By Alarice Thio
When I first sensed the calling of the Lord to pick up and move to Singapore from Australia, I was at a season in my life where I was desperately hungry for more of him. I had reached a “ceiling” in my faith where I desperately wanted to grow, go on an adventure with the Lord, and be part of community that encouraged a radical missional faith.
God answered that prayer. Soon enough, a door opened for me to come to Singapore, and it was at that point along my journey as a singer-songwriter, where the Lord connected me with a certain rapping Samoan Kiwi (a definite rare find in Asia) and his hysterical Filipino wife. We met and I was struck by how extremely loving and friendly they were, and discovered that they were the worship pastors of Every Nation Church Singapore. Not long after, I joined the worship ministry and began a season of my life of discovering the joy and value of discipleship.
Within our worship community, there are times of powerful encounters with the Holy Spirit, and then there are also times of powerful one-to-one discipleship moments, where the love of the Father is tangibly expressed through another person.
Here are some of my thoughts on how discipleship within a worship community changed my life:
Discipleship shouldn’t just be programmed-based, but should be done out of genuine love and care and by doing LIFE with the person.
Discipleship involves calling out the GREAT and also calling out the JUNK! My biggest points of growth happen when someone shows me a mirror and lovingly speaks TRUTH to my heart. (Note: It’s important to have relationship with this person, so they know you truly love and care for them!)
Discipleship looks a lot like doing MEALS in each others’ houses. Much of deep friendship and bonds occur when you hear one another’s dreams, stand with each other in trials, and celebrate victories together over some great grub. It’s “off-stage” moments like these that forge the comradery for powerful “on-stage” moments leading worship together as a team!
Discipleship looks a lot like giving chances upon chances upon chances! When I first started worship leading, there were moments of brain-freeze and not knowing where to take the set. Pastor Neli would smoothly step in and lead it to where we needed to go! Create an “I’ve got your back” culture as it gives people confidence to step out in faith and try again!
When we pursue his presence together in a worship community, it’s not simply striking a few chords and singing a few solid notes — that could just be noise. Worship overflows from the depth of intimacy we have with the Lord and the depth and unity of our worship community that is unlocked through discipleship.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alarice is one of the worship leaders at Every Nation Church Singapore. She enjoys being part of the Every Nation worship community led by Pastor Ily Mark Maniano. Together with her husband Calvin, they lead Awaken Generation — a worship mentorship school based in Singapore with the goal of raising up worship musicians and artists in both skill and character. (www.awakengeneration.sg)