Maryl and I had a wonderful time with the worship team from Alliance Fellowship in Bozeman Montana last week. Thank you all so much for your prayers for the worship seminar. Maryl and I sensed your prayers throughout our time there and it was truly powerful as God moved many times and in significant ways every day – lives were changed. The church there was deeply impacted and we believe the worship team was transformed. We have already received reports of deepened passion for Jesus, heightened awareness of His presence in worship and greater desire to work on giftings and talents to express their hearts with excellence.

bozeman1This was our first ever five-day worship seminar, so we were pretty excited to see how it all played out. James Paul is the worship pastor at Alliance Fellowship and former PBC student during Tim’s tenure there in the 90’s. He scheduled full days starting Wednesday night with his worship vision team through Sunday ending with a great celebration at the church (that meets in the Student Union Building at MSU). During the days on Thursday and Friday, Tim and Maryl met with 9 individuals for private sessions for an hour to discuss issues and work on practical issues in the area of music and worship in the church. We worked with guitarists, drummers, percussionists, bass, violin, keyboards, vocals and worship leaders. What a workout and what a delight to be able to have some real hands-on time with these wonderful people.

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Thursday night we had a full rehearsal for Sunday and stretched all of us to really flow together musically and spiritually. Friday night we met in a beautiful Bozeman home (Doug and Sandy Schlender) with the whole team and a few others to worship together and share some thoughts on worship. What an incredible night of worship. Young and old responded so beautifully, none of us wanted it to stop. It felt so natural, organic, full and satisfying all at once. They have some incredible musicians who make it very easy to flow with.

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Saturday was the big seminar with a couple of other churches joining us for an intimate time of worship and teaching. Once again, the worship took off and the response was so sweet and deep that everybody just stayed in that place of longing for quite a while. Then we had some ministry time, praying over one another and encouraging each other in the ministry. I taught on the Vision of Worship and you could see lights coming on around the room as the Holy Spirit did a good job of anointing His servant. This is a passionate group of people, poised and ready to go for it in worship and ministry. After lunch, we had another extended time of worship and then went into some more practical areas of worship ministry. At the end, I brought up the whole team (including a wonderful cellist, Jamie, from the Presbyterian church – thanks, Jamie) for a few examples and flowing together. It really could have gone on forever, this group is so thirsty and ready for release and enjoying Jesus’ presence in a tangible way.

bozeman13Sunday, was the final expression of the whole week with the full band (more than they normally have) up on the platform in the SUB. The congregation was very full and very responsive in a sweet kind of way. It is not a real demonstrative church, but you could see every one singing, clear to the back row! and you could sense a freshness in the songs and the authentic and deep response of the people. I was very excited for the worship team to flow together uniquely, to really minister the songs and to see Jesus at work in the sanctuary. Pastor Dan delivered a masterful sermon on the life of the Apostle John – the Apostle of Love – and we all left feeling like we had a full meal.

This team was so unique in its depth of quality, skilled and experienced musicians. I have never seen such an array of talent and heart in this size of church. One young man, James, is a national fiddle champion at 15! What a talent and yet what a pure heart of delight as he plays effortlessly, flowing back and forth with the whole team. God bless you, James: fiddle on! and his dad Doug on mandolin; Scottie on the bass! his wife Sadie on the percussion; Tanner on drums; Terry on acoustic; Tofer on electric – not to mention Rebecca, Sara, Cassia and others! wow, what a group, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t sense any competition, egos, or selfishness in the whole team. A wonderful place to be. Their tender hearts toward the presence of Jesus, though, sealed the deal. What a precious time embracing all God had for them in spirit and truth.

Thanks Alliance Fellowship (and Steve and Kelly Allen, and Brandon Edwards, and Jamie) and especially James and Deea Paul, for a wonderful week that glorified Jesus so powerfully in Bozeman. God bless you richly in His presence as He continues to move and reveal Himself to His people there.


in Him,

Tim and Maryl Smith, Worship Missionaries

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