Be Strong & Courageous & Bold
2021 Vision & Goals
Leaving 2020 behind has been the talk of the world for the last few months, in earnest expectation of a much more different outlook in 2021.
It’s almost been a coping mechanism, to say well this is just for a time and I can get my normal back next year. But the reality is that this year though we may see off a lot of the virus. We’re gonna face maybe even worse things. We don't know what’s coming. Theres been a lot of unrest in America from all the elections and I know a lot of that is affecting us here in the UK too.
But also this made me think, those that will be entering this new year with blinkers on, that everything will magically change - means that theres going to be a-lot of discouragement going around. A lot of dismay and confusion. And the worlds answers to the pandemic won’t work the same anymore. They will need Jesus in their lives. A hope that will never fail us.
For New Years Eve before we got taken down by Coronavirus, myself and Amandah were agreeing a set list for the service. And for the weeks leading up to it, I felt this strong sense in my spirit that we needed to be very strong and very courageous going into this new year. Because even if say everything goes back to “normal” this year, there will still be a very present fear in peoples lives and hearts. Because of what we have experienced in 2020.
I heard the words be bold. So we were really intentional with the songs we chose, which was songs like You Make Me Brave, God I Look To You, Victors Crown, Living Hope.
We felt it important to enter the new year on the right foot. Being strong and courageous to face whatever awaits us in the new year. And being intentional about it to be that.
It was funny, because i hadn’t spoken to Rachel about what i had on my heart for this year, but she basically said it all right at the start of You Make Me Brave. She spoke about being Bold. Being courageous and being Strong.
It says in
Deuteronomy 31:6- 8 NIV
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
It says in that verse, do not be afraid, do not be terrified and i have to admit, I often feel afraid of what’s coming. But God says he will always be with us. Not only will he go through it by our side as it is happening. But he’s already been there before it happens winning that battle for us.
Do you know what that means? All we have to do is Rely on him. Thats all. Read his word, praise his name and tell him what’s on our minds. Pray for those that you know are struggling, physically or mentally.
And it actually says the words - be strong and courageous 25 times, 4 of which is God saying it, it talks about courage many more times and taking heart. Usually when the bible repeats something its because you should take note. Nothing in the bible is in there by accident or used just coz it fits.
What does it mean to be strong and courageous?
Being intentional is how i believe how you can be Strong and Courageous, its not just this feeling inside that comes from nothing, it's the intentionality to give it to God to trust the words he said to us. That he will never leave us or forsake us.
It’s an intentionality that you have to look at it from Gods view rather than the worlds view.
Olu mentioned about an interesting parallel the other day about the life of David, before he met Saul.
1 Samuel 16-18 MSG
“One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him.”
Some of the things listed in this scripture were:
- he was a excellent musician (which means he’s put lots of time an energy and intentionality into his skill and talent)
- He was courageous - i think this is something that is really underestimated as a worshipper.
- of age (mature)
- Well Spoken - good communicator (again something that I'm sure he will have worked on)
- Good looking (healthy and strong)
- He carried God with him wherever he went. People could tell that he walked with God.
When he broke this down for me, i was like wow yeah I never thought of it that way before.
David was very intentional with everything he did. Very calculated. But always intentional with his time and decisions as you look at his life through the bible.
How can we courageous?/ Where does our strength come from?
We need to be praying into these areas for ourselves and for others.
Our Strength comes from taking a position of knowing God is supreme and in control over it all.
Our strength is simply God!
How can we be courageous in worship?
I think in worship there are many ways you can be courageous in worship.
Theres the physical aspect of trying things you haven’t done before that would make you uncomfortable - as in out of your comfort zone.
But the big one i think would be mentally, being courageous in worship. Taking a risk. For me my taking a risk is talking. Even with just the welcome. Any words i say, its taking a risk that i might say something wrong or people might misunderstand. And that terrifies me.
And because of my personality, I sometimes just have word vomit. I get nervous n then want to hide away. Or if I had something prepared and like i miss something, I panic. Panic is not my friend.
And thats just the welcome. Let alone if i wanted to say something in the middle.
Thats part of me being courageous in worship. It won’t look the same for everyone. For example, I have noticed a lot of people hate to speak on the mic but then Shernette and Rachel for example, give them a mic n theres no fear. So for them being courageous will look like something different for them.
Musically, you might look at the song Glorious Day with the breakdown after the last chorus and it might terrify you. but if that happens look at it and say it's time to be courageous… almost like a super power. Haha.
Worship Leaders - You can be more courageous at picking songs… a lot of us look at the set list and say hmm.. what should i pick, well i like this song, i like that song. But thats that persons song or that persons song. When really a lot of that is just being scared to take on a song thats had another leader do it an god moved.
God can move in that song for you too. Don't be scared. Or it may genuinely be you think the song is too hard for you. Take a risk. I find when you're obedient to what you feel God has placed on your heart and you're scared of what could happen God enters into that space.
It takes a stepping out to be courageous.
Take people on a journey through your set lists.
Take more risks.
And most importantly, I like to have this thought whenever I worship -
worship like your life depended on it.
So not half hearted, but to the point of giving everything i can physically and spiritually give.
I remember giving a word I think last year where I said it should cost you something to worship. And I said for me, it's my energy.
So I like go home and i have no energy, I start getting a headache n I have to nap. But thats coz I've spent all my energy on worshipping God.
And I think thats something we should all ask our selves. What is it costing us?
Not saying that it should be that you should all go home and need to nap. You all should know what that cost is for you personally.
SO Remember. Worship like your life depended on it.
BE STRONG, BE COURAGEOUS!!
God is with you always
- Worship Leaders meetings -
To discuss and touch base with everyone any points that are on peoples hearts and to grow in this area. - every two months. First one Wednesday 3rd March.
- Build on our knowledge musically - improve our musicality - by working together in workshops
- Set Teams - see them grow and work in unexpected ways.
- See a continued growth in our worship from week to week, that will be aided by spontaneous & worship nights
- A new hunger to see what God has in store for us as a church and individuals.
- Return of PA Masterclasses
- Special arrangements for certain events in the year.