Sundays at Gracepoint Fellowship Church: “Seasons”

26 08 2008

Many of us at Gracepoint Fellowship Church in Berkeley are entering into a new season in our lives.  The new school semester at Cal starts this week, so all the students get bumped up in freshman/sophomore/junior/senior(/5th year) status.  New ministry opportunities across Gracepoint are also opening up. When I enter into a new season in life, I try to take the opportunity to refocus or recalibrate myself, evaluating my relationship with God and what I’m doing.  What am I doing? What am I about to enter into?  Why am I doing it?  Honestly answering these questions can be revealing.

2008.08.24 Songs
Today is the Day – Lincoln Brewseter
Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman
Fire Fall Down – Hillsong United

As a Christian, the purpose of my life and what I do with it on a regular basis should relate to God’s glory, the expansion of his kingdom, the widening of my understanding of myself and so appreciation for his mercy and grace, and the deepening of my love for and service to Jesus.  But the honest answer for me I find often to be "because that’s what I’m supposed to do", or the like.  Not particularly linked to what I had mentioned before.  Not so inspiring, and definitely not all that pleasing to God, I imagine. 

I look back at God’s goodness in the seasons passed, His faithfulness to me and to our church, and I marvel.  I want to apply the lessons learned from reflection over those times, and apply them forward so that whatever happens, good or bad, that I might hit the ground running with trust in him and a passion to fan into flame the gift of God that is in me. 


Favorites @ Gracepoint Fellowship Church

19 08 2008

Is there a song that we do during our Sunday Worship Services that you really like?  Maybe something inside cheers a little when you hear the intro or see the title screen up. (I encourage you to express that on the outside, too! Why not?)

Comment on this posting and let us know what YOUR favorite worship song is!

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Sundays at Gracepoint Fellowship Church: “Great Expectation”

19 08 2008

With the new semester right around the corner, we’re gearing up for the many new people to come to the Bay Area.  First years, transfer students, international students, visiting scholars and the like.  It’s an exciting time in our ministry calendar as we have the opportunity to meet people from all different walks of life, especially as many of them have yet to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

2008.08.17 Songs
You are Holy – Michael W. Smith 
We Lift You Up – Desperation Band
God of This City – Chris Tomlin

Susan Kim mentioned how appropriate it was that we met for worship service at Pauley Ballroom on the UC Berkeley campus, where both New Student Welcome Nights will be held next week.  The song selection this week was primarily for our members who share in the heart of evangelism in our different ministries at Gracepoint.  As we go forward, we know that all of our efforts  mean nothing without the Spirit working in the hearts of those we reach, as well as and especially in our own hearts as well.  I believe God has great plans for us, for the different campuses, for the Bay Area, and again, in our own hearts as well. God will do great things.  The limiting factor for me to experience is my own level of commitment, my own obedience. But if history is any indication, through what little I’ve given, God has multiplied that to contribute to his great work. 

I hope we can all give a little more, in whatever ways we can, with joy in the great expectation of the even greater things that are yet to come.

Over the Years: New Student Welcome Night

6 08 2008

The new school year at Cal is right around the corner.  For us, that translates into getting geared up and preparing for the biggest event of Gracepoint Fellowship Church‘s college department calendar: New Student Welcome Night (NSWN).  

As I was talking with Jason Tarn yesterday, we realized that this upcoming NSWN will mark the 10th year that I’ve done the music for the event.  My first time was when I was a 4th year at Cal.  In terms of the music I don’t remember that much.  I do remember that I had both my guitars (fender strat and a Taylor 614ce) that night, and that I broke strings on both the guitars during the praise set.  Boy, was I nervous…

That was in 2050 VLSB (Valley Life Sciences Building), kind of a “home” for me since that was the first place I led worship for our college department Bible studies.  We’ve since moved to Wheeler, and now Pauley Ballroom for this year.  And every year, it’s such a wonderful time to see so many young students coming to find out about our group, taking the opportunity to hear the message of the gospel, many for the first time.  It could even be their first step toward crossing the line of faith. 

I went over to Jeannie Lee’s office to share with her the realization that a decade has gone by, and I’m still doing NSWN. (Patrick and Jeannie Lee were the senior class directors when I was a senior way back when.) We laughed and joked about how old we’re getting…

After 10 years, we laugh. Another 10 years, we’ll cry…

C’mon, you vocalists. We need to raise up worship leaders. <sigh>

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

The Arts: Creative Communication

1 08 2008

One of our goals as the Worship Team at Gracepoint Fellowship Church is to use the arts to engage people’s hearts with God during our services.  Through the arts, we can help people come to an emotional understanding of who God is, what he is like, who we are, what we were created for and how he wants us to live. The arts are a wonderful way to communicate truths about God, the Bible, life and the gospel in a way that touches people’s hearts in a way different from simply using words alone.  

This video was one of the elements at the 2006 Easter service at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL.  It’s a beautifully creative way to demonstrate God’s hand in creation and salvation…  

I attended the Willow Creek Arts Conference for the first time in 2002 with Pastor Ed and Kelly Kang and other Gracepoint Fellowship Church arts people — Daniel Kim (Dis-Gracepoint), Peter Choi (Waypoint Community Church), and Paul Chen, among others), which played a big part in transforming our services to what we experience these days. They are the best that I’ve seen to engage people’s hearts using the arts.

People come to church with all sorts of barriers and hang-ups about God and about life, whether they’re Christ-followers or not.  We sometimes bring that to a worship service with some shields in place, areas of our hearts that we want to guard, to “protect” us from being spoken to.  The arts can communicate to us through ways that we did not think to have guarded.  It helps us to lower our defenses, to open us up to hear what messages God has for us, to get real and personal with our Creator.