Finding Favour Coming to Bethel!

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Finding Favour

I’m excited to announce that the group Finding Favour will be coming to Bethel for a concert on Friday, May 12th, at 7:00 p.m. You may not recognize them by name, but you will definitely recognize their songs that are being played on Life 102.5, K-LOVE and other radio stations around the country.

Finding Favour’s most recent album, Reborn (2015) includes their well-known songs “Refuge”, “Cast My Cares”, and “Say Amen”. Lead singer Blake Neesmith says that the song “Say Amen” is “a reminder of God’s undying faithfulness. He’ll never leave us! He’ll never forsake us! So let us take the good and the bad and remember that God has a purpose and a plan. In the fire, in the storms, or even in the calm we can stand and say Amen!”

Spotify Concert Playlist

When you go to a concert, it’s great if you know the songs that are being sung, and can sing along! So, I created a playlist on Spotify with music from several of the groups that will be part of this concert! Just search for the “Finding Favour Concert at Bethel” playlist on Spotify to get familiar with their music, or just click the link and it will take you right to the playlist.

Carrollton

In addition to Finding Favour, there will be three other groups appearing at the concert – Carrollton, Bonray, and Jamison Strain! The group Carrollton has been getting more airtime on the radio recently with their songs “Tell Me” and “Let Love Win.” Carrollton is a worship band made up of four men, and their latest album Sunlight and Shadows “presents an honest faith and an unwavering hope in God.”

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Carrollton

Bonray

Bonray is a younger group, and actually a family band, made up of four siblings! They have been together as a band since 2014 and enjoy playing and travelling together as a family. “The heart of our band is relationship with Jesus. He is the inspiration of our lives and music and we’re giving it all back to Him.”

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Bonray

Jamison Strain

Finally, solo artist, worship leader and prolific songwriter Jamison Strain will be appearing at this concert as well. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Jamison released his first full-length album in 2010, and his latest album, Beautiful Beginning in 2016.

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Tickets

Tickets for this full night of music and worship are on sale now at iTickets.com. If you go to their website and just search for “Janesville” our concert will come right up. Or, the direct link to the ticket sales page is: https://www.itickets.com/events/374651

Tickets are $15 if ordered in advance, and $20 if you purchase your ticket on the day of the show. There will also be a small service fee added to each ticket. So, buy your tickets early! Since our sanctuary holds around 330, and this concert will be advertised to the surrounding cities, buy your tickets early if you want to be sure to get a seat.

If you’re not comfortable ordering your tickets online, you can also call 1-800-965-9324 and order your tickets by phone.

I hope you will plan to attend this concert with these four tremendously talented artists, all whose goal is to glorify God with their music and talents. This also would be a great outreach event to invite your friends and neighbors to. God often uses concerts and music to reach people for Christ in a way that is unique. Hope to see you there!

Get your tickets here!

Pastor Barry Westman
Worship Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church
Janesville, WI

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Pokemon Go and Your Church

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Have you noticed random people coming to your church with their cell phones out, just walking around or hanging out? They’re probably playing Pokemon Go! That’s because most churches are designated places for Pokemon players to go to as part of the game.

Churches have a unique opportunity to reach out and connect with their neighbors because of this. I was asked to write an article for WeAreWorship.com about what our church has been doing to take advantage of this Pokemon Go craze at our church.

Here’s a little snippet…

“Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you have probably heard about Pokémon Go – the game that is taking the world by storm. Based on the popular video game of the ‘90s, this mobile version gets players out of their house and leads them to various points of interest around their town to capture renegade Pokémon and store up on Poke balls and other items.

What does this have to do with church and worship, you might ask? Well, quite a bit actually, considering that pretty much every church in your town, including yours, probably, is either a Poke stop or a Poke gym. This means that random people from your community will be coming to your church to play this game. Since it a GPS-based game, people actually have to be within a short distance from your church in order for them to be able to activate the Poke stop or battle their Pokémon at your gym.”

Check out the full article here to find out how your church can take advantage of this unique opportunity to reach your community.

Barry Westman

 

Chad’s India Trip updates

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The team!!

June 21, 2016

The team left Bethel at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 21st, for India!

 

June 22, 2016

  • Update from Pastor Andrew: Hello everyone from Delhi! We all are alive, but a bit sleep deprived. Sharon met us when we arrived at the YWCA here and we ate breakfast and now showing getting clean before we go explore the city. Be in prayer for Abby as her luggage did not make it here. 😦 Be in prayer for tomorrow too. We have an early train to catch tomorrow too. Praises: Tired but attitudes are great. Great weather. AC in our rooms. Our team is excited to get to our retreat and meet everyone. Thanks for praying everyone. Update hopefully in another 24 hours.

 

June 23, 2016

  • Picture of Chad and Will posted today in India

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June 24, 2016

  • Update from Pastor Andrew – Good morning from Musoorie. Internet is very poor and hard to connect to. I apologize for delaying a bit in our communication. Thursday was a crazy day. Most of us slept ok that night but the jet lag took a lot out of us. We woke up around 5:00am and loaded into our van and we were off to the train station. Arriving there about 30 minutes later we were surrounded by men grabbing bags and fighting each other for Sharon’s bag. Sharon just laughed and said “Isn’t this just exciting” and she had the biggest smile. For her it might have been but maybe not the word our kids would use. The train station was packed with people. Everything, the people, sounds, smells, vehicles are different. Sharon told us this is how it would be for us. Every street corner, every new road would be something new for us and that is completely true! Kids peeing in the road, street vendors, dirty, beauty and the TRAFFIC! I can’t go into details until we get back. It makes my driving look perfect! We took a 6 hour train ride up to Derha dun and that actually was pretty fun. They gave us tea and cookies, breakfast, tea and cookies again. Traveling the countryside did show the beauty of the this country and as we arrived in Derha dun it sat at the base of a huge mountain. The Himalayas. So, parents where this retreat center is having to be top 3 most beautiful places I have ever seen. The drive up the mountain was just amazing and unreal. The height and valleys and villages just perched on top was so cool. We are now at the retreat center and it is an old but big building. Build sometime in the 30’s if I am remembering right. Beds are ok, temperature is PERFECT!!! Last night we had a short session where they blessed and welcomed us, sang and had fun. Kids went to bed pretty quick after that. In our debriefing meeting everyone was struggling to stay awake. Today it officially starts! Sessions, games, worship-everything. Continue to pray for our health. All have been pretty well. Ambar and I were horribly carsick on the way up here but after she threw up- all better! Haha. Pray that this retreat is a blessing to everyone. I will try and update again tomorrow if possible.

June 25, 2016

  • Update from Sam Mall: Talked to Sharon this morning. The retreat is going well. Everyone seems to be  enjoying. Small groups really bonded with games and interaction. Enthusiastic sharing of testimonies. Saturday night dramatic climax happened with superb worship, singing, and dancing. Our tonight (their Sunday am) worship is expected to be awesome. Monday activity will include baptism celebration also. Hardships, limited amenities, monkey invasion on campus did not dampen the enthusiasm. Overall report is very uplifting.  Thanks for praying.  Couple of delegates were not well and needed some medical care. Our team is doing well. – Sam

June 27, 2016

  • Another update from Sam:  This morning I talked to Sharon again.  The team is down the mountain at a hotel with relatively better amenities  compared to the retreat center.  They came through safe and sound away from the monkeys. The monkeys are noisy and amusing. But as it is with all wild life, they can be unpredictable and appear unfriendly (not always cute) at times. Our team has done their part in building some good memories of God’s grace for many young people and leaders alike. They had a fellowship meal and a visit with Tree of Life team this evening (Our morning). I look forward to their first hand report of the experience and the trip.  Let us pray them home safe and sound.
  • Here are some pics of the monkeys that visited the retreat center they were at:

 

June 28, 2016

Lots of updates today!! They are back in area with better wi-fi:

  • Update from Sharon Mall:

    Written two days ago…we are now down the mountain and having some down time before heading back to Delhi. Tomorrow I take the team to a city of temples and pilgrimage on the Ganges where they can get some more understanding of Hinduism. This city is famous as the city where the Beatles went many years ago. Tomorrow evening we take the train to Delhi.  Keep praying still much ahead. So far it has been an amazing trip. The verse Lauren gave me when I left has been so significant. John 7:38.

    Dear Friends,

    Greetings from the beautiful Himalayas! We just closed an amazing youth retreat here…that was definitely an Ephesians 3:20 retreat! The teaching, worship, fellowship and games were awesome. The Indian youth and American youth mixed well. Today was closing day with pictures and send off in different directions in North India. As we sent them off we knew they had been filled up, refreshed, and were overflowing. We pray that from these young people Rivers of Living Water will flow to the parched places of India.

    The youth travel team that came with me is healthy and enjoying experiencing a new culture and making new friends. Today After lunch we went on a hike to the top of a mountain where there are Tibetan prayer flags. The view was awesome.

    Tomorrow one of the Indian youth is following the Lord in the waters of obedience. Our group will leave here after breakfast and do a bit more sightseeing and then head down the mountain to a very cold mountain stream. I am so thankful to be here because we have known this girl since she was a baby. In fact, Sam and I personally sponsor her schooling. She calls us grandma and grandpa in Hindi. She has one more year of high school left. She has become quite a young godly leader. Isn’t God amazing…to allow me to be here at this special time!

    Well, monkeys are jumping on the roof now. That has also been entertaining!

    I have several more days with the youth. They leave early Friday morning. I will visit network friends in Delhi then fly back to Kolkata for a couple of closing days.   …

    Please continue to pray. Much is still on the agenda. Pray also for Sam and for stability for my Dad. I will leave India in July 4th night. Thanks for partnering to bring freedom and release to captives.
    When you celebrate the 4th—Pray for true freedom for all who are oppressed!

    Love and prayers!
    Sharon

  • Some pictures sent from Chad (text and Facebook)
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A selfie from India

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The team!

 

June 29, 2016

  • Update from Sam Mall:  Talked to Sharon today,
    After getting done in Dehradun with a fellowship dinner with TOL families, the team had a good rest and in the morning they went to Rishikesh for a visit. They were able to visit with some of the retreat youth on their turf and in their fellowship setting. They  were able to develop friendships and witness the real life experiences of young believers and their families in the field. The very presence and  sharing to bring encouragement they ministered God’s grace as a team. They also did some sight seeing in the area and got to dip their toes in the river Ganges (No swim).  They visited the holy city of Haridwar (Look it up on Google) by the river Ganges and saw some of the temples and the city sites on the way to the train station where they boarded their train for Delhi. I talked to Sharon and Pastor Andrew before they got to the train. I talked again with Sharon while they were already on the train and as they reached the next stop on the way to Delhi. They sounded great and thus far healthy and positive. Today late morning our time (11pm for them)they arrived in Delhi and resting now in real time. till may be 9:00pm for us). Some last minute closure and shopping outing is scheduled while we are asleep here tonight.  The team will be ready to go to the airport to catch their flight home.  Please pray them through with safe travel and return entry. First hand rendition of the journey with juicy tidbits and personal touches will be upon us soon. – Sam Mall

 

Next Level Worship Conference with Dwayne Moore

I know that worship leaders have so many options when it comes to conferences, especially this time of year, but I would like to invite you to bring your worship team to a conference at our church on Saturday, April 9th – the Next Level Worship Conference with Dwayne Moore.  I have known writer, speaker, and worship pastor Dwayne Moore for several years, and I’ve appreciated his teaching on worship so much! His Bible study Pure Praise is an excellent Bible study on worship, and a very practical tool for worship teams. Continue Reading

NWLC ’15 Workshop Schedule (Alternate Layout)

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Later this month, I’ll be leading a team of 5 members from our Worship Ministry at Bethel Baptist Church down to Kansas City for the National Worship Leader Conference. We’ve attended this conference for the last several years, and I would highly recommend it! It really is a highlight of my year, and I’m looking forward to another great year in 2015!

The workshops that are offered at the conference are always excellent, and a great way to dig in and improve your understanding and knowledge in several areas. For the past several years, I’ve been putting together my own version of the workshop schedule, and handing it out to my team. The NWLC team has done a great job offering an app and online schedule, but this version just lays it out a little differently, making it easy to see at a glance when each workshop is offered throughout the conference. I’ve had a few people in previous years see it, and ask if they could get a copy as well, so I thought I would make it available for anyone else who would like to use it.  Feel free to download this version of the workshop schedule for your use.

Click on file below to download the workshop chart:
Workshop Chart 2015 (Alternate layout)  (Excel version)

Workshop Chart 2015 (Alternate layout) (PDF Version)

If you’re going to the conference this month in Kansas City, I’d love to connect with you! Here’s my contact information:

Barry Westman
Facebook: facebook.com/barrywestman
Twitter: @bkwestman

Hope you have a great conference!

Worship and the Great Commission

 

The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20, commands all believers to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Song and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Another important command in Scripture is often referred to as the Great Commandment, found in Matthew 22:37-40, which says, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” These two passages are at the heart of evangelism and of worship.

It is easy to keep these two activities of the church separate in our minds, but they actually are not separate elements, or at least they shouldn’t be. One of the books I am reading for my Personal Evangelism class is called Worship and Witness: Becoming a Great Commission Worshiper. Our main goal as followers of Christ is to glorify God. This is done as we live lives of worship individually, and as we come together corporately on Sunday mornings. However, another way we glorify and worship God is to obey His commands and live a life of obedience. Obeying the Great Commission by making disciples brings glory to God. Also, regarding the Great Commandment, the authors of Worship and Witness say, “He called us to glorify God with unyielding allegiance, but our worship isn’t complete unless we also love our neighbor. If we fall in love with Christ and seek to glorify His name, we’ll also love others and lead them to worship with us.” (1)

Coming together on Sunday mornings to express worship together as the Body of Christ is a wonderful and necessary thing. However, our worship cannot stop there. “If the heartbeat of worship is obedience, then it is impossible to be a true worshipper without being directly involved in the command of evangelism” (2) found in the Great Commission. We are called to be Great Commission worshippers. We should love the Lord with all our heart, and love our neighbors enough to tell them about the love of Christ. Great Commission worshipers are those “who are so in love with Jesus, so committed to worship Him, and so devoted to obedience of all His commands that they simply cannot restrain themselves from telling others about Him.” (3) That sounds like a great goal!

1.  David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, Worship and Witness: Becoming a Great Commission Worshiper (Nashville: Lifeway Press, 2012), 12.

2.  David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-Based Evangelism (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011), 13.

3.  Wheeler and Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship, xi.

NWLC ’14 Kansas – Workshop Schedule (Alternate Layout)

On July 13th, I’ll be leading a team of 8 members from our Worship Ministry at Bethel Baptist Church down to Kansas City for the National Worship Leader Conference. We’ve attended this conference for the last several years, and I would highly recommend it! It really is a highlight of my year, and I’m looking forward to another great year in 2014!

There are so many great aspects about this conference – including the inspiring times of worship, the challenging speakers and the practical workshops! For the past several years, I’ve been putting together my own version of the workshop schedule, and handing it out to my team. The NWLC team has done a great job offering an app and online schedule, but this version just lays it out a little differently, making it easy to see at a glance when each workshop is offered throughout the conference. Last year, a few people saw it and asked about it, so I thought I would make it available for anyone else who would like to use it.  Feel free to download my version of the workshop schedule for your use. The information includes the most recent updates on 7/1. Hope you find it helpful, and maybe I’ll see you at the conference!

Click on file below to download workshop chart:
NWLC ’14 (Kansas) – Workshop Chart (Alternate layout)

If you’re going to the conference, be sure to let me know! I’d love to connect with other worship leaders!

Barry Westman
Twitter: @bkwestman
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barrywestman