About 5 years ago a handful of worship pastors told me about a special group of worship pastors called Metro 2. They discussed what a huge encouragement it was and so I looked into it. When I first called, there was a waiting list, and it took a few years to get the call. When I finally got an email accepting me into the group, I was told that I had to attend their conference, but the date did not work with my church calendar and therefore I could not attend. No attendance, no membership. So, I tried to get in the list again, and this year all the stars aligned. This past week I was blessed to attend my first Metro 2 worship leader conference. Let me tell you, it exceeded every expectation, and in 4 days, I was literally blessed with the opportunity to make new life-long friendships. It was such an incredible blessing for me personally and for my ministry. Let me use this post to highlight some of the most obvious takeaways from the last few days.
The Word of God was Fresh and Powerful
I was blessed and challenged by several different messages brought from the word of God. Chris Winford Brough us a devotion from II Samuel 6 that asked the question, Are you in a Spiritual Quarantine? We were reminded that our most important discipline must be spending time in the presence of the Lord through prayer and time in the Word. Loved the fun explanation that David danced before the Lord in his underwear in 6:14. There were many takeaways from that message, the most memorable being:
The worship leader must stand before the Lord, before he stands before the congregation.
We must confess when we are peering out the window in judgment of others instead go dwelling in the presence of God.
I was also challenged by Psalm 103, Matthew 21, I Chronicles 14, 20, Isaiah 30, Ephesians 6, so thankful for the emphasis on the Word of God this week.
One of the greatest blessing this week was a whole new collaboration of resources and ideas from worship leaders who are in a similar context to mine. It was unbelievable to meet 55 other worship pastors from large churches with a choir and an orchestra. Sometimes it is easy to feel like the style God has called us to minister with at Westside is unheard of anywhere else, and it was nice to meet several guys who are serving in a similar fashion with passion and excellence.
We had many great breakout sessions where we discussed everything from preparing for retirement to audio broadcast, we discussed choir ministry outreach, generational worship, staff meeting strategies, managing a large music staff ministry, Ableton, Music Publishers, Spiritual and Physical Disciplines.
One of the most practical takeaways were this list of questions to ask in staff meeting:
- What was good about this past Sunday at WBC?
- What was bad about this past Sunday at WBC?
- What was missing this past Sunday from WBC?
- What was confusing this past Sunday from WBC?
I believe if we ask ourselves these questions each week, we will continue to move forward in every area of our ministry.
There were so many incredible elements of this past week, but nothing was more overwhelming than the warm and friendly welcome that these worship leaders gave to me over the 4 days we were together. I do not think I have ever been in a more welcoming and gracious group of people. I met men who made me feel like we have been best friends for decades. There was one particular man who I noticed greeted every single person that he walked past, and made every single person feel special and appreciated. I want more of that in my life. I met guys who do massive $200,000 Easter event and they were so down to earth and humble about how God is using them in their ministry.
Everyone was willing to share anything they had. Ideas, resources, cell phone numbers. It was remarkable. Finally, there were a group of about 5-6 first timers who came without our wives and we were able to spend extra time together getting to know each other, talk ministry, music, people, and theology. It was a tremendous blessing for me.
Thank you, Lord
In conclusion, I will just say, thank you Lord for this group of men. They have made a significant impact on me personally and in my ministry within just a few days together. I will be taking the things that I have learned and putting them into practice in the weeks and months ahead.