Posted by Craig Borlase on 3 October 2014

Doug Williams on Mission Worship WeAreWorship

What keeps you coming back to Mission Worship?

Doug Williams: Aside from the fact that they keep on asking me?! There’s a growing community of people who see this as an event for them to be committed to. So, even though I don’t think it’s always the same people every year, Mission Worship is a community that’s on a journey, not just a group of people who are dipping in and dipping out. There’s a trajectory in this and I like the fact that I can be there and see this growth, to hear how people are putting things they learn at the con-ference into a mission context, how they’re growing, how things have been factored into the life of their church congregations. I love being a part of that.

WAW: Have you seen your own home church’s journey improve as a result of Mission Worship?

DW: Definitely. We’ve had a number of our worship leaders and musicians go, and there’s a trickle down effect of the concepts they pick up at the conference. They also get exposed to a lot more than just my pastoring and I’m glad they can glean from a variety of preachers and then bring that home to the church. Their concepts and ideas about worship and mission have grown and expanded - there’s an unde-niable growth factor. But it also leads into the way that we’ve done our worship teams; picking up ideas, concepts, using some of the resources that have come through. We’ve picked up some of the songwriting material - like Paul Baloche’s stuff - and benefitted from a whole range of different resources that wouldn’t be available to us elsewhere. With all that going on at a team level it then impacts the church; when the people in your worship teams are more confident and competent it’s going to have a knock on effect in the life of our church. Watching that as a pastoral leader makes me very happy.

WAW: Mission Worship gets a great cross-section of Christians coming along to it. What can urban churches learn from urban and urban learn from rural?

DW: Urban churches can often latch onto the newer, more edgy things in worship quite quickly, whereas it can take a long while to filter back to the more rural churches, where it seems like they often stick with what they know. So rural churches could learn how to access newer, fresher mate-rial; at the end of the day a lot of the young people in the rural context are exposed to new stuff but they don’t see that reflected in their local church. By their very nature of being out of the rat race, rural churches can have a great sense of commu-nity beyond church services. In the urban churches we get in, have our two hour slots for church then disappear off into their own billiard pocket. There’s not the sense of community cohesion that I feel there is in some rural churches.

WAW: What are you looking forward to this year?

DW: We’ve had new songs before, presented from well-known artists, but what I’m particularly ex-cited about is that there’s now an opportunity to hear new songs from people who have been com-ing to the event over the years. There’s a young guy coming on board called Jake Isaac (who hap-pens to be my Godson) and he has been working in a number of secular venues as well, as a Christian artist, doing really well. He’s going to help out with some new songs at Mission Worship this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of creativity is happening and where our next na-tional worship leaders will emerge from. Who knows, maybe they’ll come from Mission Worship?

WAW: Sounds like it’s going to be a good one.

DW: I think it is. And I’m really excited that those two words - mission and worship - are still in the same sentence, otherwise we get very self-absorbed about this act of worship and it never trans-lates into a sense of mission and community. Once you get caught up with God in worship you get caught up with His agenda for saving men and women. When that happens you’re not just singing nice songs; as you get a revelation of God you end up like Isaiah, saying ‘here am I, send me’.

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