Strengthening and imparting valuable tips and tools to the creative arts ministry in Zion Praise Harvest Church.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALISON TANG|
From Aug. 19 to 22, songwriter, music producer and City Harvest Church’s creative director, Gan KC, was at Zion Praise Harvest Church in Perth, Australia, to conduct a series of songwriting workshops for the church’s creative team. Gan first met the pastors of ZPHC, Patrick and Joyce Chen, during the Hillsong Conference held in July this year, and was invited to address the creative ministry in their church.
This is the first time Gan has ministered in ZPHC and he considers it a great honor to raise up songwriters and help them discover their own unique “sound” in the church.
The sessions consisted of local and international participants—students and working professionals who all share one trait in common—the desire to praise and glorify God through music and creativity. Gan sees the need to develop an all-rounded songwriting course that can equip the writers at different levels with practical skills.
Ray Ong, music director and worship leader in the church said, “The sessions were not just inspirational but very practical, too. I’ve been trying to write songs for a long time now but seem to keep hitting a ‘brick wall.’ The sessions have helped me get through the ‘dead end.’ Now I look forward to penning some songs for my church!”
Gan is a firm believer of “teaching a man how to fish, thus feeding him for life” rather than “giving him a fish and feeding him for just a day.”
He says, “Instead of giving the church ministers ready products, it is more important to equip them with tools to help them uniquely express their creativity and ministry in church.”
Inez Lee, a worship leader and the head of vocalists in the church, shared, “Through KC’s sharing and workshop, I have gained greater confidence in asking God to deposit His heavenly tunes and words into my life.” Her greatest takeaway was the knowledge that God is ever ready to inspire His people as they come before Him, so that they may glorify His name and bless their community.
One of the core messages of Gan’s teaching is that one’s understanding of the depth of God’s love and the gospel is ultimately more important than formal techniques or methodology. He acknowledges that “art should evoke emotions in people. As creative ministers, it is essential that our ‘creative well’ is constantly filled and inspired by the love of God as that is our core message to the world. We want them to experience [God’s] love which is what changes people’s lives.”
Reflecting on this trip, he says, “Zion Praise Harvest has a team of dedicated, talented musicians and singers, and given the right tools, I believe they can start writing their own songs and producing their own compositions for the house of God.”
Chen, who is also the worship pastor of ZPHC, affirmed, “I believe that many songwriters will be helped and more songs can be written, not just in our house but in every house of God, if they are provided with the tools and insight for songwriting that KC has discovered and helped develop.”