Over 1,000 Gathered for New Life Church Worship Conference

The New Life Worship Team is hosting the first annual New Life Church Worship Conference this week with over 1,000 people from across the nation and Canada.

Since Thursday, the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based New Life Church has been hosting the three-day conference, titled “[ENTER],” for the more than 1,000 people who registered for the conference from over 150 churches from the United States and Canada.

“There is so much out there that it is kind of funny … why do we need another worship conference,” remarks Ross Parsley, New Life Worship pastor. “[But] I think there is still a tremendous need in our churches to understand how worship works, how to train your people, and how pastors and worship leaders can work together."

“I think there is still a tremendous need out there even though there are so many resources. So we are just using whatever influence we have to help people do a better job. That is our heart. Our desire is that people can lead worship and go deeper in their expression and their experience of worship regardless of their style of worship or theology in worship. So we really believe in that and that is why we want to invest in local churches.”

The conference, which concludes tomorrow, features world renowned songwriter and worship leader Reuben Morgan and Hillsong Church from Sydney, Australia, along with the New Life Church worship team. The conference is focused on presenting successful local churches with other local churches to show how to effectively lead worship.

“There are a lot of churches all over the nation coming but in terms of leading worship, we wanted to connect to another ministry that is a local church doing great worship,” said Parsley. “There is no one better than Hillsong church in Australia.”

“Reuben Morgan is going to lead worship on Friday night and he has been at Hillsong for several years and has been one of their feature songwriter and worship leader and has function as a right hand man to Darlene Zschech. We thought it was a great opportunity to connect with them."

“In my opinion they are one of the best in the world at teaching people how to do local church ministry and worship, and their influence is enormous,” Parsley added. “So we are very privileged to have them be part of this.”

The New Life Worship pastor also noted that the speakers are there to share both their successes and failures with other worship leaders attending the conference with the aim of helping local churches communicate and coordinate their ministry.

“There are so many resources,” he said, “a lot of things out there, and a lot of conferences and seminars that are being done, but we kind of felt that a lot of them are driven by artists or industries rather than churches. I think they are all valuable, but we wanted to add our voice to it as a local church, so this is a worship conference for local church leaders from a local church. We are going to do our best to model for them what we think what has work and help us in our ministry, but also share with them our failure so they don’t make the same mistakes.”

According to Parsley, a unique feature of the conference is that all those who will be teaching have led worship in local churches.

“They have that context from which they are going to bring their message,” he said. “They experience the reality of working with people week in and week out and the difficulties that sometimes entail, so they bring that with them.”

“We really want people who have been successful at leading worship in church to teach other churches how they did it,” Parsley continued. “And that is different than having an artist traveling around stand up and say how great God is. It is still good and valuable, but I think there is a different perspective sometimes.”

In addition, the New Life worship pastor explains that the conference is an interactive experience instead of a lecture format and hopes the meeting will help worship leaders learn how to engage their church by equipping them with the tools to effectively lead worship.

“We are going to try to make it as interactive as possible,” he said before the start of the conference. “We have five main sessions that deal with big ideas and those ideas are band, choir, technical side of worship, audio and visual, fine art and dance and song writing. In each of those sessions we are going to make it as interactive and experiential as possible, so you are not just listening to someone lecture but actually participating in something and engaging in question and answer.”

The conference is geared towards worship teams and leaders but the evening event is open to the public.

“We want whatever your style or theology, doesn’t matter if you are like us or different than us,” said Parsley.

“If you have a more liturgical or traditional setting, whatever your style or theology of worship, we want your church to be armed, to be encouraged, and to be resourced to go deeper and to have a fuller expression and more participation and more training to do a better job at your local church.”

The New Life Worship pastor says the ultimate goal is “to see the churches that come here to do such great job at worship that people are swept into the present of God and their church grows as a result.”

It is to see that the churches “reach more people, that they are empower for ministry, that they love people more effectively because of their experience here at New Life Church,” he added.

Tonight’s event at New Life Church in Colorado Springs will include worship led by Reuben Morgan and Pastor Ted Haggard, who serves as Senior Pastor of New Life Church, President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), and President of the World Prayer Team.

For more information visit: http://www.newlifeworship.com