Saturday, July 22, 2006

Praise from Berlin

First of all, check out the pictures from and clicking on "Fotos".

Last post I talked about the early part of the Global Gathering. The day was split into 3 parts, and after we sang in the international choir, we had the first short break. I met a worship leader from Toronto (Allen Fros?) while in line to get a brat! It was cool to hear the stories of people who had come to this event.

The second set was meant to have a focus of intercession and prayer. This section was the hardest for me, as sometimes it felt like we were trying to build up some momentum from the initial buzz. Some prophetic people came out at one point and gave words about Germany rising up. I appreciated the word about Germany having a heritage of church music, and that God would call them back to joy and song again. This meshed with some of what my wife and I had felt during our time traveling in Germany.

At this point my three young boys, who had been troopers our whole trip, needed a little time outside the stadium. We went outside for an ice cream and run-the-boys-around break. There were always a lot of people on the outside of the stadium, checking out the booths or kicking back on the grass. I wonder how much some of these folks missed out on. I guess we missed Kings Kids performance, which was disappointing since I wanted the boys to see them. It was interesting that this group, and another leader worshipping with kids, all had technical problems where their microphones weren't working. Out of all of the performers, only the two that focused on kids had the difficulty. Definitely sounds like warfare to me!

David Ruis brought the second section to a close. He's recently moved in more "experimental" worship, I guess you could call it (see his album The Mystery). He played some of his classic songs with a different touch than the original arrangement, but his heart for the "mystery of God" really led us into touching heaven. In fact, I wish he could've kept going, because it felt that we were close to a "breakthrough" when he stopped, but it was time for another break.

We moved into the evening, and the praise really seemed to raise at this point. Through the day it felt like we were plowing ground, and it took more of a choice to worship. I think when we come to such an event, the expectation can be that we just have to show up and the worship will be there to lift us to the heavens. But it was a choice - tuning out the people around us, tuning out my boys playing and fighting at my feet :), and not worrying about my expectations and just focusing on Jesus alone.

Tim Hughes came on in the evening. He is a younger worship leader, but he does have insight and anointing. His song "Here I Am to Worship" has been a powerful song in the church, but this night it meant a lot more to me. I feel like I laid myself bare before the Lord and worshipped Him with everything I had. It was my personal highlight, as I felt His gentle touch on me as I poured my heart out to Him.

The evening seemed to have the other "big names", if you will: Reuben Morgan, Delerious?, Matt Redman. (Other notables from the day were Judy Bailey, Kees Kraayenoord, I Themba, Broken Walls, and of course Noel Richards). The evening led us up in praise, and the excitement in the stadium increased. There was one point where I think it was Reuben had led us in some exciting, upbeat worship. Then a German worship group followed and immediately switched to a more intercessory type of worship - which could've been very powerful, but the switch was kind of jarring. Of course, it didn't help that the crowd started doing the Wave, which happened many times through the night. Having someone reverently call out to the Holy Spirit while the crowd is going, "Wooooo" and watching for their turn to stand doesn't flow.

The evening also had a call to missions, which I will talk about more next time. The evening ended simply, with Noel Richards closing us on a new worship song that spoke of the nations worshipping Jesus. We left the stadium with our bodies exhausted, but our spirits exultant in spending the day with the fellowship of the saints in worship.

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