certificate in Creative Ministries course at Metroworship Academy, the first course of its type in Perth. It was great connecting with other worship leaders in our city studying the course and being inspired by some amazing teaching.

In March, I had the privilege of leading worship as we inaugurated the House of Prayer for Everyone WA. I also had an awesome holiday with Ling in Melbourne as we celebrated her birthday. Needless to say, I came back with some excess weight.

In April, I began having talks with Ps Benny about taking up leadership in the worship ministry at FCC. It was a scary thought since I didn’t really want to have much involvement in local church leadership, but it turned out to be a highlight for the year!

In May, I had the honour of leading a worship segment at Global Day of Prayer. I also had an amazing time at our Young Working Adults Camp, and I’m pretty sure that during the camp, we discovered a new worship leader in our church 🙂

In June, I did my first ever “paid gig”! I was invited to lead worship at a Deborah Company conference and I served with an amazing team of musos from FCC and (then) Influencers City Church.

In July, our amazing worship director Lisa Palm started a new church plant, Kingsway Christian Church and Dave Wong took up the worship directorship. I had the honour of being his Assistant Worship Director. For a young person, Dave has shown a maturity beyond his years. He is fearless, full of conviction and passion and wise in his decision-making. I have been so blessed to work with Dave and our amazing leadership team. Thanks Dave, Yvette, Kimmy, EP, Lukey, Joe Wee and Addie for making it such a joy to help lead this ministry.

In August, Darren and I organised our first ever Warehouse Session. (I realised I never got the chance to blog on it!) The idea was we would just gather a group of worshippers, position ourselves in a circle, and just worship off our instruments. For many of us who serve in our respective worship ministries, it’s sometimes difficult to just tune out of the technicalities. In part, our faithfully presiding over our musicianship is part of the worship offering we give to God on Sundays. But we thought it’d be pretty special if, every now and then, we could just gather and worship without a secondary audience, without anyone to pastor, without worrying about a congregation.

So we hired a rehearsal studio and did just that. With musos from South City Church, FCC, Kingsway Christian Church and The Big Table, we just went for it for a solid couple of hours. It was a time of refreshing in God’s presence.

Here are some pics courtesy of the awesome drummer Clement Ch’ng!

Warehouse Session 1 Warehouse Session 3 Warehouse Session 4 Warehouse Session 5 Warehouse Session 6 Warehouse Session 7

In September, Dave, Lisa and I had the privilege of leading worship at a conference called “Festival of Light”. We met some amazing musos from other churches too who served with us on the team.

In October, I got to sing for Ray Badham from Hillsong. It was freakin’ awesome.

In November, I got to lead worship at FCC with my good friend Ps Yoy Alberastine. Ps Yoy used to lead worship at FCC before itinerating, but he’s come back into the worship team and we finally co-led together in our common home church!

In December, I graduated from Metroworship Academy! And my brother and sister-in-law had their first child (my niece, Emily). Sadly however, my sister moved to Korea to pursue a career in English teaching. Whilst I’ll miss her, I’m proud of the fact that she has taken the bold step to live and work in another country.

I thank God for another amazing year, for an awesome wife, great cell group, best ministry team ever, fantastic band and an amazing home church. Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!

 

 

The Closing of a Chapter: A Tribute to Lisa Palm

God and His Word are constant. But everything else changes. We are resistant to change because of our natural inertia. We like the tried, true and familiar.

But change is often a catalyst for growth. When God brings something to an end, He also brings about the birth of something new. When one chapter closes, a new one opens.

Today, the worship ministry of Faith Community Church (FCC) farewelled our beloved Worship Director, Lisa Palm, as Lisa and her husband, Peet, are sent out from FCC to plant a new congregation in the northern suburbs, Kingsway Christian Church. I am excited for them because of their vision and heart not only for their congregation, but for the kingdom of God in the city.

Lisa and Peet have been in FCC for about three years, and they were very much part of the reason why I ended up there as well! Not that I knew them before, but I knew that they were part of the ministry of Harvest Evangelism which was committed to the work of city transformation. I had followed the work of Ed Silvoso and Harvest Evangelism for quite a while, and was surprised to find that an offshoot of that ministry was actually now based in FCC.

I remember seeing Lisa lead worship during one of the first few times we visited FCC before making it our home. There was such a strong worship anointing on her! There was no question that I wanted to be part of such a worship ministry!

But getting to know Lisa, I would never have known (at least not from her own mouth) that I was working with a worship leader with an international ministry. Lisa was always easy-going, infectious in her laughter and low-key. She walked in grace and humility. The younger members of our team called her Momma Lisa, because she never saw her position as something to lord over others. Instead, she truly believed in the next generation and always pushed others out in front of her.

I remember once saying to Lisa that “with a ministry like yours, you should really put yourself out there more…” What I meant was that she should stamp her personality more on our church’s worship. But then I realised keeping a low profile, humbly walking with people, encouraging them to reach their potential, creating opportunities for others – that was Lisa’s ministry. A public profile was incidental and a God-ordained bonus as a result of her faithfulness in the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Many people today, including myself, will reflect on just how much we have been impacted by Lisa. It has truly been an honour to serve beside such an amazing servant of God.

But of course, today was not really a farewell at all. Now that Lisa is in a new congregation, it is another opportunity to reach across congregational boundaries and work together. I’m looking forward to serving with Lisa in different worship projects beyond our respective churches and also helping out from time to time with worship in her new congregation.

So Lisa, may this next chapter in your ministry be your best one yet. May the glory of the latter exceed the glory of the former. Your best days are ahead of you!

Thanks for believing in, and activating the seed of greatness, in so many of us, especially the younger ones at FCC. You have left some difficult shoes to fill!

Here is a video which we played in our final worship team meeting as we paid tribute to our outgoing worship director.

Special thanks to Mark Loy and Nooch for putting the video together!