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