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.