Greetings, ZOE friends, old and new! We are excited to announce that the 2013 ZOE Worship Conference, “Here With Us”, will be held in Nashville, TN at the Otter Creek Church on October 25-27. This year our conference and CD will have a Christmas theme...specifically, Advent. Advent teaches us what “God with us” really means. Advent is about waiting… waiting on the Lord, watching for Him, believing in Him… even when He is silent. Advent celebrates the absolute truth that God is faithful and that His steadfast love is present, even in difficult times, to bring a deep peace unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. It takes what can become a very commercial holiday season that can leave us empty and lonely and infuses it with life and hope.
Recently, some of the other ZOE singers who are also worship ministers and I had a conversation about the things that are most helpful to us. We asked the question, "What would WE want and need in a conference?" Well, we love to worship. So, we want to have great times of celebratory and heart-felt worship as the ZOE Group leads us (including a Saturday afternoon worship session with song writer and worship artist, Carl Cartee from Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville). We also want some inspiring Biblical feeding. So our key note speakers, Mike Cope, Jonathan Storment and Jeff Walling will take us deep into the Word.
We also need tools...tools to help us be better at this calling on our lives. So, we've worked hard this year to broaden our break-out sessions to address both topical and thematic things like Josh Ross's and John Mark Hicks's classes all about waiting on the Lord, while also offering practical worship ministry, technical, and hands-on creative and inspiring classes. We hope that some of these classes about leading praise teams, innovative lighting ideas, worship planning, caring for your voice, innovative ways of using art, Planning Center, and more will help you not only leave feeling refreshed spiritually, but also equipped to do the technical parts of your job.
And, back by popular demand, we're doing another New Music Pre-Conference to kick off the weekend! In addition to the great new music we’ll learn at the conference from the upcoming ZOE CD “Here With Us,” New Music Nashville will provide an opportunity for attendees to discover even more great new songs for worship. Beginning on Friday morning, attendees will have a chance to learn a dozen new songs with Randy Gill, DJ Bulls and rehearsal accompanist Jerry Reed. These selections are brand new arrangements in a variety of styles that will be wonderful additions to your church’s repertoire in the coming year. A folio of the new music by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Israel Houghton and others is included in the price of the Pre-Conference. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to be part of what one participant last year called “the greatest a cappella worship choir ever assembled!” The songs are great, the singing is incredible and it's just a blast! You won't want to miss New Music Nashville!
We know how hard it can be to take time away from your home church--whether you're a volunteer or a full-time minister. We know it's difficult to make time to go other places on the days when your job seems to count the most. But it's YOU we have in mind as we've carefully begun painting this canvas that will be "Here With Us". We're planning all sorts of surprises this year...and don't want you to miss even one of them. We would love for you to stay through the weekend and then worship with us Sunday morning too as Mike Cope and I close out the conference.
My prayer is that the Lord would begin building excitement and anticipation in your hearts as we look ahead to October 25th when we will gather and experience the Lord in ways that will shape our lives and ministries. I'm praying that these hope inspired words, "God with us", will begin to just haunt you....ring in your ears...and surround you on days of trouble and in times of rejoicing.
Registration opens tomorrow (July 29th). SIGN UP! Do it! I promise, this is one ZOE Conference you won't want to miss. I'll see you in October! I CAN. NOT. WAIT! Go here to register! www.zoegroup.org