Over the past few months, as part of our worship team’s vision to hone and strengthen our craft, our vocalists have been going through group coaching with Mel Crothers, a worship leader, singer and performing artist in our city.
To cap it all off, our vocals director, Sunray Zheng, decided to put on a special worship set on 30 September 2018: led by a choir of over 25 of our singers.
It just so happened that that Sunday was also the first Sunday of Faith Community Church’s moving into our new facility. It was an apt way to start our first service, because in my view, nothing is more representative of worshipping congregation than having a choir lead worship. It speaks of the power of multifarious voices united to create a sound that no one person can muster on their own – differing gifts combined into a greater whole that is more than the sum of its parts. A picture of the church, really.
Sunray contextualised the moment with an apt setlist, beginning with “Trading My Sorrows” to remind us that we were leaving our past behind and moving forward into our new season; culminating in the powerful declaration of “What a Beautiful Name It Is” (in gospel version with Siska Sands on lead) and ending with “When I Think About the Lord” (featuring Ritchell Lim). It was a reminder that the God who was faithful in the past will continue to be faithful into the future.
I’m looking forward to a season of new influence and new territory for FCC.
I love what God has been doing in our church lately. The only way I can put it is that God is bringing us into a season of breakthroughs. Glass ceilings are being broken through. Things which we thought could not be done are being done – and so naturally as well, without strain or striving.
Micah 2:13 (MSG) says:
Then I, God [the Lord of the Breakthrough] will burst all confinements and lead them out into the open. They’ll follow their King. I will be out in front leading them.
When God breaks out in front, he clears the way for us to simply follow Him into the open, into new territory.
For me, it began just before the end of the financial year, when our worship team had its team night. Dave Wong, our then worship director, was just about to be appointed worship pastor. Just before that, he and his girlfriend had, through what can only be divine orchestration, been asked to feature on a Sony Asia youtube commercial about long-distance relationships.
Here is the commercial:
And here is the full version of the song used in the commercial, which was actually written by Dave.
The commercial has already had over 540,000 views at the time of writing.
I told our team that it was significant that this happened on the eve of Dave’s installation. It was a prophetic moment for our ministry, because our worship pastor had broken through the song-writing barrier for us. We knew that if Dave could write a song which got recorded by Sony (!), then the idea of our ministry writing songs for our congregation, and eventually recording them, would not just be a pipe dream.
Next, came Children’s Sunday, the culmination of a three day Children’s Church camp. During the camp, the kids (with Cathie and Brandon Clancie) had written a song about Jesus being their superhero! And they led the congregation in the song that Sunday! And more surprising still, an eight year old girl had also written her own song which she performed in front of the whole church.
Not only that, our eyes were opened to the fact that the children could indeed minister as an adult would. I think for many, the limitations that we had put on kids ministry was lifted!
Then last week, our Young Working Adults zone hosted its very first Perspectives Conference: a whole-day conference about Christian engagement in the marketplace. Over 300 people, many from other churches and even unchurched people, came to hear notable Christian leaders in business speak. And we began to dream about what transformation in the marketplace might look like. It is probably the first conference of its type in our city. Yet another trailblazing moment. (I’ll write more about the Perspectives Conference shortly).
To top it all of, on the weekend just past, I had the privilege of leading worship at church. It was probably one of my favourite sessions so far this year. As you may know, I’ve been mentoring worship leaders in our church, and as part of the practical component, Dave and I have been getting them to co-lead worship with us on Sunday.
Last Sunday, I had Sunray Zheng and Ritchell Lim co-lead with me. It took away so much pressure to know that others were sharing the load. And the band just brought it. It was just an amazing time, with Ps Benny coming up to give an exhortation towards the end. The whole worship set lasted about 50 minutes!
Here is the recording:
I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next!