by Richard Wade
Shofar Apostolic Team member, ShofarBand worship leader
Namibia Must Worship took place on 1 April 2017. No, really – it did! On 1 April 2017, just under 500 Namibians became “fools for Jesus” and set a day aside to learn more about what it means to worship the Father in Spirit and truth.
Worshippers came from all corners of Namibia, representing 41 different churches – including Shofar, Catholic, Methodist, 7th Day Adventist, Dutch Reformed churches, Assemblies of God, AGS and CRC – to name but a few.
On the day, Retief Burger and ShofarBand led the worship and teachings, where insightful and fresh ideas were shared and practical workshops presented. The gathering then culminated in a worship evening open to the public where a celebration service took place and prophetic prayers were prayed over the nation of Namibia.
We realised from the start that, in order to pull off an event such as Namibia Must Worship, we needed to take hands with partners on the ground. We were privileged to connect with two amazing host churches, namely, Christian Family Centre (CFC) and Agapé – both local churches in Windhoek. Organisations such as the African Leadership Institute (ALI), Kanaal 7, the Today group and Printworx, were instrumental in making this discipleship event happen.
Check out photo’s from Namibia Must Worship on our Facebook page.
But why Namibia Must Worship?
Namibia Must Worship, “that’s a rather prescriptive title for an event”, some said. “Will that title not offend people?” others asked. “Clearly you are declaring spiritual warfare” some mused.
So, why did we call our gathering Namibia Must Worship? For two reasons, really:
Firstly, on a personal note, I clearly remember my moment of “ministry calling” in 1999. I had just started leading worship in Shofar. I was preparing for my first time of leading worship in the Stellenbosch congregation. Then, we were still meeting in the Sanlam Hall in Die Neelsie. I was worshipping on my own to an old Delirious song called “Did you feel the mountains tremble”. As I was worshipping, I had what I regard as my most profound personal “God encounter”. I heard these four words audibly: “the nations must worship”.
In short, it was a rather intense experience, given the context – I was trusting to lead 300 people in worship for the first time and here I had a word about the nations that must worship. I received two other strong confirmations in the days following that. That, in a sense, became my “life’s calling” and has influenced my secular career/ministry decisions ever since.
I did not share this with anyone for many years until I met like-minded friends and colleagues such as James Pringle, who had the same calling, desire and passion. Together with him and a great team, we then put together the spirit|truth School of Worship. We have been privileged to present this throughout South Africa, as well as in Utrecht, London and Namibia, to more than 700 participants in the past two years.
The second reason for the naming of Namibia Must Worship is that of Christ’s teaching on worship in John chapter 4. Jesus clearly gives us a New Testament blueprint for the “how of worship” when talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. He says, God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth. I have read this passage many times over but in recent years the word must has made a strong impression on me. Christ is rather clear around the guidelines, parameters and boundaries for acceptable worship.
That is why I believe Namibia must worship, and for that matter, South Africa, the Netherlands, UK, Canada. All nations must worship. And for the nations to worship, the nations need to be saved, come alive to God and be discipled. We truly have our work cut out for us.
So, where to next? There are so many nations that still need to be reached in the specific endeavor of worship discipleship. Having said that, we are acutely aware of the many wonderful contributions other churches and ministries are making. We believe that God has given us a drop-in-the-bucket contribution to what He is doing all around the earth – but we are passionate about that drop!
In closing, I believe that we as Shofar Christian Church have a role to play in worship discipleship. This naturally fits into our vision statement of reaching nations through disciple-making. May the nations worship. May we worship in Spirit and truth. God is seeking such people.
By Richard Wade
The Spirit | Truth School of Worship presenters and ShofarBand will be making a turn in the nation of Namibia in 2017! We are so excited to be partnering with Retief Burger, Christian Family Centre, Agapé and Kanaal 7 in presenting Namibia Must Worship 2017 (watch the promo clip below for more info).
The vision of this worship conference is to equip worshippers in the following areas of worship discipleship:
• Theology of worship
• Leading worship
• Creative ministry
• Sound and audio recording
• Musicianship and more…
We will be partnering with local churches in Namibia in worshipping together and discussing issues pertaining to worship discipleship in their nation.
If you know of any worshippers that may want to join, please invite them to Namibia Must Worship 2017.
For now, please save the date: 1-2 April 2017, CFC, Windhoek.
More info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at +27 21 809 9400.
by Richard Wade
At the end of 2014, Shofar hosted its annual pastor’s summit, where nearly 50 pastors gathered from the various Shofar churches in South Africa and abroad.
At this specific summit, we debated some of the challenges facing us, specifically within the context of church planting and a focus on the Europe region. It became clear that, at that stage, the number one challenge facing us as a church movement was the lack of worship leaders and worshippers who could facilitate the presence of God in a ministry context. It was from this place of conviction that the Spirit | Truth School of Worship was birthed.
Since the beginning of 2015, we have had more than 400 attendees participate in the School of Worship, with the course being presented in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and most recently, the Europe region.
On 15 June 2016, eight members of the ShofarBand set off on their first international tour to present the Spirit | Truth School of Worship in Utrecht, Netherlands and London, UK. Churches from in and around Utrecht were invited to participate, and 10 different denominations were represented with visitors from Germany also attending that school. The team engaged in prophetic worship ministry, calling for “wells of worship” that had flown in the past to be unblocked. It was truly a prophetically significant time together.
Apart from the worship discipleship that took place at the school, we also attempted some “prophetic street worship”. Many hard (and humorous) lessons were learnt on that first day and following that, the team boldly proclaimed the praise of God on the streets and public meeting places of Utrecht. This was also an ideal awareness creation opportunity for our new church plant, with over 100 personal invitations to church made as people stopped to listen to our street band.
From there we moved across to the UK and after a day or two of sightseeing started with School of Worship London. We were privileged to have Graham Kendrick speak and minister to a full London church. He encouraged us to know God in the Word and to worship Him from that place of truth. We once again did street worship and together with this invited people to join our local church services.
The two-folded approach of worship discipleship together with worship evangelism led to effective ministry – that of equipping the saints as well as reaching out to the unsaved.
In many ways, it felt as if we had come full circle with the prophetic street worship – being reminded of how Shofar was birthed in a similar way in the streets of Stellenbosch in 1992. Looking back, we can hope and trust that the seeds that were sown on this mission will continue to bear much fruit – even as the costly worship of more than 20 years ago has so evidently done.
For more info about School of Worship and upcoming courses visit www.shofarinstitute.org
A YEAR OF BUILDING IN OUR COMMUNITIES
by Richard Wade
We start the new year with the encouragement that God continues to build His Church with relentless passion. He breaks and He binds up, He nurtures and restores. He rebuilds the walls of the city with living stones.
“The Lord builds up Jerusalem. He gathers the scattered people of Israel. He heals those who have broken hearts. He takes care of their wounds.” Psalm 147:2-3
With this as our vision for 2016, we’re going to focus on being present in our communities, building on the foundation that God has given us as a church and as individuals.
how does this impact our conferences?
Our conferences, Convergence, Awaken and Men’s Camp, have become annual highlights and significant milestones in recent years. The much-anticipated conferences have seen year-on-year growth exceeding our expectations and developed their own identities and flavours!
As a global church, we’re constantly assessing and reflecting on how to improve, adjust and fine-tune our ministry activities and events. Hours spent on each endeavour are counted as precious and as such we’re conscious of how we spend our time and resources towards building God’s Kingdom.
After careful consideration, we’ve decided that part of our aim for 2016 is to make the following changes concerning our conferences:
Convergence will continue as our annual global conference, set aside as a time of worship, growth and vision sharing, forming an important part of our identity as a church.
The Awaken Women’s Conference and the Men’s Camps are becoming regional events, planned and hosted by Shofar congregations in their areas and each region will have the opportunity to decide whether they have the capacity to do so.
Our hope is that we’ll reach even more people through regional events – bringing Men’s Camp and Awaken to where our congregations and their communities are. We look forward to sharing what’s been established over the past few years!
As encouragement, we’d like to share some projects that have been supported through Awaken and Men’s Camp in the past few years and that have made an impact in their local communities. Together, we can start to have a greater influence in our respective regions.
If you’d like more information on these events you can contact: Christelle Myburgh (Awaken Women’s Ministry) at email@example.com or Sias le Roux (Men’s Ministry) at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Richard Wade (Shofar Head Office)
At the end of 2014, Shofar’s pastors gathered for the annual pastors’ summit at our Franschhoek campsite. Amongst other pressing matters, we talked about our church planting strategy and evaluated the process and successes up to that point.
What came from these discussions was that we needed to slow down a touch in our church planting pursuits and, as a ministry, channel our efforts into three measurable areas. More specifically, we felt led to invite and include the broader Shofar movement to partner with us as we trust God for the nations.
Pastor Fred has shared two key scriptures around this:
“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” Numbers 14:9 (NKJV)
“Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Psalm 2:8 (NIV)
The above scripture is echoed in our vision as a church movement of reaching nations and generations through disciple-making, leadership development and church planting.
We identified three core focus areas for 2015 as part of what we called the ‘harvest campaign’. They are:
• the Himalayan church network leadership conference
• our Shofar Europe church plant in the Netherlands
• the Shofar Malawi church network
So how can we get involved?
As congregations and small groups, we’re asking the Lord of the harvest for our inheritance. More specifically, this year, we’re praying and giving into the following areas:
The Himalayan church network leadership conference (May)
During this time we look specifically at why we go out to the nations. watch videos >
Our Shofar Europe church plant in the Netherlands (July)
This includes a focus on church planting and why it’s important. watch videos >
The Shofar Malawi church network (August)
Here we also look at the impact of our church ‘DNA’. more info coming soon.
• contribute towards the Europe church plant in Utrecht, Netherlands
• contribute to the growth and consolidation of the Malawi church network
Giving to the harvest campaign is easy. You can make donations via SnapScan or by EFT:
Account: Shofar Apostolic Fund
Branch code: 198765
Account number: 1192006690
Reference: Harvest 2015
Thank you for partnering with us in bringing in the harvest!
Visit www.shofaronline.org/harvest for more information, resources and videos on the Harvest.
If you haven’t watched the harvest videos with your small group, you can do so on Shofar TV. They include great ideas for how you can become involved both in our global areas of focus and in your immediate community.