I first met Tim Chester a few years ago at the Word Alive conference in Wales. Since then he’s become a good friend, and I’ve even written a song with him. Tim is one of the humblest, kindest, most prolific authors I know. He was with us for WorshipGodUK last year and I’m thrilled he’ll be joining us in Bath for WorshipGod UK, 7-9 May, 2015, to speak in a breakout session on “Cultivating a Fruitful Life in the Word.” He took some time to answer a few questions about his life and his involvement in the conference.
1. What is your history of leading in the church, musically or pastorally?
I’m one of the pastors of The Crowded House with particular responsibility for word ministry. In the early days, when we were just a handful of people, I played the guitar or piano to accompany our sung worship. It was something of relief (all round) as over time I could hand on responsibility for music to others. But I’m still involved in selecting and writing songs.
2. What encourages you about what is happening in gathered worship in the UK and Europe?
I think in the past we’ve divided into those for whom worship meant singing, those for whom it meant the word, and those for whom it meant life and mission. I see these streams coming together more and more with an emphasis on capturing the affections of the heart for Christ through our corporate worship so that our lives might be lived for his glory.
3. What weaknesses do you see about what is happening broadly in gathered worship in the UK and Europe?
The main weakness I observe is a performance mentality. In churches with the resources to pull this off, the congregation is left mumbling along as the band performs at the front. And the attempt to replicate this in other churches can be painful!
4. How do you think WorshipGod in general and your role there in particular might serve folks as they seek to serve in their local congregations?
I love the fusion of congregational music and grace-filled theology that Sovereign Grace and WorshipGod represents. I loved last year’s mix of Bible exposition, practical seminars and inspirational worship. I’m looking forward to the same combination of encouragement and equipping this year! In my seminar on engaging with God’s word I want to explore how we can enjoy communion with God through his word. I want to encourage people to see the Bible not simply as an encyclopaedia of information, but as a living word that brings us into a living relationship with the living God.
WorshipGod UK is intended for pastors, musicians, service leaders, tech personnel, songwriters, and anyone involved in planning or leading congregational worship. We’ll also be offering a pastors day on Thursday 7th May, from 10am-5pm. For details email email@example.com.
“I love the fusion of congregational music and grace-filled theology…”
Amen, brother – and that’s exactly what group worship should be.