Have you ever thought about where you would go to if anything was possible? Or what inspiring person you would like to meet if you could meet anyone you want? I do that sometimes and earlier this year one of those desires was fulfilled.
In October I went to the Reunion-festival (https://re17.unitedpursuit.com) in Tennessee. That was like a dream that came true. And there they were talking about the Worshipschool that would start in January of this year, in California.
After that festival I couldn`t get the thought out of my head so I decided to apply. I had to record a little video of 5 minutes max. in which I had to answer a few questions. And I had to let them hear me sing or play my instrument for a minute.
It only took my 2 takes and I send it to the school!
For a long time I didn`t hear anything, but eventually I received an email that said I was accepted!
Amazing news!! The received so many videos so it probably took a long to time to process all of them. Suddenly I got a little insecure about the trip: would I be good enough, etc etc… but I knew with all of my heart that this was God`s way for me! Nothing could stop me now!
I flew to Orange County, California and I arrived 1 day too early. But, one of my best friends was also coincidentally close to L.A so we could spent that day together and he could even drop me off at the school. Wow, I was so thankful that he could see where the worshipschool would be.
The school lasted less than a week, we were with about 30 students and a few leaders.
We celebrated new years eve together, took a dive in the ocean at midnight, we laughed, we learned a lot and we got sick together…(yes, so did I)
So, maybe you wonder: `Nick, who are those inspiring leaders?`
They were all part of the “United Pursuit Family“, a group of friends that make music together and got very well know in the “Christian world of worship“.
But, they are not really special because of their amazing songs and music, but because of the fact that all that they do is focused on the heart and having friendship with God. They are focused on `Being` instead of `Doing`. And off course, all of us move between `Being & Doing` in our daily lives. But for them `Being` is the starting point.
You could also say that they desire to stay close to their heart in all that they do in life. They don`t like to please people, or to jump through hoops to make the crowd happy. No, they want to wait on God and from that place of waiting they watch what happens when they start singing, teaching and make their music. One of them once called their style: contemplative worship. I love that! Their worship is like a sort of meditative way in which you become fully aware of your unity with God and of His presence all around you. And of course Jesus is their inspiration. (so you don`t think this sounds too “New Age-like“).
So for a small week I had the privilege of hanging out with some of them. Eat, worship in the morning, worship in the evening, songwriting lessons, listening to stories and people could ask lot of questions. And of course I saw a little bit of Disneyland!!! 😀 Yeah!
Amazing people like Michael Ketterer, Brandon Hampton, Will Reagan, Nathan Fray, Tom Murphy and all the other leaders, they all had a part in pouring themselves out before us.
Do you know those moments when you meet certain people and that you instantly feel at home? You know, like that place where you don`t have to explain yourself but where all of you are living in the same frequency. That place where the hearts of everyone share the same desire. That place, or that group of people, can feel like your tribe, your family.
That`s what they mean to me.
I already experienced that connection from a distance and sometimes I could see them at a festival. But to spend time with them in a living room, wow, that was like a dream that came true.
I can`t wait to go to the Reunion festival 2018 and see them again!
The theme that came forward in the school was: the kingdom of God is family.
I can`t imagine any other deeper theme than that. God is family, His Kingdom is all about family/community/heart connection.
This theme made the bond between us as students really strong, because we were not just connected on a level of being `fans` of United Pursuit.
We all felt so deeply connected because we realized that the foundation of the kingdom is learning to be a family.
I myself still feel like falling short in a lot of those things…but still, for more than 10 years I`m on this journey of discovering what all of that means and it`s worth it! There is so much more to discover!
The world around me, and Religion, have shown me a lot of amazing truths. And at the same time both of them have shown me that they miss a lot of truths.
The only thing that remains true is Jesus and knowing His heart better and better. His heart in me, in the people around me and His heart that is seen in this cosmos!
One thing I know, one thing I desire in this life: grow in friendship with my heart & the heart of God & the heart of people all round me.
I know I still have so many things to learn and discover. So that’s why I pray every day for my eyes to be opened again and again.
Here`s few small pictures of the school.