Gail De Young and Jeremy Simpson, the worship leaders for next summer’s Inspire 2019, have created a program to draw participants together by singing songs, both old and new, that glorify God and ask the Holy Spirit to shower blessings on the Lord’s church.
They will be joined by two current members and two alumni from the Rehoboth Christian School Choir, a group that travels extensively to perform.
De Young, who was codirector of the choir for many years, has composed a song for Inspire 2019 that will focus on five key values: Be His, Belong, Be Changed, Be a Bridge, Be Servants.
Each of these values will be a focus of one of the Inspire plenary presentations.
“It is a simple song that will include some motions and will hopefully help people fix those ‘Be’ values from the conference in their minds,” said De Young, who serves as worship director at Rehoboth Christian Reformed Church in Gallup, N.Mex.
In putting together worship for Inspire 2019, she said, they have made sure to highlight what is always the main reason to sing, to pray, and to offer praise.
“Worship is about the Lord; it honors his name and brings a message of God’s sovereignty and of God’s being in control,” she said.
“Hopefully the whole picture of worship at Inspire will be to present the beauty of God. There is a spirit that comes when we come together in praise.”
Inspire 2019 is set for Thursday, Aug. 1, through Saturday, Aug. 3, at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in Windsor, Ont., just across the Detroit River from Detroit, where leaders of the Christian Reformed Church gathered for Inspire 2017.
In fact, it was the positive responses of people who attended that initial event that encouraged the CRC to offer this summer’s gathering. So it is hoped that this summer even more CRC members from across North America will attend.
By attending the event, participants will be able to hear a range of speakers, including best-selling author Ann Voskamp, international church planter Ed Stetzer, Calvin College chaplain Mary Hulst, and theologian Soong-Chang Rah, addressing topics of interest to today’s congregations.
In addition to these plenary session speakers, there will be workshops, including some on worship and others on new ministry initiatives.
The Inspire 2019 website says, “Whether you're a deacon, elder, Sunday school leader, Bible study participant, worship leader, mission team member, or community outreach coordinator, or you fill another role in your church community, you will find relevant workshops to help you in your ministry.”
Above all, Inspire 2019 will be a time to meet and mingle with others, share ideas for ministry, and learn what other churches are doing across North America.
Every day will open and close with worship that De Young and Simpson have arranged to include traditional, choral, and contemporary music.
“We have put together a program of worship that we hope will engage and inspire people to encounter God’s presence in very imaginative and creative ways,” said Simpson, associate pastor of community life and worship at Southridge Church, a Reformed Church in America congregation in Kalamazoo, Mich.
They have a worship team, he added, that is cross-cultural and “reflects the church of heaven.” Coming to worship at Inspire 2019 will be like attending a party where there is a buffet of food.
“If everyone brings the same dish, it’s boring,” said Simpson. “We want the music to express several different genres and styles.”
An overriding goal of worship will be to unite people in song and praise to God. “We often think of being sent and gathered. We are sent out to the world, but also we gather with each other from every tribe and nation,” said Simpson.
As part of this goal, Inspire attendees will also have the opportunity to join a gospel choir that will perform during the event. Sign-up for the choir will take place during registration, and rehearsals will be held on Thursday afternoon as well as during a Friday-morning workshop time.
The intention for the choir and the overall worship times, said Simpson, is that those who attend Inspire 2019 may take what they have experienced and bring it back to their churches.“We hope they are inspired and put their hands to the plow” when they return home and expand worship in “their own spheres of influence.”
Registration for Inspire 2019 opens Friday, Feb. 1.