The Kingdom Expressions ministry at Kingdom Encounters is not a ministry to the people; it is a ministry from the people unto the Lord. It is the honor and privilege of all believers to participate in this ministry as a form of praise unto the Lord and of spiritual warfare. This is confirmed in Psalm 149:6–9: “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand . . . this honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!” (Emphasis added).
Worship vs. Worship Arts (or Kingdom Expressions):
Worship is a lifestyle. Worship is not limited to thirty minutes of music on a Sunday morning. In fact, that is far from the true heart of worship. Music is but one fraction of the many ways that people use to express their worship to the Lord. We believe worship unto the Lord should be the foundation for everything we do. The way we live our lives is the most telling description of how we worship Him.
Worship Arts (Kingdom Expressions) consists of a variety of ways people can express their lifestyle of worship to the Lord in a corporate or private setting. In spite of the previous definition of worship as a 24/7 lifestyle, most churches in America define the worship ministry as strictly being in charge of the music. We are expanding that definition to be the Kingdom Expressions Worship Arts Ministry, overseeing all forms of creativity as ways in which people in the church can express their worship to the Lord.
The Purpose of the Kingdom Expressions Ministry:
To foster an atmosphere in which the people are free to express their worship to God, both privately and corporately, through a variety of forms.
This includes, but is not limited to: music (singing/playing instruments), songwriting (rehearsed or spontaneous), dance (choreographed or spontaneous), painting, sketching, oil pastels, culinary arts, flags and banners, graphic design/PowerPoint, running sound, drama/plays/skits, spoken word/poetry, creative writing/journaling, and other options as well.
The Goal of the Kingdom Expressions Ministry:
That everyone in the congregation would experience a Kingdom Encounter as they express their worship to the Lord both in the corporate setting, as
well as in small group settings (SON Groups, youth group, etc.) and private settings (at home, in the car, etc.).
That as the people give unto the Lord the glory He is due, He would also pour out upon them an amazing Kingdom Encounter in His Presence.
The Philosophy of the Kingdom Expressions Ministry:
Everyone gets to play!
We encourage everyone to operate in their gifting as we all play a part in contributing our gifts and talents to present to the Lord a beautiful offering in worship.
We realize that this may result in mistakes from time to time, but our premise is that we’d rather people try, fail, and try again, than never have tried at all. If we err, we are determined always to err on the side of excessive life rather than excessive death.
The Structure of the Kingdom Expressions Ministry:
Ideally, under the heading of the worship arts ministry, several teams would exist. These teams would include such ministries as:
o Music team
o Prayer team
o Audio/Visual team (sound, PowerPoint, graphic arts, etc.)
o Dance team
o Drama team
o Beautification team (decorations, floral arrangements, landscape, etc.)
o Culinary arts team (church fellowship meals, Encounter Café, etc.)
o Creative writing team
o Poetic diction/spoken word team
o Visual arts team (paintings, sketches, etc.)
o Others we haven’t even thought of yet!
We recognize that at the time of the church being planted, not all of these teams would be in place right away. However, we will start with what we have and trust the Lord to build those teams as He desires.
As people who are gifted in these areas step into the Leadership Agreement Distinction, they may step into a position of leadership for a team that has not yet been developed.
However, all people, regardless of their distinct agreement with the church (e.g., Friendship Agreement, Activation Agreement, etc.), may participate in these forms of worship, regardless of whether there has been an established team and team leader(s) or not. (Some teams may require an interview or audition.)
The “Backbone” of the Kingdom Expressions Ministry
Because of the intricate role that music ministry plays in the weekly fellowship of believers, the music ministry would likely be the first worship arts ministry to be developed. The leader(s) of the music ministry would also serve as the overseer of the entire worship arts ministry.
This is not because the music ministry is better or higher than any of the other ministries. However, the music ministry does function as a “hub” for most of the other ministries (e.g., dance would occur during music, as would waving of flags, balancing sound, most painting, etc.).
The leader(s) of the music ministry would also function as a “go-to person” for other worship arts ministry leaders. This leader(s) would be responsible for clear communication among all teams, organizing how various teams will function together peacefully in the worship service, making final decisions, etc. This leader(s) would provide oversight in these venues but would not micromanage.
Oversight for the worship arts/music ministry leader(s) would come from the elders, lead pastor, and of course, the Holy Spirit.
The Foundation for the Kingdom Expressions Ministry
Prayer. Without it, we are ill-equipped for the tasks the Lord sets before us.
o Every team will gather together regularly to pray. Sometimes, whole practice times will be set aside just to spend the whole time in seeking the Lord through prayer.
Periodic seasons of rest. Without these, the teams are in danger of burnout.
o The goal is that there will be multiple teams who can rotate roles in the Sunday services. (e.g., having two or more competent music teams [with two or more competent leaders] that can rotate every other week or every other month, etc.).
Avoiding a “rut” mentality. Without this, rituals, tradition, and religious exercises slowly begin to replace the Kingdom Encounter attitude toward openness to flexibility and change as the Holy Spirit does a new thing.
o For instance, the music team would be committed to play the songs the Lord leads, not necessarily the songs that are the music leader’s favorite. This would sometimes mean playing brand new songs, but it would also mean going back to an oldie or a hymn. It’s not about what we want; what does God want? Remember, this is a ministry to Him!