Though there is no specific place in which worship is more acceptable than another, places are beneficial to our patterns of worship. I like this quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt: “You may worship God anywhere, at any time, but the chances are that you will not do so unless you have first learned to worship Him somewhere in some particular place, at some particular time.” God has established certain locations as special meeting places. Today those meeting places include church facilities as well as other places of worship. But God does not intend for our worship to only be contained within those spaces. God desires for us to worship him in all places and at all times.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ – A Bright Flavor
Mentoring Pakistani Christians to be SALT and LIGHT in Pakistan
My journey to Pakistan began on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Pasadena, California. I was meeting a friend for lunch at Fuller Theological Seminary. It was during our time together that he asked permission to translate my book, Worship Quest: An Exploration of Worship Leadership, into Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, as a resource for Pakistani church leaders. Honored by the request, I said “Yes,” and my friend quickly seized the opportunity to ask if I would be willing to travel to Pakistan to be the keynote speaker at the Worship Symposiums where the translated Worship Quest would be launched. The Symposiums would be sponsored by Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship, a training ground for Christians to use their musical and artistic gifts for the church, started by my friend in 2002. And the rest, as they say, is history. But not just history, the future as well, because the ministry that began in October 2016 with my first trip to Pakistan, will continue this Spring (2018). But before we get there, let me briefly share about my trip in 2016.
Pakistan is a Muslim country. Christianity is legal, but only 1.6% of the country are Christians, and a large percentage of those claim Christianity as more of a heritage (parents and grandparents are Christian, therefore I am Christian) rather than as an active relationship with Jesus. This made discipleship such an extremely important element of our ministry. Because persecution of Christians in Pakistan is common, or they are at least looked down upon because of their faith in Jesus Christ, it is important for Pakistani Christians to truly understand their faith and put their complete trust in Jesus Christ.
I can’t tell you how many people questioned my decision to go to Pakistan to train and mentor worship leaders and pastors. “It’s such a dangerous place,” they would say. “Aren’t you frightened about teaching about Jesus Christ there?” they would ask. I did not go into this lightly or with disregard for my safety. Yet I knew God was calling me to minister in Pakistan, and his will for my life would be done, regardless of whether I was in Pakistan or home in Los Angeles. So, with faith in God, I journeyed to Karachi and Lahore. And wonderful ministry occurred!
I took a small team of 4 musicians with me. I taught at the two Worship Symposiums and preached in local churches. They led the musical worship and taught workshops on music and leadership. We had incredible opportunities available to us, including: teaching and performing at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) – the premier music and arts school in the entire country of Pakistan. We were also invited to teach and perform on International Television. Our hour–long episode was televised in over 12 countries. And we developed relationships with numerous people through the Worship Symposiums and church services we helped lead. The Christians we interacted with are absolutely wonderful people. And most of the Muslims we interacted with were kind and gracious as well. One Muslim gentlemen, after spending time together, said to me, “I like you. I can see that you have goodness and love in you.” I responded, “that is because of Jesus Christ.” That was it. We continued our conversation and moved on. But it was a seed planted and I continue to pray for him.
It is with great honor that we have been invited to return to Pakistan to participate in additional training and mentoring opportunities. The relationships that were founded during our last trip will be built upon this time. We have been invited to return to NAPA. We will also continue training worship leaders and pastors to disciple their people and build into the lives of those in their local congregations as they offer encouragement, discipleship, theological understanding, and Christian care.
Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship does a wonderful job sponsoring the training events. However, the school is a non-profit organization and funds are extremely limited. Therefore, I would like to ask that you prayerfully consider partnering with me in the work that God has placed on the hearts of the school and the faculty. All financial donations will help cover my expenses to and from, and while in Pakistan, and more importantly, help Pakistani Christians attend the conferences and training events, as many simply do not have the funds to attend events like these.
Donations may be given through YouCaring.org:
Or if you would prefer, through my home church, Calvary Baptist Church:
(Select Pakistan Team 2018–Steven Brooks)
Calvary Baptist Church (put “Pakistan” on check memo line)
8281 Garfield Avenue Huntington Beach, CA 92646
All donations are tax deductible.
If you would like further confirmation or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I thank God for the partnership of his body and look forward to all God will do when we return to Pakistan in the Spring.
Steven D. Brooks, DWS
Pastor of Music & Arts - Calvary Baptist Church
Adjunct Professor of Worship - Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, Life Pacific College, and Gateway Seminary
Author - Worship Quest: An Exploration of Worship Leadership