Monday, October 18, 2010
A Portrait of Excellence from Unity
Ephesians 4: 1-5, 11-16
Unity in the Body of Christ
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. [NIV]
This is the vision in my mind of a good church, with each person doing their part towards the advancing of God’s kingdom. A body united in moving forward, going wherever it is that the Holy Spirit leads them. This is one component of the vision I have for a ministry.
And I saw it in action the other week.
Hope Chapel West O‘ahu hosted the Equip & Inspire 2010 “No Limits” Conference. The conference was AMAZING. It was large. It was organized. It was moving. I could have stayed there for a whole month. I was truly equipped and inspired and I hope to share some of that in coming posts. If not, I have ordered the DVDs because I thought it was that amazing and I could not take notes fast enough! One can borrow the DVDs if one would like to view what happened.
Here, I’d like to focus on the HC WO church itself. I witnessed this church being the Body of Christ and moving as the Body of Christ.
The conference included 3 days of 4 main sessions, 12 breakout sessions, and 2 youth nights. People were volunteer working on teams for greeters, registration, vendors & convention coordination, several worship teams, dance & drama teams, A/V teams, ushers, refreshments, graphics, promotions, facilities coordination, and more. They got the adults involved, the youth involved, all kinds of people involved. No one was too busy to say a quick hello and small talk, even the supervising directors.
The worship sessions were awesome. I know some stuff about the worship leader- I trust that he’s a good Christian, that God is moving through him, that his focus is on God. At any one time, there were about 3 guitar players, a drummer, a keyboard player, about 6 singers, plus more. I mean that there were several variations of the worship team. They had male and female, old and young, different ethnicities. At times, this person’s voice led and then that person had a solo and somewhere in the middle another voice rang out, almost like it was coordinated but not rigid, or like it was being coordinated by the Holy Spirit, truly. They had hula dancers and sign language people mixed in a few times, right along with the worship, not as separate entities but as one united whole. Some of the worship members were involved in some of the drama intro videos also.
I’m not saying that the conference was perfect; I can’t know that everything ran smoothly and as it was supposed to. Yet, from an audience member’s perspective, it was thoroughly enjoyable. From where I sat and where I walked and what I observed, it was a perfectly run conference. Things were on time, ended on time, in good supply, etc. I have nothing to complain about. Nothing.
It’s possible that among the HC WO people, including volunteers and leaders, it’s possible that some were just going through the motions, just doing what they think is good without thought to glorifying God. It’s possible.
What is not possible is to have the majority of their congregation just going through the motions and produce the conference that they did.
I saw excellence from unity. They did what they promised; they equipped and inspired me and I know that others were affected as well. They gave all the credit to their main guy, the senior pastor, and his wife. The pastor and wife gave all the credit back to their workers. Credit was even given to their church members, whether they volunteered time or not because they hosted. The whole thing was amazing.
I can list a number of reasons why I want to attend HC WO. I desire to be a part of that kind of unity and that kind of excellence that follows the unity. The church is closer to my home. My friend attends this church. I know that if I go there, I will grow, I will be loved, I will have no shortage of opportunities to serve Christ. I would BELONG there. At HC WO, I wouldn’t be invisible to the group that God calls me to; I wouldn’t be invisible to the church at large. At the moment, it would be easier to start off fresh at this church than to continue where I am.
Of all the churches I have ever visited, I would LOVE to be at HC WO. Next time, I will tell you why I’m not going to be attending HC WO any time soon.