Month: March 2016

  • Blog
  • My Greatest Battle as a Worship Leader

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    by Alarice


     

    There’s a monster that likes to rear its ugly head time & time again in my journey to grow as a worship leader. Its name is one you may also be acquainted with; Fear.

    In my years of this often challenging but fulfilling journey of learning to lead others in worship, I’ve learnt one solid truth that has kept me grounded, that is, everything we do flows out of us knowing our IDENTITY in Christ. Everything flows from this position; our purpose, function, actions, how we lead others in worship, etc. In fact, sometimes I think the greatest daily spiritual battle for us is learning how to constantly realign our thought patterns & heart posture to that of the Lord’s perspective (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

    Through the years, I’ve gathered that worship leaders can swing either two ways when they are ‘out of the pocket’ in their relationship with the Lord. The first type of worship leader is one that I call “The Striver”. The Striver tends to drive worship from a place of human strength, leaving God out of the picture. The motivation here could be to impress or to avoid “embarrassment” by not performing well as a worship leader, both of which stem from the fear of man & pride. God is in the business of breaking this ugly stickler over our lives as He desires for us only to have the fear of God.

    The second type of worship leader is one I call “The Coward”. I am often guilty of being the second rather than the first – my innate tendency is to shrink back in fear. I wrestle with thoughts of inadequacy & sometimes even justify my fear, saying that it is more righteous to be in the background than at the front. Anyone else been there? Just being totally honest here. The plain truth is that at the core of that self-justification is a selfish person saying “I am more concerned about what I look like & how I feel rather than my gift being a blessing to others.” OUCH!

    If you constantly find yourself becoming either The Striver or The Coward whilst worship leading, it’s time to reclaim your identity in Him! I realize that it’s the precious times of complete nearness & intimacy with the Father that I am assured beyond a shadow of a doubt of who I am.  I realize that I am in the presence of the Most High King; I feel safe, I feel I don’t need to imitate anyone else, & I lead from a place of humility and strength.

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    Everything we do flows out of us knowing our IDENTITY in Christ..

    Worship leading is not a performance; it is your authenticity & intimacy with the Father that overflows out from your life to minister to others.  The Father longs to be near you, we just need to learn to be aware & learn to host His presence daily. When we cultivate this in our lives, it will form the inner core of who we are – THAT in turn changes the way we live & lead.

    Love,
    Alarice

  • Blog
  • Student Testimony: Learning to Say “Yes” to God

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    by Faith Lim


    This is a testimony of God’s providence, gentleness, grace and glory.

    Songwriting has been a calling close to my heart & affirmed by God through different people that He has placed in my life. When I received the notification email from AG that 2016 registration was open & that there was a songwriting stream, my heart was filled with much excitement. However, the total cost of this 8 month-long course stood as a hindrance as a student without an income & so I decided to wait another year to save up for it.

    On the day of the early bird closing date, I received an unexpected but timely message from a brother of Christ & something in my heart began to stir. God was speaking! Stepping out in faith, I sat in front of the piano & to my amazement, a song was birthed forth by the grace of God all within 15 minutes. I submitted my application with so much joy & by God’s grace once again, I got accepted!

    Orientation day came & I found out that there was an additional 10% reduction in cost if the full year’s fees had been paid in full. The ‘Singaporean’ in me & my fleshly wisdom & reasoning thought it would be a good decision. My boyfriend agreed to help pay the full fees first & when God had provided the funds in the future to then return him the cost. The next day, we heard God’s gentle rebuke, “Did I tell you to pay for the whole year? Do you not think I am able? I want you to press in & trust me to take care of this.” God didn’t need me to help him save anything because He is our Abundant God & in Him we lack nothing.

    My boyfriend & I made it a point each day to set aside time to seek God for His providence. Through divine appointments & simply sharing my encounters with God, I was blessed with sufficient funds for the whole year with approximately $400 in excess by the 3rd week of class commencement. The following week, I heard of a brother who had dedicated his life to serve in another ministry & was also in the midst of trusting God to provide the necessary funds. Guess how much he was asking God for? $400!!! My surplus was his answered prayer!

    Every week, God broke through with His undeniable goodness & involvement in my life. This is who our God is, His timing is perfect & He desires for us to experience His Greatness & His dedication in our lives. Be blessed, knowing how much our Lord desires us & is investing in our lives. May we live lives of faith & obedience as we seek to glorify His beautiful name!

    In His love & my love,
    Faith


    Faith Lim is one of the students at Awaken Generation this year & currently attending the songwriting stream. Her testimony is one of the many that have risen from our student cohort this year; testimonies of God’s abundant provision & grace.

  • Blog
  • Interview with Calvin: The Pitfalls of Leadership

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    by Awaken Generation


    Tell us a little bit about yourself… Some fun facts.

    What do you want to know about me? In my free time, I like to find things that energize me, actually. So sports is a big thing for me, discovering new places, doing new things… I’m actually a very boring person (laughs).

    No you’re not! I heard that you like to clean & organize things as well right?

    Well, only if people leave a mess. Like, ahem. But yes, I like to keep things clean & organized.

    What material are you currently reading?

    I love reading Habitudes by Tim Elmore, who is an amazing speaker, leader & writer. He was mentored & trained under John Maxwell’s leadership. I like his books because the content deals with the welfare (internal) & attitude (external) of a leader. As leaders, what we don’t realize is that we have to learn to lead ourselves well because whatever we “import”, we unwittingly “export” to the people that we lead.

    Tell us about something you’ve personally learnt from leading the Awaken Generation team & student cohort.

    Leadership is never about suppression, it’s about empowerment. You’re supposed to help your team feel good & productive, but the sad thing is that many leaders abuse their power & cause their team to suffer. That’s operating out of a place of fear & that’s not the Kingdom perspective at all.

    That’s the exact opposite of what we seek to do here… that’s why we have things like team devotions, updates, mentoring. We pray & worship together, we encourage & affirm one another in our different gifts. & of course, we hope to pass this culture on to our students!

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    Leadership is never about suppression, it’s about empowerment.

    What is one big pitfall that leaders often fall into?

    As long as you are a leader, you need to receive. You give out so much of your emotion on a daily basis, so how can you not be fed?

    I like to use this example: the ten commandments. Did you ever realize that four of the commandments are about our relationship with God, while the other six are about our relationships with our brothers & sisters? This doesn’t mean that your relationship with God is secondary to the relationship to the people around you, but it means that a lot of our lives are spent living in communities, interacting face-to-face with someone. We are not made to walk alone. No man is an island. We are made to walk in community.


    A speaker, evangelist & a life coach, Calvin’s heart beats to see every life transformed, living purposefully & fulfilling their destiny in Christ. Calvin is the Head of Mentoring at Awaken Generation & leads both the staff  & student cohort pastorally.