Monday, November 26, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Now for a brief update! The first update is this, it's cold!!!! It was 3 degrees yesterday morning and it is currently snowing as I write this. No worries though, we were expecting cold, and it has been a really mild winter (according to everyone who has lived here for years). We have been in MA for almost 5 months now. Most of you know this, but when I say "we" I am talking about Ruthie (my wife), Michael (bass player) and myself. We are here following a calling to see a movement for Jesus among students in the Northeast. It has been fast and furious since we arrived. God provided all of us with paying jobs at First Baptist Church in Sudbury, MA which is a suburb just West of Boston. What a blessing that has been! I am the part-time youth pastor, Ruthie is the Children's ministry intern, and Michael is the College ministry intern. To be plugged in to a local body from day 1 of being here has been more of a blessing than we probably even realize at this point. We are so thankful.
As far as God Is Bigger Ministries goes, we are in the process of networking with college pastors/college ministry leaders, etc... That has gone great. The pastor at our church has set up multiple meetings for us with some amazing contacts for college ministry in Boston and the surrounding areas. We are currently at Framingham State University on Tuesday nights, meeting with and ministering to their Christian Fellowship group. We had the privilege of leading worship for them on campus for their praise night this past December where about 70 people or so showed up to worship! We are really looking forward to getting back with those students as the semester starts back up in the next week.
As far as actual "on-the-ground" ministry, it is a different world up here, which again, we expected coming in. Skepticism is very much the norm. There is not much trust for "religious" groups, especially churches. There is not much trust that we just sincerely love people. Everyone is looking for the "hidden agenda" that they have seen so often. The Bible is not just accepted as being truth, even by young students. A lot of foundational work has to be done in hearts and minds before they will take something serious because it's "in the Bible."
So what does this mean? It means extremely relational, personal, patient ministry. We are seeing God do some amazing things in people's lives, but it is coming through the avenue of walking through life with them. It is getting in the trenches and letting them see real people with real issues and problems live out faith in Christ. This is not a very popular way to do ministry in our day and time and culture. We battle the idea that events and programs (which are great and needed) will be how we see a great movement of God. Please here me say that events and programs are a big part of seeing an awakening! As a worship leader who is writing and recording music, I am all for events and programs, but those things alone will not produce the fruit we are longing and praying for. We are just tipping the iceberg here, having only been here for 5 months, but even in our short time we are already seeing God do incredible things in peoples hearts and lives. We are incredibly encouraged and excited to see what happens in the coming months!
Yes, it is a new year, but instead of spouting off a list of resolutions to you I just want to let you know some things we are doing and wanting to do as a ministry in 2012.
- We are leading worship on January 18th for about 25 college pastors/ministers. That is a lot of campuses represented that we could potentially get connected with to partner in ministry.
- We are leading worship on February 2nd in a suburb called Worcester. It will be a night of worship, celebration, and the word with students from multiple campuses in the area.
- We are doing our 2nd ever God Is Bigger Conference in February! The conference is at FBC Humble, TX. We are excited to be back in Texas. We will be there playing different places for about 2 1/2 weeks. We could not be more pumped for that trip!
Here are some things we vision doing in 2012 that you all can be in prayer about. 1.) A God Is Bigger Conference here in MA. Actually 2 of them. One for Jr. High and High School students and one for College Students. 2.)We would like to put on a night of worship at a venue in Downtown Boston. We need a venue that is cheap or free to use! 3.) The completion of our album. I want to say that we are almost there financially! A lot of you have given to help get the album mixed and mastered, and we are almost there! Be looking for updates as I am sure the rest of the money will come in soon. My plan/expectation is to be writing a February blog about all the money being in and the mixing/mastering phase beginning. God Is Big enough!
There is more I could say, but I will save some for a later post. For now I want to sincerely thank everyone who is praying for our ministry up here. I cannot say enough how needed your prayers are, and how much they are felt. Keep checking the blog to stay updated with what is going on (as one of my resolutions is to post much more than I ever have)!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
I am writing this letter to update you on what God has been doing in and through the ministry and to share the vision God has given us for future endeavors.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. So much has happened in the past three months and it would not have been possible without your sacrificial giving. Your support provided confirmation for us as we moved forward in faith, believing God would continue to confirm our steps all along the way.
We live in a suburb of Boston called Marlborough, and are serving at the First Baptist Church, Sudbury. God has provided paid positions for Ruthie, myself and Michael (bass guitarist). This helps tremendously to meet our living expenses. We not only minister to the people in this church, but a door has also opened on the campus of Framingham State University to minister to college students on Tuesday nights. It's been amazing to see how God prepared the way for us in advance. Since my first contact with this college ministry God has opened up an opportunity to lead worship in December. I am thrilled to lead the students in worship and share about the love of God through Jesus!
We have made several connections already with people that are over whole regions of the Northeast in collegiate ministry, and are very excited about the possibility of being on multiple campuses by the end of the semester, or at least by next semester. The college students are encouraged and excited to know that we are also launching a weekly college service to minister and lead worship. This will provide another opportunity for their friends to hear about the love of God. It has been absolutely amazing and humbling to see how God has gone before us in every way imaginable.
This past August we held our ﬁrst ever God Is Bigger Conference. This has been a dream forming and taking shape in my heart for over 5 years now, and to see it become a reality was overwhelming. I think one of the main purposes of this first conference was so that God could teach me lessons that I would have never learned otherwise. I jumped in with both feet and God absolutely rocked my world in the process. I trust that God rocked the world of the students in attendance as well. God really taught me what is required to lead this ministry with strength and courage, not withstanding lessons related to marketing and promoting God is Bigger Conferences in the future. It was a time of growth; a time when I was on my face before the Lord. I am so very thankful for the experience, and the Godly counsel he provided along the way.
As far as the conference, we had about 40-50 students who attended. We had 5 different speakers and enjoyed good worship throughout. I have attached testimonies to this so you can hear what God did in the lives a of student and a youth pastor during that time.
I am thrilled to tell you that 2 months after our ﬁrst conference in Baytown, TX we got a call from a church in Humble, TX wanting us to come hold the God Is Bigger Conference at their church! This is exciting news because this is not just a church “letting” us come, but a church “asking” us to come. I am amazed! God is deﬁnitely doing something and deﬁnitely opening doors.
Our vision for future ministry opportunities for the God Is Bigger Ministry depends on your prayers and financial support. Please read the list that follows and ask God how he wants you to be involved.
・ God Is Bigger Conferences in Namibia, Africa and here in Boston. (I mention these because signiﬁcant financial backing is needed).
・ As we consider future conferences, and because we are a worship ministry, we need to upgrade our sound equipment so we can hold concerts or conferences anywhere, regardless of the resources of the venue. (i.e., monitors, digital board, interface, mic stands, mics, etc...).
・ We want to start a weekly service/event that God Is Bigger Ministries would hold for college students. This would be an event every week to spark a passion for Jesus that would spread to their campuses.
I am intentionally ending with the last project we are trying ﬁnish because this is, I believe, the most important thing for us to get done in a timely manner. We must get the next Chris Allen Band CD released!! This is so important in moving the ministry forward.
The album is only about halfway completed at this time. By that I mean that all instrumental and lead vocal tracking is ﬁnished. The only thing left to record is some background vocals. That takes no time at all once we have the money for it. The initial recording went well. I could not be any more excited about this set of songs! We have stalled in the area of getting the album mixed and mastered. This part of the project does not require more work on our end, it just requires ﬁnances that we do not currently have. There will be 11 songs; it will be a full album with each and every song meant to lead people into the presence of God in worship. The album is written to be used in corporate worship settings as in the church. It will take another $400 per song to get them mixed and mastered. That leaves us needing $4,400 to complete the album.
The encouraging part of all of this is that we have already invested in a promotion/marketing group to promote the album to retail stores, radio stations nationwide, iTunes, and promoting the Chris Allen Band to help us get bookings. Tate Music/Publishing Group works very hard at promoting, and we've never had any help in the promotion of our music in the past. We are excited to see what a difference professional marketing and promotion could make if we can get the album completed.
This is the bottom line – We need to raise $5,000. This would provide $4,400 for the recording, and another $600 to make sure we get all the background vocals ﬁnished and done well. I am asking each of you to prayerfully consider helping us with this. Again, I feel so passionately about these songs. I believe that when this album is finished it could put us in a position where we could pursue the other visions and dreams that God has put on our hearts. Even more important than that, I have watched as these songs have already ministered to people as we have played them over the past several months. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see how God uses them!!
I believe whole-heartedly in the ministry we are doing for the Kingdom of God. To see a generation unite in worship to express their love for God compels me to write this letter and ask for support. My heart's desire is to see Jesus Christ lifted up and honored through worship. He has put me in this place to follow this calling, to lead the body of Christ in worship.
As we approach the Christmas season please consider the ministry of the Chris Allen Band and God Is Bigger Ministries. What can you give to further the ministry that God has placed in my heart? Your gift is an investment in the Kingdom of God. To give your tax-deductible donation use the envelope enclosed or go online to www.godisbigger356.blogspot.com and click on the donate button. If you cannot help financially, please pray for us as we pursue God’s call and leading in our lives.
Thank you all for your love and support.
God Is Bigger Ministries
Friday, July 8, 2011
God Is Bigger Conference – 2011
August 11 – 13
Day 1: Thursday
4pm – 7pm: Registration/Sign-in
7:30 – 9:15: MAIN SESSION 1
9:30 – 10:00: Small Groups (optional)
Day 2: Friday
8:45 – 9:15: Prayer Stations Open (optional)
9:30 – 11:00: MAIN SESSION 2
11:00 – 11:30: Break
11:30 – 12:15: Focus Groups
12:15: Break for lunch/free time
-Campus will be open all day to come and go as you need to
1:00 – 2:00: Student Worship Team Session (optional) – led by Chris Allen
6:30 – 8:30: MAIN SESSION 3
8:30 – 10:00: Prayer Stations Open and/or Small Group Meeting Time
**At the end of Main Session 3, your group can stay up until 10 and have small group time, take advantage of the prayer stations, have quiet time, or your group can leave for the night.
Day 3: Saturday
8:45 – 9:15: Prayer Stations Open (optional)
9:30 – 11:00: MAIN SESSION 4
11:00 – 11:30: Break
11:30 – 12:15: Focus Groups
12:15: Break for lunch/free time
2:00 – 3:30: MAIN SESSION 5
3:30 – 4:00: Celebration
4:00: CONFERENCE OVER