The primary responsibility of ICGC's Music & Creative Arts Department is to facilitate with the combined aid of instruments of music, music, art, skits, mime, dance, media and technology, the creation of an atmosphere that ushers in the very presence of God and allows God’s People to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Creative Arts draw on biblical inspiration to communicate the Word of God through various forms art forms and story-telling. Together with music and technology, the Creative Arts make Godly principles come alive by portraying stories and truths in unique and relevant ways, especially to today’s postmodern sight, sound and social media generation.
When the Praise goes up, the Glory comes down:
The Father invites us, His people, into his awesome presence, the 'Holy of Holies' (Exodus 25:1-22) for worship and communion. Under the law, the 'holy of holies' was only accessible to the High Priest. Under extreme caution, he would go into this 'most holy place' (Exodus 26:33) alone, once every year with the blood of animals, to make atonement for his own sins and that of the entire nation of Israel. (Hebrews 9:7, Leviticus 16:14-17,33-34).
Through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the outer court was ripped apart, signifying that not only the high priest, but believers from "every kindred, tongue, people, and nation," (God's New Covenant People in Christ: i.e. Believers) may now enter in freely and boldly to worship the Father in spirit and in truth (Hebrews 10:19) through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
At the center of Israel's corporate worship, was a group of people called the Levites; these were the descendants of Aaron, the High priest, who were divinely chosen, appointed, consecrated and anointed to facilitate Israel's temple worship. It is to this Levitical role that ICGC's Music and Creative Arts Department is also called, appointed, consecrated and anointed.
CORE VALUES OF MUSIC & CREATIVE ARTS MINISTRY:
- ICGC's Music and Creative Arts Ministry/Department will use a vast array of art forms, music styles and genres to minister to its multi-cultural membership. Music during worship will generally take on a contemporary flavor, as opposed to a traditional style (e.g. Hymns); the Holy Spirit's guidance with regard to song selection is always sought, with generational and contemporary trends in the music world in mind. This is to ensure that we minister and reach our target audience in a manner that is culturally and contextually relevant. Our worship services will be both Celebrative and Reflective:
- Celebrative Praise: The Father invites us to "enter into his gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and into his courts with praise." (Psalm 100:4) High praise and thanksgiving invoke His presence; it is His presence that activates His joy in our hearts - "In his presence, there is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16: 11). We are to "make a joyful noise unto God" (Psalm 66:10). Such a joyful celebration, which may assume several forms: singing, shouting, clapping, dancing etc., is always a powerful witness to the unsaved. Through exuberant and celebrative Praise, we expect to experience "the joy of the Lord which is our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
- Reflective Worship: Times of sober reflection during worship are also necessary and needed, particularly in this frantic, fast-paced culture of ours. The Father desires to speak to us by his Spirit; He desires to whisper His mind, will, intentions and purposes to us, as well as assure us of His love and ever-abiding presence, as we go through life's often fiery ordeals. He, therefore, calls on us to: "…be still and know that He is the Lord our God" (Psalm 46:10). It is in this atmosphere of stillness, quiet and sober reflection, that we hear the Good Shepherd’s, (the Master's) voice. Remember, as the church of Antioch “ministered unto the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said: Separate unto me Paul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have called them…” (Acts 13:2). “Ministering to the Lord”, involves a combination of prayer, (sometimes with fasting), celebrative, and most importantly, reflective worship. In such a spiritually-charged atmosphere, the Lord could not help but speak to His people, the church of Antioch, by His Spirit; they were ‘loving on Him’, with intense worship. It is in such an atmosphere of reflective worship, that we also experience His peace: "...the peace of God which passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:6-7).
OUR GOAL IN WORSHIP:
ICGC’s goal is to ensure that worshipers, (visitors, the stranger who walks through our doors etc.) will walk out of the worship and celebration service, not only feeling like ‘WINNERS & CELEBRITIES’, (King's kids), but also, and most importantly, knowing and feeling that they have had an authentic encounter with a living God.
The following scriptures should help us understand the utmost importance of Music (and the Arts) in ICGC's corporate worship:
- The Church of Antioch (Acts 13:1-3): a model of passionate spirituality and worship:
- It is multi-racial and cultural church, like ours.
- The church is given to much prayer, fasting and ministering to the Lord – a bastion of passionate spirituality.
- The Holy Spirit manifests Himself as they minister to the Lord.
- Gifts and Callings are clarified and confirmed.
- It becomes a base for missionary activity around the world.
- Corporate worship in Israel is always accompanied by music and singing; (2nd Chronicles 29:25-30, 7:1-6)
- Israel's Music (and Creative Arts Dept.) was well structured and organized, with Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons in charge, particularly during David's reign. (1st Chronicles 25:1-7)
- Holiness and heart preparation are absolutely essential for effective worship (2nd Timothy 2:20-21,1st Peter 2:11,1st Timothy 5:22, John 4:23-24)
- Love and Unity in the team are vital to the manifestation of God's glory in worship (2nd Chronicles 5:11-14, Psalm 133).
- Victory over the enemy and his forces is guaranteed or assured, if worship team takes their rightful place (2nd Chronicles 20:1-30, particularly 14-22).
- God's deliverance may also be found in united (corporate) praise (Acts 16:19-34).
- Healing and deliverance from demonic spirits may also be found in anointed worship and music (1st Samuel 16:12-33).
- Skill development, structure, good organization and order are all absolutely essential, if the anointing in music and the creative arts, is to be fully released (1st Samuel 16: 16, Psalm 33:3, 1st Corinthians 14:40).