NWLC15 has left the building (literally)
Another National Worship Leader Conference is in the books, and this one was a particularly good one. One reason was that for the first time in about a decade, I was able to take members of my worship team to a conference. It's always good to be at one of these events, but it's way more helpful to the team and to the church if the experience and content can be shared among two or more members of the team. NWLC15 did not disappoint--great morning speakers, including Pete Briscoe, Marva Dawn, and an extended conversation with Darlene Zschech, one of the great matriarchs (can I say that?) of contemporary worship leading and music. Our evening worship concerts included Aaron Shust, Vertical Church Band, Zealand Worship and Third Day, among many others. It is always a good thing for worship leaders to have opportunities to worship under the leadership of other skilled and devoted worship leaders.
The daytime workshops were also great--members of our team attended a number of vocal workshops, technical workshops, a songwriting workshop, and others--plus we got to hang out together for the better part of three days in a row, which we never get to do.
Sadly, the NWLC will not be the same in Kansas next year--because of construction at the host church, the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (COR) in Leawood, the three-day version of NWLC16 will take place in Texas (Dallas) and somewhere in Virginia; they've promised that there will be a two-day version somewhere in the KC area, but neither the dates nor the location could be confirmed yet. COR has been the Kansas host for NWLC for the past seven years, and I've been there for every one of them--COR knows hospitality WAY better than most churches I've been around, and they've set the bar quite high for an event of this sort. (Willow Creek level, if that means anything to you.) But theoretically, NWLC will be back at the newly-completed COR facility in 2017, so we'll look forward to that.
I've come away from NWLC15 with a conviction that excellence and authenticity in worship should be very high on our list of ideals, along with cultivating a genuine love for the people we lead. May the Lord help us realize those ideals.