Got to the church around 10am on Friday morning. I ended up skipping the 9am devotional because I spent the morning on the phone with Kristen. Finley had been sick since Wednesday and Kristen was filling me in her condition.
The conference did this interesting thing where they wouldn’t publicize who was leading or teaching in the sessions. I think this was an attempt to downplay the celebrity factor of our worship subculture and I ended up really enjoying that aspect – walking into the meeting room having no idea who was going to be teaching.
When I walked in Friday morning, I was surprised to see an upright piano (a real one…not a keyboard shoved in a shell,) an acoustic guitar and a beautiful percussion setup that would have made my percussionist friends jealous. As the service got under way, Matt Papa took the stage and grabbed his acoustic. A friend of his played upright acoustic. That was it. Acoustic and piano, 2 vocals.
I had never seen Papa lead before. That dude’s got game. His set was like a worship remix. He was putting songs together, adding bridges from other songs…it was seamless.
Here For You/ O Come Let Us Adore Him
You Alone Can Rescue
It Is Finished
He didn’t actually do “Here For You” as a complete song, but used the bridge, “we welcome you with praise” as the chorus section. Let me tell you something, that’s a winning combination right there. Perfect dynamic between verse and chorus. Also loved hearing 400 worship leaders belt out “You Alone Can Rescue.”
Afshin Ziafat brought the message. As the pastor at Providence church, he was right at home with the message of D&T. He spoke from Hebrews 13 and reminded us that people will remember what we said and the outcome of our lives. Because of that, they’re going to imitate us. It was humbling message delivered in a very conversational style. After Boswell and Dever’s intellectual approach to the Word, Ziafat’s approach was a nice change.
There was a panel afterward but I was on the phone with Kristen finding out that Finley was really quite sick. We started making plans for me to leave that afternoon rather than late in the evening like I had planned. Kristen was gracious, encouraging me to stay for the afternoon sessions. I opted to stay for at least one – the songwriting panel of course!