Still Better Together

5 comments Written on January 6th, 2012     
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today’s post is written by Matt Nightingale, Director of Worship Ministries at Redeemer Covenant Church in Tulsa, OK.

Funny how a simple action can have such a profound impact. It was just about a year ago, in preparation for a workshop I was leading at Midwinter, that I created a Facebook group called “Better Together: ECC Worship Community.” It was just sort of an afterthought… I hoped that the workshop would help Covenant worship-types connect with each other; learn from each other; and share resources, ideas and encouragement with each other. I thought maybe a Facebook group would help us keep in touch with one another throughout the year when we couldn’t be together face-to-face.

Wow. This little group has blown up to over 200 people. We’ve laughed together, cried together, prayed together, celebrated together, complained together (not too often) and shared life together… as well as we can via a keyboard and a computer screen.

I’m a highly relational, sentimental kind of guy. As much as I look forward to what God will do in 2012, what I really love is a good look back. So I have a question for the Better Together crew… What are some of your favorite memories of the past year? Memorable conversations? Profound questions? Funny exchanges? Let’s hear a few stories and celebrate how God has worked among us.

And let’s look forward to Tuesday, January 31, when we will be together again, this time actually in the same room. Please make plans to join us for our first annual Better Together Lunch.

OK, it’s your turn.

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5 comments “Still Better Together”

Not to be overly dramatic, but this group has been a huge part of the healing process for me out of my last church, which didn’t really end well.  I had been at my new church (I’m new to the Covenant as well) for all of a month and a half, and I had to go to this conference.  I didn’t want to go since I was trying to settle in with my family to another new town (13 moves in seven years).  But once I got to the hotel, Matt N. and Chris W. sat me down over a beer (or a pepsi, the details are a bit foggy) and I poured my heart out.  And they just listened, and quietly encouraged.  And a part of me came back to life that had been comatose for a while.

You all have become a bit of a family to me.  Thank you for being awesome.

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You know, it’s interesting… my story bears some resemblance to Chris’ … except that I didn’t go to Midwinter last year. Matter of fact, I think the last time I went was either 2008 or 2009, I can’t remember.

Truth is, I got a little spoiled during my 8 years in Chicago, because I got used to attending many of the Midwinter/Connection sessions for free, either because I was in one of the worship bands or because for three years I worked at the Covenant Bookstore, and we always had a presence there.

So when I moved to Portland in 2005, I didn’t know that I would only get to come twice in the next seven years. I’ve missed it, greatly.

My time in various leadership roles at Irvington Covenant has been rich and fruitful, but still filled with isolation. And even though over the last few years I’ve developed a cadre of worship leader friends around the U.S. who are all doing multiethnic worship music, none of them are Covenant, so they don’t share any of the particular nuances of Covenant identity.

Which is all my way of saying that when I saw this group formed on Facebook, being an avid Facebooker I was like, “hey… I need this!” 

Especially over the last six months during my transition out of “professional Christian” ministry, It’s been so good for me to have this group of people to talk to, to share my frustrations with, to have stimulating conversation with, to give and receive music recommendations, and of course, to show off my Motif Worship videos to. 🙂

so thanks y’all… and maybe one of these years I’ll see you at Midwinter. 

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Peer prayer and encouragement, creative ideas, relevant input (and of course shared burdens) often bring people together to experience community in a way deeply needed by all of us.

I have been seriously encouraged by the spirit (and Spirit!), idea-swapping and open give-and-take in Worship Together from the start.

It’s a pleasure to belong 🙂

Thanks to Matt and all involved who make it so!


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This group has been a tremendous blessing to me in the midst of the hardest year, maybe of my life. I really appreciate and love my ECC family like never before. We had a wonderful time at the Feast & Annual meeting & felt like our friends listened, stomached & beared the horrible season we were living in. I’ve appreciated the prayers & people checking in. Every little bit has helped me make it to the other side of turmoil & conflict! I’ve laughed hard w/ this group, been saved last minute w/ an idea someone shared & have loved connecting & becoming friends w/ each other! Even if I don’t make it to midwinter this year, I’ll see everyone next year. Thanks for everything! Thank you Matt for investing in this group. What a ministry in itself!

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Although I have not been responsible for worship planning and leading since a move 4years ago from WA to FL, I have appreciated this group as I do pray for those still in the trenches. I have appreciated the Worship Connections in the past and always had the desire for collegues and support when I was in active duty. I am now for the first time using my training as a Visual Artist in our church and community (even had my advent painting series show up –without my knowledge– creating a “gallery” space in our narthex). We began an arts program for children and are in to our 2nd year in this outreach. Keep up all the hard work, thanks for all of you! Blessings.

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