Assemblies of God Empowered Magazine Kingdom Initiatives - Page 11

KINGDOM INITIATIVES GOSPEL CONCERT IN WHITIANGA By Crossroads Church, Whitianga, Coromandel, NZ This was all about when a good idea becomes a great Kingdom initiative. The idea was to produce a Gospel concert based on early Negro spirituals and combine this with multimedia. Pastor, what were you thinking! And why were we volunteering? 23 songs is a lot to practise for a choir of over thirty, and the singers and musicians were coming from as far away as Marton and Palmerston North. How would we accommodate and feed them? What about the aging sound system? Would it stand up? Much was uncertain when we launched into this initiative. To initiate is easy, but we knew that we would be doomed if we thought ‘it would be right on the night’; that would have been a ‘cop-out’. Pre-planning was the key, mainly because so much had to be learnt by singers and there were many things the church had not done before. We were also aware that ‘the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry’, so there were many phone calls, meetings behind the scenes and some moments of panic prayerful panic of course! Well, it was right on the night, and a huge success for us. It was an exciting occasion; new curtains were installed, lawns freshly mowed, chairs arranged and the stage set up with hay bales and old farming implements borrowed from the local museum. The choir, chained and dressed as slaves, entered the auditorium and approached the stage under spotlights. A multimedia presentation detailed the terrible facts about the African slave trade. Pastor Dennis Acraman fronted the event, explaining that Negro Spiritual songs had brought courage to slaves in the midst of suffering and despair. He explained that songs like ‘Swing low sweet chariot’ and ‘Roll Jordan roll’ were a source of eternal hope found only in the Gospel. The choir progressed to modern songs, singing ‘Our God is an Awesome God’ while HD clips of creation played in the background. The final song was ‘Amazing Grace’ written by John Newton, the former captain of a slave trading boat. The church were delighted when hundreds attended the Sunday morning opening event and the afternoon matinee performance. The comments from the public were exceptional, including: “I loved the fact there were singers over 80 years old and some as young as seven. It was done professionally and yet felt community”. The owner of the local newspaper said: “The performance was outstanding, absolutely brilliant.” The initiative had come about because some people in Whitianga decided to have a music festival and invited musicians of national and international calibre. We decided to jump on board and produ