By David and Julie Brown
In 2 Chronicles 5 we read the story of King Solomon and the dedication of the temple.
As always, Solomon wants to do things in a big way. He invites all of the musicians and singers in the nation of Israel to come and celebrate the opening of the temple.
United in spirit and in song they raise their voices and their instruments in worship and praise to God. In verse 14 the scriptures tell us that as they sang and played – a cloud – “the glory of God” – descended from heaven and filled the temple.
Music is a divine gift and the Lord is pleased with our efforts to bless his holy name. God’s response to our worship and praise is his presence and glory in our lives.
There are 2 primary purposes for the church – worship of God and sharing the Good News. As we praise and worship the Lord through music we are filled with God’s presence and inspired to go out and testify to what He has done in our lives.
Over 23 years of missionary service overseas, 17 years in Africa and 6 years in France, we have taught music and worship classes to future leaders in the churches. These classes cover a variety of subjects:
- A biblical basis for music and worship in the church.
- Congregational singing and leadership.
- Direction of a choir and/or orchestra.
- Starting and working with a music group/choir and principles of singing.
- Music reading (solfege).
- Music composition.
- Basic piano and basic guitar.
- How to accompany a song.
The goal is to train future church leaders and equip them to train others.
We work with a ministry of the French Protestant Federation called “Mosaic”.
Mosaic exists to encourage contact between French historical churches and immigrant churches. The hope is to build bridges between the churches and foster unity in the body of Christ. These are churches that are conservative, liberal, and moderate – coming from different and varied cultures and speaking a plethora of languages.
Music is a universal language. When peoples from across the world join their hearts and voices in praise sources of division are forgotten.
Since arriving in Paris, France, in February, 2015, we have taken 75 students through 3 five week sessions of study and training.
The students come from 12 different countries and are members of traditional and non-traditional churches. One is a young woman from Madagascar. She has participated in each of the 3 sessions. S. is a committed, enthusiastic believer who has an incredible desire to grow in her faith, develop the gifts the Lord has given her, and disciple others.
She has really flourished in the classes. Gifted with great creativity she has discovered a capacity to compose. Before taking the classes she had never played the piano. After 3 sessions she is able to not only right texts and melodies – she is able to accompany her songs.
One evening, after class, she excitedly e-mailed us a song the Lord had given her (text, melody, and chords)! What a joy! There are no limits to what S. can do in the days ahead.
Thanks to your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions this ministry is possible. Thanks to your gifts to the Offering for Global Missions our presence in France is possible. Thanks to your gifts to the Offering for Global Missions, S. and the other students will lead their churches into a future of praise and worship that will lead to lives of faith and service. Thanks to your gifts to the Offering for Global Missions, untold numbers of people will come to Christ through the praise and worship of their churches.
We recently closed out our third session of music and worship classes. As the students worked through their exam I counted 10 different kinds of churches represented.
It was a beautiful picture of what church can be. United through music and by a desire to worship and praise the Lord in a more powerful and effective way the students forgot their differences and found unity as the body of Christ.
To learn more about how you and your congregation can partner with field personnel like David and Julie Brown and support ministries like Mosaic through participation in the CBF Offering for Global Missions, visit www.cbf.net/OGM.