As 2018 is coming to an end, we have been reflecting on how God has led and provided through the year. We would like to share some highlights and give you a glimpse of what God has been up to through Shift115 Worship Collective and how He is leading us into 2019.
To give a little more perspective to the year, I want to share a quick story from scripture that has been stirring in my heart, John 21, when Jesus appears to the disciples after the resurrection. The disciples had an unsuccessful night of fishing and were probably about ready to head in. They didn’t recognize Jesus as he stood on the shoreline, and Jesus calls to them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat where he says they will find some fish. Keep in mind, they didn’t know it was Jesus at this point. So, they listen and sure enough catch so many fish they can’t haul it in! As soon as this miraculous catch happens, they realize it’s Jesus, the Lord!
There are so many interesting details and questions about this encounter with Jesus, but what really sticks out to me is the importance of listening and obeying, even and especially in the midst of whatever busyness we find ourselves in. At Shift115, we entered 2018 with a renewed sense of mission, “building unity in the Church through Christ-centered worship,” really emphasizing our desire to raise up worshipers of Christ. As we have been going about the work of mentoring, equipping, and gathering worshipers of Jesus, there have been times he seemed to be inviting us to throw our nets on the other side of the boat. I wish I could say I always hear and respond in obedience immediately. Thankfully he is gracious and full of patience, because sometimes I can be slow to catch on. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe you can relate!
Looking back at the year, I am incredibly thankful for our board of directors, ministry team, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and our students and participants. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be able to do this important Kingdom work through Shift115! So, here are some of those highlights from 2018:
MONTHLY WORSHIP LEADERSHIP GATHERINGS \\ This monthly gathering was sacred space for me this year, and I think others who attended felt the same way. It was an opportunity to connect over a good cup of coffee, to encourage each other, and to pray together. We also had our annual Worship Collective Christmas in place of our December gathering. We enjoyed some treats, coffee, fellowship, and sang some of our favorite Advent and Christmas songs together.
WORSHIP SCHOOL \\ We had eight students complete the 9-Month Worship Leadership Certification process in May, and we have four students in the second group now! In addition to the 9-month process, we have had several sessions throughout the year for worship leaders and their teams, including topics on vocal technique, theology of worship, team dynamics, sound systems, and songwriting. We are continuing to develop the content and curriculum for Worship School in addition to offering mentoring and equipping opportunities. Part of our Worship School also includes going to churches for consultation, mentoring, training and retreats. Not only have we had over 25 churches represented at our events and gatherings this year, we have also worked with more than 10 churches, offering leadership consultation and mentoring, training on specific topics and needs, and providing fill-ins for one-time and short-term leadership roles.
TRAVELER ALBUM RELEASE \\ This was a big one for me personally! In June, I released a 6-song EP entitled “Lift My Eyes.” On July 20, I had a release party and was blown away and so encouraged by all the support! You can check it out on Spotify and other streaming services, and let me know if you want a physical copy, or check out our online shop to order one!
COMMUNITY WORSHIP \\ Gathering worshipers to the glory of Christ has always been part of the heartbeat of Shift115, but it has looked a little different this year. We worked with the board of All Nations City Church (ANCC) coming into 2018, and it was decided that we carry the mantle of ANCC moving forward. This was a great fit as we already shared the desire of bringing together followers of Christ from all nations and denominations to be encouraged through prayer and worship. ANCC had their last worship gathering in February, we had an evening of worship and prayer in April, partnered with SD Prayer Coalition for the National Day of Prayer Worship Gathering in May, and we have had a couple casual nights of worship at the seminary and tre Ministries.
CHURCH PARTNERSHIP \\ We have been developing partnerships with area churches. For some, that means supporting us as a local ministry out of their missions or worship budget, for others it means bringing us in for consultation or training. Some churches have also been encouraged and equipped through intentionally participating in Worship School and Community Worship gatherings.
FINANCIAL PICTURE \\ Check out the income chart to show why we are so encouraged with how God has led and provided for Shift115 this year! Historically, I had been leading Shift115 as an organized ministry part-time through 2017, and I took the leap of faith to move to full-time in June of 2018. We focused on Worship School and worked on defining and developing our ministry and focus. Through God’s consistent grace, we have seen great momentum! We are continuing to develop Worship School and partnership with churches, individuals, and businesses to sustain the Kingdom work we are doing through Shift115.
As we move into this new year, how are you hearing and responding to Jesus? Both in times of solitude and in the busyness of each day, I want to be paying attention to how God’s Spirit is speaking and moving in my life, and I invite you to do the same. Maybe he’s inviting you to cast your net on the other side of your boat, or maybe he wants to just sit with you. In any case, my prayer is this: “Lord give us eyes to see and ears to hear, as you speak to us, as you move in and through us, to your glory, in Jesus’ name!”
We are encouraged by God’s faithfulness and leadership as we press on in this work of mentoring, equipping, and gathering; raising up authentic worshipers of Christ!
While this year has had some great momentum in terms of our ministry and our financial position, we still need your help! First and foremost, we are dependent on your ongoing faithful prayer support. And secondly, we are running about $5,500 short for the year.
Would you consider how you might partner with Shift115 at the end of this year and moving forward into 2019?
We are grateful for your partnership and look forward to how God will lead and provide in the coming year and beyond!
Blessings in Christ,
Seth Dekkenga, Director
If you are interested in partnering with Shift115, please let us know or click on one of the following: