- - - -
I’ve had the great privilege to attend the Christian Musician Summit at Overlake Church in Redmond, Washington the past two days. What a great event this has been! After years of “doing” conferences at Willow Creek, and doing ministry day in day out, it is so nice to actually attend a conference and be ministered to, inspired, and refreshed. This is a unique conference only in its fourth year that I’ve had my eyes on and finally decided to attend after looking at the line up this year. Can you imagine Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Brenton Brown, Sarah Kelly, Kathryn Scott, Charlie Peacock, Leeland, Bob Kauflin, Scott Kryppayne, not to mention many of the musicians and bands behind all of them, not only performing but also teaching many sessions. This also included many well known “behind the scenes” musicians of worship, such as Carl Albrecht, Norm Stockton, and Tom Brooks - and many more too numerous to mention. I counted 175 individual sessions over the the last two days, along with 2 great evening concerts by Paul Baloche and Chris Tomlin. WOW! Sadly, the Desperation Band from New Life Church in Colorado was supposed to be here, and had canceled out for obvious reasons. It was moving to pray as a group for their ministry. I truly thank Parkview Church and Scott for allowing me to attend this event, and Jim Coates, who is worship leading and directing band in my absence this weekend.
One of the highlights for me was Paul Baloche and his band doing a worship band workshop on the main stage. I’ve always loved Paul’s band, arrangements and musicality. This was a great workshop not only to pick up some new ways to teach & talk about certain elements of playing, but also in that it affirmed to me a lot of things we’re doing RIGHT at Parkview! Things that I often wonder if it’s really necessary or needed, like paying so close attention to tempos, playing with a click etc. But these are some of the things they talked about most. Paul’s great ability as a teacher, and often-humorous manner, made it really engaging.
Another outstanding highlight for me was Bob Kauflin’s (Sovereign Grace Ministries) teaching. Two sessions I attended with Bob were “The Musician’s Heart,” and “The Role of Music In Worship.” Some challenging quotes I took from Bob’s first class:
- “Two things are happening when you’re up in front of people. The things that everyone sees, and the things that only God sees.”
- “What does God see in our hearts? Do you know that God is never fooled?”
- "We may do a great job up front, but if people are actually affected, that’s the grace of God.” “Being on a worship team is not our desire – it’s God’s calling.”
Another highlight of the conference was a beautiful worship service with Jeff Johnson that Jeff calls a “Selah Service.” This included Jeff on lush synth sounds and vocals, a pianist, and a violin. It was a toned down meditative and contemplative service that was just gorgeous and a great chance to catch your breath. At this link Jeff has gorgeous recordings that are very unique and interesting, including some acoustic Christmas recordings you can see here that are beautiful and I have used for arrangements in the past.
A few other highlights and things from the trip:
- Praise God for safe/un-eventful flights coming out here, and, if you’re reading this on Monday or before, please pray for the same going back on Monday!
- The Seattle area is truly beautiful. More trees than one can imagine and the fall colors are still gorgeous. (If wasn’t raining so much I’d have some better pictures.) The highways even through the city are lined with forest and trees. They don’t seem to have billboards here like some major cities, adding to the natural beauty. I’d love to come back and truly see the area when I have more time.
- The people out here seem really nice, joyful, very helpful, talkative and courteous – everywhere you go. Even driving I seemed to notice a general sense of people being “nice” on the road.
- I have always heard that Seattle is cold and rainy. And that is just the case: It has been cold and rainy most of the time here. Fortunately the local flooding did not (yet anyway) interfere with the conference or travels about.
- Yes, there is practically a Starbucks, or some sort of coffee house on every corner.
- Seeing good friends from Willow days, Tim and Cheryl Carson. Tim has started http://www.vocalartistry.com and was teaching several of the main vocal sessions here and had a great booth. Check it out!
- I broke my several week fast from fast food burgers and had a great mushroom and swiss burger, along with the largest onion rings I’ve ever seen, from “Kidd Valley Burgers” at a local mall which must be more regional here – excellent I must say! http://www.kiddvalley.com
- Top Pot Doughnuts are the rage here. I must agree! These leave Krispee Kreme in the dust! http://www.toppotdoughnuts.com
Boeing has the largest building (by volume) in the world there for assembly. http://www.futureofflight.org/
I’ve attached some pictures from the conference and the trip below – enjoy!
Seattle Clouds coming from the West from my hotel room.
Day one, walking into Overlake Church in the rain.
Projection of the Christian Musician Summit logo.
The stage and auditorium at Overlake. Great room and great sound!
Worship with Brenton Brown.
Onion rings at Kidd Valley Burger. Huuuuuge!
Just down the street from the church . . . you can’t get away from the Willow Creek influence I guess!!
Day two of the conference was much nicer walking in! A brief break from all the rain.
A beautiful graphic for the “Selah” Worship Service with Jeff Johnson.
The looong line waiting for the Chris Tomlin Saturday evening conference. This was open to the public as well as conference attenders.