By: Sis. Micah Lalugan

“Praise comes first.”

The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?” The LORD replied, “Judah shall go first.” Judges 20:18

Judah means praise, and praise comes first.

EFC Davao del Norte has held their 2-day music workshop (April 6-7, 2023) at Evangel Tagum, mentoring and discipling worship teams from Evangel Kapalong, Mabantao, Loan, Florida, Bango, Kidaraan, Carmen, Quarry, and New Corella.

Going back to the Bible, they can remember the mighty work of God in breaking down the walls of Jericho as Joshua and the Israelites surrounded it with shouts of praise.

Every church’s worship team is responsible for ushering in God’s presence in the Tabernacle. So, they can see that even in the Bible, God hands over enemies to His people every time they sing praises and blow horns that cause the ground to shake.

They desire this in their churches—to see the ground shake, walls fall, chains break, and the revival of God happen.

On the first day of the workshop (the morning of April 6, 2023), before breakout sessions, they had general teaching where they carefully emphasized the importance of being in a worship team, not for personal glory but to give God credit solely. Not only that, but they were also taught that being in a music team, they needed to be disciplined, humble, and teachable.

This was followed by mentoring, where they grouped the delegates according to the instruments they use in their respective churches. The Tagum Worship team led the workshop.

Ian Salem, the music director for EFC Tagum, trained 11 guitarists; Jeffrey Lalugan, 12 drummers; Alexan de los Reyes, three eager keyboard aspirants; and Kurt Cendaa, the ten fundamentals. Genebeth Salem, Rina Pal, Jeraldine Estanislao, and John Pal served as mentors for the vocals, which included 21 participants divided into two groups for worship leaders and backup singers. The youngest musicians in attendance were 11 years old, and it is truly inspiring to see musicians of all ages eager to serve the Lord.

In the evening, they had their service. Seeing people praise and worship the Lord in unity is a joy. Sis. Micah Lalugan delivered the word of God entitled ‘Take Off Your Crown.’ She has stated that in serving the Lord, everyone must present themselves humbly before God, which means taking off their dear crowns. These crowns represent the things that give them pride, title, and power and the things they cannot let go of, such as sin, bad habits, and a nasty character. There should be less of us and more of God if everyone wants His power and glory to manifest. As they celebrate Holy Week, they also remember that even Jesus took off His crown just to fulfill the great mission set by God.

To her, humility is the beginning. When they worship, they should let go of whatever hinders and weighs them down so they can freely worship and surrender to God. They long for revival, not just in churches but also in their hearts. They need fire in their relationship with God, and God sometimes brings them to their lowest points so they can be humble and He can reveal His glory. Without humility, God cannot be acknowledged in our lives. Moreover, humility in spirit and character is crucial, especially when they are part of the worship team.

On the next day, they welcomed presentations from different churches. Then, other teams sang their favorite pieces, and to break the ice, they had the battle of the bands, which was fun and exciting because a prize was prepared to be awarded to the top 3 teams who played with enthusiasm, regardless of not having a full band.

They ended the workshop with new knowledge and happy faces. As followers of Christ, they ought to glorify one God and build the kingdom together.

They thank God for good weather and safe travel for people to and from. They thank Rev. Peter and Rev. Christine Wee for supporting this workshop. They thank everyone behind this event and the pastors of every church for bringing their teams together. Finally, they thanked Rev. Gregorio and Rosario for organizing this workshop.

They thank God for all he has done. Glory to God!