A New Sound at Energizer Church

A good song really is an amazing thing. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being united in song with other people. We are incredibly diverse, with completely unique experiences, opinions, tendencies and beliefs, but somehow, music unites us, stripping away our many differences. Few art forms allow so easily for the transference of meaning and emotion between souls as well as the song.

In The Church, the song is given even more responsibility, acting not only as a unifier of people, but also as a vehicle through which we can engage with God in spirit, mind and body. What an amazing gift God has given us in the song!

For so many of us, at specific times certain songs have helped us express something to God that we might not have been able to articulate otherwise. There are always amazing songs being written across the global church and, often we can find songs that feel really relevant for where we are at as individuals and as a local church in one corner of the world; Energizer Creative’s Songwriting Workshop is about developing our ability as a group of believers to express what God is doing among us – specifically.

We don’t just want new tunes to sing; we want to chronicle in song the journey God has us on, as a church. We want songs that celebrate our victories, embrace our challenges, speak prophetically to our church and our city and create moments of intimacy with God that are truly ours.

The format of the night is not so much about the generation of new ideas, but the shaping and polishing of ideas that our people have already partially formed. As such, each time the night rolls around, we’ll aim to get one to three songs from a basic idea to a fully formed song, ready to go for Sunday!

It’s about what’s in our hands: while we don’t have fancy recording studios or full-time Creative staff, we’ve got some great lyrical and musical minds, a physical space and some time set aside. We want it to be a simple process to get songs from sketches to finished products.

The Process:
If you’ve got a song, or even half a song, here’s how Songwriting Workshop can get it finished and ready to be used on a Sunday:
Send a demo and chart (chords and words) to me on email (simongrubb@gmail.com.
I’ll listen/read it and either send it back to you (and possibly on to someone else) with suggested additions or changes. Once the idea is ready, we’ll take the demo and chart to Songwriting Workshop for full-band arrangement and basic recording.
Finished songs will be checked by senior church leadership and then loaded into the database with recording and charts, ready for use in services!

I’m excited to get going and get some homegrown songs written from the heart of our church into our amazing services. I really believe God can use these songs, as yet unheard, to minister to his people, to reach the lost, to change the world.

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭96:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

– Simon Grubb
Energizer Creative

Choose to Praise

“They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!”
Acts 16:23-26 23

This Bible passage begins with the unjust arrest and imprisonment of Paul and Silas. I can’t help but imagine that the atmosphere in that prison must have been depressing – more like a stench-ridden dungeon, and as if that wasn’t enough, they were severely battered and bruised.

Can you take a minute to just imagine that; imagine yourself in that situation. What would be your reaction to your circumstances?

In spite of the throbbing pain in their bodies and the disheartening atmosphere, at midnight Paul and Silas were heard praying and singing praises to God! What? What a strange sound this must have been to the other prisoners, who were used to only hearing the groans of those who had been beaten.

Then suddenly, there was an earthquake that shook the prison! The doors were flung open, and amazingly, the bonds of Paul, Silas, and EVERY other prisoner were released! What caused this mighty release of power?

The answer is PRAISE… choosing to praise is a powerful decision that has an incredible impact on our situations and circumstances.

1. Praise Elevates us into God’s Presence and Power
Paul and Silas knew the secret of how to lift their hearts above their troubles and enter into God’s presence, peace and power. Through praise and worship they provided a channel for God’s power to operate in their circumstances.

The Bible says that God inhabits in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). In other words, God “dwells” in the atmosphere of His praise. This means that praise is not merely a reaction from coming into His presence – Praise is a vehicle of faith, which brings us into the presence and power of God!

Praise and worship is the “gate-pass” or the “key” which allows us to enter the sacredness of His glory. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)

2. True Praise comes from Within
‘Praise’ means “to commend, to applaud or magnify.” For us believers, praise to God is an expression of worship, lifting-up and glorifying the Lord (giving worth to God). It is an expression of humbling ourselves and centering our attention upon the Lord with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration and thanksgiving.

There are many actions involved with praise to God — verbal expressions of adoration and thanksgiving, singing, playing instruments, shouting, dancing, lifting or clapping our hands. But true praise is not “merely” going through these motions. Genuine praise to God is a matter of humility and sincere devotion to the Lord from within. In John 4:23 we read, But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.

3. Praise to God is a Lifestyle
All too often, praise to God is something that many people leave at church, an event that happens only when they come together with other believers. However, praise should be a part of our lifestyle, inter-mingled as a part of our daily prayer-life.

At work, in the car, at home in bed, or anywhere; praise to the Lord brings the refreshing of the Lord’s presence, along with His power and anointing. Psalm 34:1, I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.

Praise is an expression of faith, and a declaration of victory! Praise is also a “sacrifice,” something that we offer to God, not just because we feel like it, but because we believe in Him and delight in Him.

4. Praise Sends the Enemy Running
Maybe it’s the inner-mongrel in me, but this one really gets me excited. Since God inhabits the praises of His people, we also realise that praise repels the presence of the enemy. The devil cannot stand to be near an atmosphere, which is filled with sincere worship and praise to God by humble and repentant hearts. He fears the power in the name of Jesus, so when we declare His praises, we are pushing back darkness. That there, just makes me want to get up and shout God’s praises right now!

When God’s people begin to praise His name, it sends the enemy running! I challenge you to become a person of praise, and you will experience the release of the power of God!

Praise & “Worship is the strategy by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to the presence of God. “ – Eugene Peterson
This year, let’s re-look at how we individually and as a team praise our God. We are focusing on FINDING OUR AUTHENTIC SOUND. As we offer up our authentic praise & worship that He alone deserves, I like to think that He will smile and utter “that’s what I have been waiting for”.

There is a sound that as individuals, we carry, which has never been heard before – let’s believe for it, pray for it, pursue it, and be authentic!

What is the sound people are hearing from our house? Is it genuine? Is it from within? Is it repelling the enemy? Is it bringing others on the journey? Is it breaking chains off people’s lives?

God is waiting for us to be brave and to step out beyond the shore. That is where we will find ourselves totally reliant on Him. That is where we will find our unique God-given sound. Let’s each decide to ‘do praise & worship differently’ in 2015, even if that means going beyond our comfort zones – let’s do it scared and see what God does.

Written by Katie Swift
Creative Team Leader

The Calm.

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Words.

So many words.

Everyone has something to say about something.
And I for one had something to say; I had a place for us to go. The journey was set and the destination was clear, but alas, such an odyssey was cut short and my thoughts became adjourned. There was no more moving forward, no more introspection, narrative or opinion.

Gone.

All gone.

Won over by the supremacy of writers’ block, my creative flow was barricaded behind a seemingly insurmountable wall. It was a battle far greater than these feeble hands could fight in a time of weakness and to crusade against such a force would be perilous. My tools were blunt and my hands were tied by impending deadlines and the juggles of daily conventions. My sight was scrambled and white noise scattered my clarity into chaos…

But I heard one drop.

Falling.

Its drip emanated, echoing across the stillness of what was once a raging river of notion and design.
In one breath it whispered: “Be. Still.”

It was simple: no more pushing, no more fatigue.
Let unrestrained torrents pacify and in the stillness, let that one single drop become the author. Let its ripple manifest a story without the need for words, uttered with the intention to captivate and command everything in its path to remain calm.

Hush.

Be still.

Written by Lance Cooper

Creative News

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Hi everyone,

Just keeping you up-to-date with a few exciting things happening in creative ministries, as well as some house-keeping things for us to note…Get amongst it!

TEAM NIGHT:
We are super stoked about Team Night coming up in a couple of weeks. These nights are for our whole combined creative team slash anyone who’s interested in using creative ways to build the church. So, whether you’re a musician, photographer, web designer, vocalist, film-maker, writer, audio engineer, video editor, dancer, artist or anything else remotely creative, we would love to see you there.

There will be supper, worship, team building, the one and only Lance Cooper bring the word, practical training and the chance to connect as a team and spur one another on. We seek to build a culture of belonging – so if you want to belong, you do! We are committed to helping you find your fit. We look forward to seeing you there!

Energizer Church // 8 Petchey St Bellerive // Aug 25 // 6:15PM

NEXT GEN:
A note from Jemimah: A BIG THANKYOU to all you guys who helped at camp this year! You were so amazing with such a heart to love the Lord and lead the next generation closer to Him. He did so much that weekend, and it was a landmark time for our youth ministry, church, and I believe, for this next generation! God is definitely drawing us closer and leading us to pioneer in places not yet explored. It’s so good to be serving and growing together.

…Our next Encounter night at Energizer Youth will be Friday 28th August and we would love you to be involved! Could you please RSVP with a yes/no/maybe for the upcoming Encounter Night so we can start putting things together? That would be much appreciated.

Energizer Church // 8 Petchey St Bellerive // Aug 28 // 7:00PM

POWERING DOWN:
We are still in the process of finding a team leader for Visual Media, so we just want to say how proud we are of the team for keeping things going and doing what needs to be done. Thank you for your servant hearts, you are so valued. At the next team night we will be doing some training for VM personnel on program tips & tricks, troubleshooting, end of service slide show, pre-service videos and powering the system down. If everyone can be there, it will be well worth it!

And for our sound and lighting legends who always do a brilliant job (they are the first there and the last to leave). We have noticed a couple of times lately that the lighting desk, amps and sound desk haven’t been powered down and so others who are less experienced have had to do this after the morning service. Let’s not forget about that part and ensure that it gets done before we leave. It’s only a small thing in the amazing job that you do, but still an important one.

Katie and I and the other team leaders are so proud of everyone. We are excited for what lies ahead for Creative ministries and we can’t wait to see what God has in store. Keep up the amazing work that you do and know that it doesn’t go unnoticed. You all belong, you all matter, you are all making a difference and we are all in this together!

Love you all! See you soon 🙂

Cheers
Josh & Katie

#youbelong
#whatyouarepartofisbiggerthanthepartyouplay
#permissiontobecreative
#tellthestory
#findoursound
#makeroom
#letsgethungry

Akish’s Adventure

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Meirav was worried. Her son had been gone all day long. Akish was headstrong like his father. His dark hair and features reminded her of Samuel. She missed Samuel’s strong hands, the warmth of his generous laughter. Meirev sighed. If only she’d had more time with him. It was now nearly two years since Samuel was snatched from their lives. Everyone was aware of the dangers of the storms that rushed down the valley swirling from the Mediterranean or further north. The lake was notorious for sudden storms, swooping in and taking all before them.

Other widows had brought comfort, saying that time would heal the wound in her heart. She still ached when some smell or sound reminded her of Samuel.

At times, she would look at Akish and see her husband in him. His boy’s voice was beginning to deepen, there was a gangliness about him, as he was now rapidly surpassing her in height.

Meirav kneaded the meagre barley loaves wondering whether she should have let him go for the day. She had heard great things about this new Rabbi.
Akish was friends with most of the other fishermen in the village. Surely no harm had come to him. It was late. She thought back to the morning.
“I’m not sure. You can’t tell me where you are going?”
“I just want to follow the Rabbi about. He does amazing things.” Akish’s eyes had sparkled with delight. “I was there when he healed that lame man yesterday.”
“He tells stories that make you think. Crowds follow him to see what he will say and do. I’ll just follow and see what happens.”
Akish asked again. “Please?” Meirav was torn; she ignored the question.
Akish tried one more plea. “You never let me go like the other boys. I hate it. Let me go so I can see for myself.”
His dark eyes pleaded. So much like his father. Her son tried one more plea. “At least I’ll be with Andrew.”
That had sealed it for her. Andrew; respected by all, kind, gentle. Whenever she bought fish from him she knew his portion would be generous.
Meirav relented “Alright, but stay with Andrew.” Akish had grinned. She had packed the lunch and wrapped it carefully into the bag.
“Take this. Share it with Andrew, or anyone else.”

That was over twelve hours ago. That was only this morning, and now it was past dark. There was much about this teacher that made her uneasy. No more of that. It was done.

The rhythm of the kneading comforted her. She patted the barley rolls into shape. Her daily ritual was making five loaves, two each, and another for any guest. If the last wasn’t used she would share with her son. She often gave him the extra portion.
Where was he now, she wondered? She glanced out the door. No moon tonight. Her precious son’s journey home would be in the pitch dark. He wouldn’t be travelling coming home alone. Meirav had watched as others from the village streamed past her door, all heading in the same direction.

Her instincts told her not to worry. But she would be happier when Akish was home.
She laid the loaves aside to let them rise on the hearth stones.
Her revelry broke. She heard rushing footsteps on the stones outside. She turned to see her boy’s shape framed in the doorway, a darker inkiness. Relieved, she turned.
He rushed in, words spilling out. He came into the light inside. “Mother. You should have come. Incredible. You won’t believe what happened.” His eyes looked deep into hers, openly, honestly sharing his heart.

Meirav shuddered. He looked more like his father whenever he was excited.
“So something amazing happened today? More healings?”
“You won’t believe it. Incredible. No one will think it was possible.” Akish’s face beamed. “I don’t know how he did it. It’s incredible.” The torrent of words stopped suddenly then he frowned.
“Well?” She waited.
“I don’t know he did it but he did.” Meirav looked at her son. He had a quizzical look on his face, but then beamed again. “You won’t believe me, when I tell you.” He smiled as he teased her.
“Of course I will. You were there, not me.. Now, tell me.”
“I don’t know how he did it but he did.” Akish shrugged. “I saw it. My lunch, he took my lunch.” Akish paused again.
“He did what? He took your lunch?” Meirav wondered, was that it, pride he had been generous to this teacher? She waited. There was more here.

“Yes with my lunch. With my lunch. With it he, he fed the crowd.”
The words then struck home. “With my lunch he fed the crowd.” What did the boy mean? How could this be?
‘Tell me again.” She wanted to be sure if she heard correctly.
“I don’t know how, but he did. With what you gave me, he fed the crowd.”
“The whole crowd?” Mierev asked.
“Yes, all of them. I watched. He broke it and broke it and shared it out. Over and over again. I heard someone say it was over five thousand. Five thousand ate my lunch.” Akish was proud, puzzled. He paused again. “Andrew told me it proved this Rabbi was greater than Elijah and Elisha. He is the one, the Messiah.”
“Are you telling me your lunch fed that many?”
“Yes. I don’t know how, but he did.” Akish added, “Andrew said it was a sure sign. He is greater than those prophets who fed a few. We were told those stories in the synagogue last week.”

Meirav could see the wonder, excitement and a new certainty in her boy. She didn’t want to lose him to some wandering preacher. She had heard of John with his wild clothes and wild ways. She had wandered over to the Northern part of the lake with others and seen the crowds.
“What do you mean he is greater than Elijah and Elisha? No one can be greater than those prophets?”
“Elijah fed the widow and her son for two years with the last of her barley grains and a little oil. Elisha fed a hundred with twenty barley cakes.” Don’t you see? He is greater. He fed over five thousand with my five barley cakes and two fish.”
“I don’t know what happened out there.” This was too sudden, too unbelievable for her. “This is too hard to believe.”
“Mother, I was there and I saw. He is greater than any who have come before. He is greater than Moses. The Manna only lasted a day. There were leftovers like Elisha. Twelve baskets full. Twelve.. the number of all the tribes of Israel.” Akish paused. Akish said with certainty. “He is the One. I want to try and follow him.”

Perhaps that is how it went for a young boy years ago. I re-read this story today where Jesus fed a crowd, a young boy’s lunch, a crowd, a miracle that is beyond our experience.
What would you have thought if you were there? Disbelief? Impossible? Incredible? Imposter? A natural explanation? His miracles and His teaching make us have to decide about Him. I don’t know what your take is on that day. How does this story challenge you?
For me, Jesus takes a little and makes it great. He takes what is offered freely and makes it inconceivably wonderful. He is the one of more than enough. He is the one who meets needs head on. He is the one we can come to. What do you think Jesus? Is He The One?

Written by Peter Swift

Team Night: July 22

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Hi Church!
We are so excited for all that is happening in Creative. There is a new thing brewing, a new hunger for the presence of God! We hope you are just as pumped to discover all that God has in store for us as a team, as a church and as individuals.

Tonight is Team Night! There will be time to let our hair down, time to pray together as a team, time to hear a brand new original song by one of our very own, and time for some masterclasses. There will be something for everyone, so make sure you get there and bring a buddy along with you!
And as if that wasn’t enough – there will also be PIZZA – so every reason to be there!

Team nights are all about gathering and connecting EVERYONE who is part of creative ministries, or anyone who would like to get involved. We seek to build a culture of belonging – so if you want to belong, you do! We are committed to helping you find your fit. Our vision is to “tell God’s story” through the creative arts in all it’s forms. At team nights, there are opportunities to develop our skills, as well as the chance to collaborate around our creative ideas.

Our creative team is open to everyone! Join us for Team Night tonight (6:15pm – 8:15pm)!
You’d be welcome! (and invite your friends to ‘try it out’)
We look forward to seeing you there!

Josh & Katie

The Key: Part 4

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The Bible tells us that the heart of every human has a door and that outside that door, salvation stands knocking: not a pounding, demanding knock, but a quiet, inquisitive tap.
“Are you listening?”
“Are you open?”
“Are you ready?”

Some hearts are open; they spring their doors wide at the first tap. Others are closed, cold, tightly protecting their inner chambers, indiscriminate of the nature of the intruder.

These locked up hearts have been slammed shut for a reason and often the key has been thrown away, lost.

But the one who stands just outside, gently tap-tapping, is an expert in finding that which has been lost. He finds the keys to those locked-tight hearts in the gutters and garbage of life, in mistakes and regrets. He holds those precious keys I. His scarred and bleeding hands momentarily and then, in an act of momentous trust, he passes them to us. To us is entrusted the opportunity to give those keys, those hearts, a chance to find a place in which they fit.

He chooses the imperfect to demonstrate a path to perfection. He uses those wrapped in natural flesh to make supernatural truth plain; to show those locked up hearts that beyond their barred doors, all hearts are, in essence, the same, because eternity is written on them all.

By Jen Grubb

The Key: Part 3

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He carefully chose the key from the bunch nestled together on the silver ring. It was larger than the rest, with special markings: three numbers and the letter A, clearly marked. It had an extra hole drilled through it and the locksmith’s details recorded, just in case.

He knew it was special. It was one of only a few, entrusted to a small group. It allowed him access to the building he stood before.

It was a privilege to hold one of these keys. He remembered the day he had been ushered into a tiny office and had signed his name in the book. The date next to his signature was a long time ago now, but the record of his privilege remained. With privilege had come responsibility. He’d been aware of these responsibilities on that day, and they remained at the forefront of his mind still as he typed the code into the keypad, the other kind of key which had also been entrusted to him so long ago.

The key had only been used on special occasions.

Today was cold and frosty; his hands stung as he fumbled the bunch of keys. It was early on Sunday morning. He was, as usual, the first there. His was the privilege of opening up for everyone else.

Carefully, he pushed the key into the lock, he twisted it slowly to the right, appreciating the perfect fit. The tumblers engaged, each of them clicking into place, each one vital to the success of the whole. He was in.

He punched in the code for the alarm, the six digits he knew so well that he didn’t need to look at the keypad. Already his eyes were sweeping the building, composing his list of tasks. There were the lights to switch on, the heaters to crank up, the coffee pot to be filled.

Few had the privilege of being first. He would open up, warm the building in preparation for the worshipers, prepare for the day with his service and his prayers. He couldn’t sing well and had never learned to play an instrument, but his praise was to be there at first light, preparing the way for the saints to gather. His praise was practical, but no less vital or valuable.

His master was smiling; “well done, well done my faithful one. Although your worship is invisible to many, it is precious to me. Well done, you know my heart, for you open the way for others.”

Written by Peter Swift

The Key: Part 2

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You sit in the palm of my hand, still, silver, small…lifeless, yet able to unlock,
to open up something that may be incredible,
something of untold potential.

What good is a lock without a key?
What good is a key without a lock, with no place to fit?
Where do you fit?
Should I keep you safe, protect you,
not knowing if I’ll ever use you.
Or is better to discard, and avoid the not knowing.
Discard, and despair on the future day
When I find the lock,
But no longer have the key?

Our lives hold many temptations
To hide ourselves away, like a hidden key,
Unaware that all around us are prisoners
And we can be the ones
To set them free.

As we’re swept into relationship, our connection
Is the key.
We are the ones flicking the tumblers
Down, opening the door to hope,
Or a life not dreamt or imagined before.

Hold fast you your potential
Don’t lock yourself away
Live life like a key
Though you might not find the lock today.
You carry the potential
To open up and change lives of those around you.
You are the key.

Words by Dan Pastoor