WorshipGod11: The Gathering, (Aug. 10-13), is a little under three months away. I’m excited that Bryan Chapell, Ray Ortlund, Jr., Thabiti Anyabwile, Craig Cabaniss, Enfield, Sojourn, Shai Linne, Don Whitney, and a few others will be joining us as we reflect on what kind of story our meetings are telling.
One of the 40 seminars we’ll offer will be taught by Joseph Stigora, who serves on the pastoral team at Covenant Fellowship in Glen Mills, PA. His seminar is called “Behind Closed Doors.” It addresses the relationship between our public and private worship. I asked him a few questions about his topic.
1. What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message?
I hope that people come away with a sense of hunger and desire to spend time daily with the Lord. I also hope they see the clear connection between the time we spend individually with the Lord each day and how the Spirit uses that when we gather together as a congregation. Not only is our personal expression of worship strengthened but the Spirit uses the gifts in individuals to encourage and build up the whole church gathered.
2. How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
It has made me more aware of God being at work in the congregation and also helped me to lead the congregation well.
3. How are people best going to be served by coming to this seminar?
I think they’ll catch a vision for how the church works together as a body when we are gathered. I think they’ll also see that fostering our individual relationships with the Lord has a profound affect on the church as a whole. When we gather to pray together, our personal experiences in private prayer will make a difference because we will have seen the Lord move in our own lives. When we gather to declare his praise in song, we will aware of how our hearts have been filled with joy when we sang songs of worship to him alone. When we are experiencing fellowship, encouraging one another or counseling one another, what God spoke to us in his Word in our devotions becomes a means of strengthening each other.
4. What do you find are the most common problems for people in the area you’ll be teaching on?
I think consistency in personal devotions is something that many people, including myself, struggle with. There are seasons when we find consistency and discipline and we rejoice in that. Throw in a vacation, a new baby, a day off or just extra time at work or school and we can feel like our quiet time is a car that has lost a wheel and is stranded on the side of the road. Meanwhile, everybody else seems to be sailing past us down the road. In these times, I think it is important to do what we need to repent, battle condemnation and find grace motivation to engage with God consistently again.
Registration for WorshipGod11 is still open, but rates go up June 1 and seminars are starting to fill up. You can go here for more information.
(If you came to WorshipGod08, you just might remember this classic worship leading moment when Joseph led us in two keys at the same time.)