[notice]Recently Port Elizabeth worshipers were treated to a visit by United Pursuit Band from Knoxville Tennessee, USA. Merissa Lamprecht, who is the Worship Leader at Summerstrand United Church, attended a workshop led by members of this passionate worship collective. She shares her insights from the evening[/notice]
On Wednesday, 17 August about 120 worshippers and leaders got together at Fountain Vineyard Church, Port Elizabeth, to hear what wisdom the folks from the United Pursuit Band had to share.
It was very encouraging to discover more of their heart, culture and approach to life and worship. They highlighted the value of waiting on the Lord in worship and also worshiping Him not because we are required to do so, or because religion dictates a certain style, but because God enjoys it. And so we are creative and we worship Him because He enjoys it…and we are inevitably blessed because He is just so good.
They told us about their beginning days – worshiping together in someone’s basement, experiencing revival there and eventually serving in ministry with Heidi Baker in Mozambique – all experiences God used to grow and shape them to where they are now. They now reside in Tennessee and have bought a house in which they have set up a recording studio and regularly worship together with their community.
Passion for church unity
Their name came to be because of a passion to see the Church move as one. United in pursuit of Jesus and His Kingdom seemed like a dream worth believing for, and so they started capturing the prayers and songs from their community.
Nathan Fray (drummer) states their purpose clearly: “Our mission is to create a culture of worship and of hosting God’s presence, all centered on community living. It’s in this place of God’s life-giving presence that our songs are born and we pray will stir the heart of a generation to love Jesus and pursue Him with everything. This is our united pursuit.”
Leading worship and being creative in their music, however, aren’t the only things they do. Even though CD sales bring in some money they all have full-time jobs to cover their expenses and fund their projects.
What I love about this group of friends is that they are not flashy, self-seeking or pretentious, but simply people who love God and who are experiencing His favour as they are faithful. Their lyrics are simple and honest and definitely an encouragement to us to write and sing our own songs flowing out of intimacy…to share them within community… and to get together in our living rooms/basements/churches and worship our God!