Monday, February 22, 2016

Rejoicing with the Body at the Regional Ministry Festival

On February 19-20, we had the opportunity to co-host the San Francisco Regional Creative Ministry Festival with our friends at Central Assembly Church. We welcomed pastors, directors, worship leaders, youth and creative ministry enthusiasts from throughout California. What a wonderful time of teaching, learning, sharing and fellowship!

The conference theme, "the Family of Ministry" was first introduced at the 2015 International Festival of Creative Arts Ministry, with the theme verse of 1 Corinthians 12:25-26. 

"there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." 


The conference kicked off with the opening theme presentation, the Family of Ministry. As the host team, we were able to assist with this presentation.

The story follows DJ, a kid who everyone expects to be a great praise band singer like his Grandpa was. However, singing isn't exactly DJ's talent so he feels that has nothing to contribute. He ends up experiencing a blast from the past as his Grandpa and other relatives show him that a wide variety of talents make up "The Family of Ministry."

Following this, we were off to our first set of workshops in topics ranging from Beginning Puppetry, Sign Language, and Gospel Illusion. We then proceeded to the next highlight of the evening, the Competitions!

5 teams from far and wide presented pieces including puppetry, human video and dowel rods. We presented a blacklight human video set to Casting Crowns' "Set Me Free." This was only our second performance of the piece. We were thrilled to bring this story and message to the conference.


Saturday morning began with worship and a devotional led by our director, Gabriel Galdamez. Gabriel shared his testimony and the challenges he has faced in ministry while encouraging the attendees to be like the woman in Matthew 26:6-13. Offer whatever is in your alabaster jar, your best, to the Lord and pour it at Jesus' feet, regardless of what those around you may say.

We were then off to 2 more sets of workshops covering topics such as "Ventriloquism, "Developing a Successful Ministry," and "Children in Ministry," to name a few. 

We ended the morning with a performance by Tim Cowles of Skadoodles! Using illusions and ventriloquism, Tim encouraged us to reach up to God and reach out to our world.

Following the lunch break, it was time for the infamous "Lip Synch Challenge!" A 16-person tournament where puppeteers lip synch to randomly selected songs, which they likely have never heard.

It's always great fun to watch while giving an opportunity to appreciate the talent and bravery of the participants. After 3 rounds, the judges narrowed it down to the top 3. Phew!

We were now off to a fourth and final set of workshops, including "Developing Character Voices," "Drama," and "Creating a Program." was time for the Closing session!

For our human video "Set Me Free," we were awarded a Silver Award, the People's Choice Award and valuable feedback from the panel of judges. During the Ending Raffle, one of our team members was the lucky attendee to win the final prize, a new puppet!

As we shared in our article "Top 5 Reasons to Attend Trainings", conferences are such a wonderful opportunity for your you and your ministry to not only get ideas... but be equipped and encouraged to continue to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. The road isn't easy, but we are not alone. There are others going down the same path as us... and God is always by our side.

We closed the conference, and we will close this article, with the verse Stacy Divine of San Jose left with us and I leave with you as a challenge:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24

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