As part of E.M’s current research on the place of music in disciple making, Greg Cooper and Gavin Perkins attended the recent ‘Word In Song’ conference in Melbourne. There was a gathering of 200 church musicians and other ‘creatives’ to consider the concept of -‘Telling the Truth, Touching the Soul’.
This is what Greg had to say about the value of the conference for him…
“Guy Mason (Pastor, City On A Hill, Melbourne) the keynote speaker’s main message was to encourage delegates to pursue glorifying God through seeking to both reveal God’s beauty and to savour God’s beauty.
Mason suggested that God has revealed his glory to us through pictures (his creation), through words (the Bible), and through his life (by becoming incarnate). Mason suggested that we’re also to utilize pictures, words, and our lives as we seek to glorify God. Mason believes that we’re also given an incredible opportunity to create art that declares positively what we are for, what we might affirm in our faith, not just what we might be against. Creative art can also be very effectively used to reach those who may not yet know Christ, creatively using art as a means of showing God’s light. Doing all things in love (1Cor 13), we can also make art with “gospel confidence”, knowing that through that God given avenue we are seeking to please God, and glorify him in all we do.
A particular highlight for me was a workshop with poet Cameron Semmens, who encouraged delegates to reach for better words in our efforts to write about our God – to seek new images and new metaphors as we seek to magnify him. Interestingly, the session concluded with a group exercise in sharing metaphors we’d written about the moon!
Together with Trevor Hodge (Music Pastor, Kirkplace Presbyterian Church), I took the opportunity to hear new songs of faith from other songwriters and encourage them in their creative process, whilst Gav met with delegates exploring ways to generate and encourage creative pursuits in our lives and in our ministries.
We’re excited to see how some of these ideas might contribute to E.M’s current research on the role of church music in growing disciples of Christ.”