The final day of WorshipGod 11 had one last session, capping off a wonderful end to a wonderful few days. Craig Cabaniss taught us from 1 Peter 2:9, and cautioned against seeing our worship gatherings as a complete break from “the real mission” out there, and showing from Scripture that there is to some extent a proclamation of the gospel even in the way we meet, so that unbelievers would see that God is among us:
“Our gospel witness is amplified when the people of God gather in the presence of God to proclaim to the excellencies of God.” – Craig Cabaniss, WorshipGod 11
(Note: You can listen to the MP3 of the message here)
Just before the conclusion of the conference, Bob sang a spontaneous song to encourage the younger attendees (here’s the video).
And at the very end, we were advised: “Please don’t try to apply everything you’ve learnt on your first week back!”
After lunch, we went shopping for musical instruments. Cheryl bought a mandolin, while I got an acoustic guitar. Instruments are much cheaper here than in NZ, so hopefully this guitar will better serve our church when I’m playing guitar in future. Lord willing we may see a mandolin being played one Sunday morning in the future!
We have met so many kind and generous people that it’s hard to know where to start. But here are a few we remember:
- Joseph is a 17-year-old from Germantown who attends Covenant Life Church. He seemed to exemplify a young man who acts and talks as if Christ is his life – he is about to start university this year. I (William) had the joy of singing alongside him in the conference choir as well as the live album session. He is the sort of person that writes Galatians 2:20 on the front of his shoes so he’s always reminded whenever he looks where he’s walking that he has “been crucified with Christ”. Check out his blog here: http://next–generation.blogspot.com/
- Randall has served as worship pastor at Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia for a number of years. He was very gracious to us and we enjoyed having lunch with him and talking about the Baptist denomination and other issues. We’re praying for him and his church as they are going through some contentious issues with their congregational-governed membership.
- Amy is a young woman who recently had to quit her job because it couldn’t even pay for the petrol it takes to get there. She goes to the Sovereign Grace church led by Craig Cabaniss in Anna, Texas – and we are praying that she would be able to get a job soon as a vet assistant.
We’ve been so blessed to meet and get to know so many like-minded lovers/followers of Christ.
Next: Covenant life, tears, crepe and goodbyes, Giant groceries
Update (26/08/2011): here’s the full series of our time in the USA.
Part 1: Fly, land, drive
Part 2: train, jam, steak
Part 3: sing, meet, glory
Part 4: rehearse, seminars, NZ connection, Thabiti
Part 5: edify, songwrite, organise, gather live
Part 6: mission-focused meetings, instrument shopping
Part 7: Covenant Life, tears, crepes and goodbyes, Giant groceries
Part 8: DC take 2, travelling back, final reflections