Changed & Still Changing, part 2

This is the 2nd part of my CC’07 reflections.Corporate Worship

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I’ll say little about this, except that it was for the most part, effective and not distracting. The lead worshipers humbly lead us into song, often with appropriate sharing in between songs. I did notice the number of “umms”, a sign that some prayers / sharings were not prepared beforehand, and thus lacked the proper flow and direction that would have more effectively communicated the point of the pre/post-song spiel. Theologically, I recall disagreeing quietly when it was said that we should not be caring about the quality of the music, for when one tells us not to care or notice such things — we naturally begin to do the very thing we’re told not to do. Meanwhile, we must also understand that God is creator, Lord and Savior, and he deserves nothing less than our most best, most creative worship. The “FOCUS” band did a really good job emphasizing that in song, but I did notice many unnecessary remarks that stopped the flow of worship in the middle of its tracks and directed the worshipers attention to what was going on on-stage.While there seemed to be too many songs imho, and some touchy-feelly Hillsong songs, I was very happy to be lead in a Hillsong worship song that proclaims penal substitutionary atonement! (“You bought my life with the blood that You shed on the cross, when You died for the sins of men, and You let out a cry, crucified now alive in me.” – Fire Fall Down)Generally speaking, I think the corporate worship we were lead in was effective in motivating the gathered church in cherishing the truths about God and the work of Christ on the Cross.Main SessionsOur speaker, Tom Lin (of IVCF in the States) was very effective in relating and communicating the hindrances and opportunities that are in front of us as Chinese Canadians. Though the messages weren’t explicitly expositional, he spoke from a parables of Jesus for each message, and he did connect them well to our Asian context. Especially the Saturday evening’s talk on “leaving our Asian grails”, I think I myself and everybody else were convicted by the idolatry that was present in our lives, even as Christians. Tom spoke of the idols of 1) Academics, 2) Careers, 3) Money & Possessions, and 4) Relationships.The Saturday evening program was very powerful in which Jenn and her team of ushers directed the delegates to 4 stations of confession. (If I’m not mistaken, they were 1. Success & Security, 2. Self-Image, 3. Intimacy, 4. Escapism). While the delegates were being lead by the ushers at each station concerning the depth and depravity of each idol, the CC Committee & workshop leaders went outside the Theatre to pray for them and the ushers. Our chair, Letty, confessed that there was much spiritual warfare going on that was holding people back from truthfully confessing their own idolatry. I realized after the fact that we spent the whole time the delegates were confessing their sins that we stood for that hour praying! I cried tears of repentance and joy during part of the prayers, and I was amazed at what God was doing in our hearts to convict us of our need to depend on Him alone for life and breath.Small Groups

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I had a great time with my small group this year. It seemed like we were all around the same age and/or maturity level, and that really helped in our sharings. I think Saturday night was the peak for us as a group, when we just went around and shared from our hearts about the idols we still carried in our hearts. We were sharing a room with another group, who was just partying it up with loads of snacks and were about to leave to the Theatre for more musical worship. Meanwhile, we were very hesitant to join them in the snacks or in the late-night musical worship, and I only realized afterwards that all we wanted to do was chill, and to talk and get to know each other. We wanted to fellowship and not just waste time on frivolous things. It was a very open and honest time of sharing and for this alone, I was so thankful that I came to CC this year.PrayerI gotta say, this year’s conference was thoroughly driven by prayer. It was really hard for me to get up for the 7am prayer meetings with the Committee (and the Monday one didn’t even happen). When we prayed together, we were able to honestly lift our burdens to God for Him to transform them into acts of praise. Through our confessions and prayers for help, we told God that we truly could not do it by ourselves, and we desperately needed Him to intercede.During the “Debrief” program on Monday morning, each campus had a rep on stage to share 1 item of thanksgiving and 1 prayer request with the rest of the delegates. All the members from that fellowship would also join him/her at the side of the stage, and then somebody from another fellowship prayed for them (with people near by laying hands over them). Meanwhile, communion was taken right after each prayer finished. I’ve never seen so much unity in campus fellowships, praying and laying hands on each other like this. The air was Spirit-filled, and even as a spectator listening to other campus give thanks and confess I was still humbled by how we don’t pray enough for each other just like this.This was likely the last CC I would be attending for a very long time. In the midst of it, I tried to cherish every single moment of it: the anxious hours of workshop leading, the glorious times of corporate worship, the intimate times with my smallgroup, and the reflective times of personal solitude… It all came and went too quickly, and I wish I could experience this again in the future. I know such is unlikely, and so I will have to get by with the mere memory that is seared into my mind.SDG

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