In the midst of my week of fundraisers I thought I would start sharing with you all some guest post of people who are in full time ministry!
To be honest I am not sure how I found Jan Owen and her ministry. I am almost positive it was from Twitter. 🙂 I have yet to meet Jan in person but I do know one day we will meet! 🙂 Through her blog and Twitter I have been able to follow along in her journey of doing missions through teaching worship around the world. I have had the privilege of supporting her financially and prayerfully! I asked her to share about the ministry here on the blog so that you all could hear her heartbeat for the ministry she is doing around the world.
Without further ado, here is Jan:
One night I sat around a table with ten Haitian pastors. We had been discussing what they could do to help their worship ministries develop and grow. They had walked for hours to come to this training retreat. Many of them worked in the mountainous regions of Haiti, far removed from others. All of them were poor. And all of them were just like pastors here in the U.S. They want their churches to grow and thrive. They desire to build the Kingdom of God. As we talked, I went around the table and asked them what instruments they had in their churches. One had a drum, another a guira, one a keyboard, one nothing at all. I had more instruments than all of them together in my own home! One of them, a young pastor named Icene, looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Teacher Jannie, with no instruments how can we have a good worship ministry?” What a great question……
It was for churches and church leaders like Icene that I founded the Give Worship Project.
Have you ever had a dream? A little nudging from God that seems impossible, improbable and, well, just a little bit crazy? That is how the Give Worship Project began. With the seed of a dream given by God.
I’ve been a worship pastor for most of my adult life. As I stood on the stage and helped lead others to worship God almost every single Sunday morning for 25 years, I had a front row view of the work of God in people’s lives as they turned their attention to Him in worship. I saw hearts healed. I saw people say “yes” to God and “no” to sin. I saw people get saved and delivered. All because they were in the presence of a Mighty God. I have come to believe that worship is the most important activity of the human soul – because everything in our lives flows out of who (or what) we worship. Worship is where it all begins.
Because I believe worship is so important, I have a heart for worship leaders. And God began to burden my heart for indigenous worship leaders in developing countries. And I began to dream a dream. A dream of helping train and encourage worship leaders that have no resources or access to training. After several years of praying – and alot of conversations – God began to open doors.
In the fall of 2009 I resigned my position as worship pastor and founded the Give Worship Project (www.giveworship.com). The Give Worship Project exists to equip and encourage indigenous church leaders, particularly in the area of worship. We work with missions organizations around the world and partner with them to help provide encouragement and training to the worship leaders and pastors in their local churches. We work mainly with the poorest of the poor -those who serve in small rural churches with no instruments and no money. And while our work looks different in different countries, we focus on two main things – spiritual formation through worship and leadership. We teach about basic Biblical Foundations of Worship, the Spiritual Journey of a Leader, Technical Aspects of Worship Leadership (where appropriate), Team Building (where appropriate) and Growing as a Worshiper. In our first year we have worked with leaders in five countries – the Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Rwanda and Guatemala and have helped provide resources and training for 350 worship ministry leaders and pastors. The Give Worship not only helps send me out to train, but provides many books for leaders in their own languages, a few instruments, and – most of all – we help pay for and provide resources for these training events.
And our future is bright! God is swinging wide the doors of opportunity for us. We have invitations to work in six countries in 2011. We spent much of this year developing a 6-week worship discipleship curriculum titled, “A Worshipful Life”, written by myself and my friend Wendy Bramhall. This curriculum is being tested in Rwanda this fall and is being given away free of charge for churches to use with their worship teams or congregations. Next year we will work in Rwanda three different times, training leaders in different areas of the country to implement this discipling tool in their own churches. We are so excited about this and pray that God will change lives as people learn to develop habits of living a worshipful life. We know there is great power when people walk near to God!
We’d love to have your help. We cannot say yes to all God is calling us to do without the partnership of friends around the world. There are several ways you can get involved!
1) Become a prayer partner. If you’d like to receive ministry updates and prayer requests, just email me at email@example.com. I also include alot of prayer updates on my blog at http://www.aworshipfulheart.typepad.com
2) Give a gift. We presently need 12 more monthly partners who are willing to invest $100 a month. But all gifts are appreciated and very much needed. You can go to our website and see that you can choose to give a one time gift or a recurring gift. (We are a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization so all gifts are tax-deductible and used for ministry.)
3) Invite me to come share. I LOVE to share about the relationship between worship and justice and missions, to train worship teams, and to share about the Give Worship Project. If you’re having a Night of Worship, it’s a perfect time to talk about these things! I’d love to help. Again, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Buy a tshirt and share the love! You can do this by emailing me with your size, then going to our website and just giving a $15 donation.
Thanks for letting me share. I love my job! And I’d be honored if you’d pray for my upcoming trips.