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|Jennifer Shaw Music ||January 2011 || |
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Happy 2011! Can't even believe it's time to say that. As I'm looking at a new year, my husband and I have been talking about where we think God is taking this ministry, and I have to say, the one thing He has absolutely brought home to me is that it MUST be centered on the Gospel. I can do all kinds of good things, but without actually giving the Gospel, I am not working in the full power of God. I've written about this below, and would love to hear your thoughts!
I'm heading out again soon for a very busy January and February. I'll be in Florida and Georgia doing worship services, concerts, radio visits, and some women's retreats. I will be teaching at a worship conference at Cedarville University at the end of the month. It's a pretty huge event, and I'm opening for Lenny LeBlanc on Friday night as well as teaching the vocal track. If you are in the Ohio area, let your worship pastors know and have them bring the whole team! It's going to be a great event, and it's a great deal (I'm bringing some of my church team). You can see my schedule here. If you can come to an event, make sure to say hi!
We got to see the Lord move in awesome ways this Christmas season (read about it here on my blog), and it has really sparked in me a desire to get out there even more, to give people that life-changing news that God loves them and wants to be personally involved in their lives. If your church is planning an event, I'd love to be a part of it - drop us an email or fill out our booking form and we'll talk. Please also share this with people who might want to have me in - this helps more than you know, thanks!
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The Power of God
This Christmas, I spoke and sang for several large women's gatherings. This is becoming quite a trend for this time of year as well as the spring - women bring their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members to a brunch or a tea and they have great girl time, food, and a speaker and/or musician. What was less common about the ones I did this year, though, was the fact that all of them were very insistent that I present the Gospel. They didn't just want a Christian presentation about something uplifting that would get people in the door in a comfy way, etc. - they wanted the Gospel. And they wanted it to be clear without being in-your-face or intimidating. When I talked to all the women organizing these events, they would say, "There will be women there who do not know the Lord. And because we love them, we want them to hear the Gospel. We do not want to waste this opportunity."
Well, amen, I am all about not wasting opportunities, and yet, how many of us are comfortable just presenting the Gospel? It can be very intimidating. In fact, the reason I wrote my song "God Loved the World" was because I wanted to be able to present the Gospel in my shows clearly, because I didn't want to waste an opportunity. (You can hear it and see the video here) And yet, when we have to present it, don't we want to talk about anything else? Don't we beat around the bush and tell people Jesus loves them, or something about how great our church is and how much they'd like it, or get stuck on some obscure theological principle?
We have gotten so PC, so afraid of offending, that we don't even say it anymore. And I will tell you, people don't know it. You can no longer assume that someone will have heard it somewhere. Our culture has changed, and it is no longer the norm. It is up to us. We need to tell people.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes." Romans 1:16
That doesn't say it's a good idea, or a nice thing to do - it is the power of God. That is an amazing thought! When we give the Gospel, we are essentially letting loose the power of God to bring salvation. And it works. I have to say, we had women meet the Lord at every one of those events. And I think it's God's way of reminding me, "Don't be ashamed, don't get all worried about offending people, just give my Gospel. I have given it to you, and it is my power to bring salvation. Now use it."
I'm not ashamed. I'm going to give it everywhere I can. Will you?
P.S. If you don't know the Gospel, or need help presenting it to others, here is one way to do it - it's called The Romans Road.
| | About Jennifer Shaw Music
Singer, songwriter, speaker, and worship leader Jennifer Shaw recently topped the national Christian radio charts with a # 3 hit song "Your Great Name." After being classically-trained as an opera singer at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, Jennifer became a professor of music at Cedarville University before she felt led into her current role as a worship leader at her local church. Her testimony includes tragedy and triumph, being the parent of a special needs child, and losing her father to Lou Gehrig's disease. Her new CD, LOVE BROKE THROUGH, features songs that offer hope in any circumstance and also reflect her recent experiences on the mission field in Africa and the UK.
Jennifer Shaw Music
P.O. Box 340773
Columbus, Ohio 43234