Heaven and earth worship conference
by Danielle Martell
If you are passionate about worship, you are not going to want to miss this year’s Heaven and Earth Conference on March 29-30, held at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver, put on by Worship Central. The worship event will be equipped with remarkable leading church musicians and pastors like Tim Hughes, Taya Smith, Al Gordon, Steffany Gretzinger, Hunter Thompson, Henry Seely, Pastor Alex Seely and Pastor Darrel Johnson. The conference is aimed toward all who are passionate about worship, whether it be those in music ministry in the local church or those who simply long to engage deeply in the presence of God in both spirit and truth.
Peter Cheng is one of the founding members of the Worship Central movement in Canada. Over the course of the two-day conference, Cheng states that people will have the opportunity to learn in theologically-rich classes and creative classes. They will develop a posture and understanding of worship that will aid them in areas such as leadership, media & communication, theology, music, prayer, and the prophetic, to name a few. There will be important questions addressed like, “How do we stay accountable biblically as Christians?”
When asked about the definition of what worship is, Cheng replied by explaining, “It is so rich… There are a billion ways to worship.” But simply put, Cheng stated that “Worship is our response to the goodness of God.”
The origin of Worship Central has a history that dates back many years and across the sea. Cheng elaborates on its origins stating that it started with Tim Hughes in the UK and was birthed out of Holy Trinity Bromptom, the same Anglican Church that founded the Alpha movement. Hughes was the worship pastor there and had a big heart to equip and resource the worshipper and worship teams, especially theologically. According to Cheng, they ran training days to teach the foundational aspects of worship. It started slowly, but over time, it gained momentum. Soon, a course was developed that was similar to the Alpha course. You could take the course and teach it to your music team on team nights. Eventually, a film series was developed to simplify the process so it didn’t have to be taught. The film could merely be played. Cheng explains that this is how Worship Central began in the UK.
Cheng then connected with Worship Central UK back in 2013 and, through his music involvement here in the Vancouver area where he lives, he was able to connect it back home. It was evident that in Canada there was a need for aid in the music departments of many churches as it is not uncommon for our churches to be under resourced in this area due to the small size of many of our congregations. Eventually, a Canadian chapter of Worship Central was set up and they started rallying people in Canada. Small training days were done and hub gatherings were initiated.
Musicians from around the city started doing collaborative learning together, sharing resources, talking about worship, and praying together. They wanted to do a conference to celebrate what was going on between them and that’s how this conference got started. Heaven and Earth is now the fourth of these conferences. Cheng’s experience is that it has been very life-giving for them and says, “It’s transformative for us. When you have a bunch of worshippers in the same room, with the same mindset, it’s really powerful.”
During this year’s conference, the team will be launching their new Worship Central Academy which begins this September 2019. For more information on the Academy, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for this year’s Heaven and Earth conference visit www.worshipcentral.ca. Current individual rates are $99 and group rates for 5+ are $89. The conference begins on Friday, March 29 at 7 pm and ends Saturday, March 30 at 10 pm. As stated above, if you are passionate about worship, you won’t want to miss this.