Gospel Joy in Atlanta February 4-17, 2009 Transformation
Tour For Poland Ministry Team

Bringing Gospel Joy to Atlanta, was a collaborative project of Global Outreach and the Mission Minded Artist – extension ministries of Perimeter Church. The purpose Kim of the trip was to bring Gospel Joy into a life transforming encounter with the Kingdom of God. This was accomplished by introducing Gospel Joy to the best practices of Perimeter Church through relationships and the experience of seeing authentic Black Gospel Churches in Atlanta.

Each morning presentations and discussion sessions from Perimeter staff members and personnel covered various topics:

  1. Questions and Answers about faith by Matt Ballard and Pamela Lucas
  2. The Strategy of Global Outreach by Tom Mullis
  3. Community Outreach by Chip Sweney
  4. The Vision Statement of Perimeter Church by Randy Pope
  5. My Journey of Faith Growing Up Catholic by Randy Schlichting
  6. The Mission Minded Artist by Allan Wiltshire
  7. Speech Level Singing by Raab Stephenson
  8. Praise and Worship Session with Eric Roberson and the Hopewell Praise Team
  9. Testimony Warsaw Workshop by Karla Scordino
  10. Discipleship Training and Modeling by Carolyn Bahr

Gospel Joy gave public performances across the Atlanta area that were publicized on the MMA website and printed in local newspapers. The concerts ranged from 45 – 60 minutes in length with audiences up to 400. The list of concerts is as follows:

Christ Presbyterian Church
North Decatur United Methodist Church
Lindley Middle School
Mount Paran Church of God

In addition to the public performances, Gospel Joy participated in weekend/week day church services in Atlanta Churches ranging in size from 300 to 5,000.

Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Citadel of Hope Church of God in Christ
Perimeter Church

The last component of the musical experience for Gospel Joy was the rehearsal setting of Black Gospel Churches. Considering the fact that Gospel Joy is a community choir, providing models of Gospel Music in its origin of corporate worship was a high value. Many in the Gospel Joy group commented that the rehearsals were more like worship and prayer services then rehearsals. On several occasions, GJ members could be seen lifting their hands and singing along to the songs and kneeling reverently in prayer across the auditoriums. Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church, Perimeter Church’s Choir Community, and Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church were key locations for rehearsals.

For many in the Gospel Joy choir, the trip to Atlanta was a once in a lifetime event. Transformation in some cases is not quantifiable. However the seeds of change have been planted and it is the Spirit of God that will bring about Kim the fruit of lasting change by faith in the hearts and lives of our young friends. The following is offered as practical evidence of the seeds of transformation:

  1. Three of the churches visited by Gospel Joy have expressed an interest in serving as instructors for workshops in Poland.
  2. Discipleship training is being continued in Poland with the Word Zone leaders in April of 2009.
  3. Luchas Kula has confirmed a calling to vocational ministry in the International Church and has asked to be mentored as a Mission Minded Artist.
  4. Natalia Krakowiak resonated with the Community Outreach presentation and sees a direct connection to the work she will be doing with a non-profit in Posnan.
  5. Two of the men in Gospel Joy expressed a desire in seeing Gospel Joy be more than it is now as an instrument of cultural change in Poland.
  6. Several of the host families and Perimeter Choir members have bonded with Gospel Joy personnel and are in constant contact through facebook, emails and Skype.
  7. Grzegorz Góralczyk & Donia Tolińska have consented to Right Start mentoring through the internet by Ruth and Norm Laible (Perimeter Choir – Right Start Mentors).

Poland is classified as a closed culture. Through the vehicle and common bond of Gospel Music, a community has emerged. The most significant outcome of the Transformation Tour is the building of relationships of trust and openness with Christians in Atlanta. It is in this environment that spiritual transformation can occur.

Gospel Joy is an artistic group. Experiences that bring about openness are a vital component to evangelism and discipleship with those of the artistic temperament. The focus of the Transformation Tour was to build experiences that God would use to open the minds are hearts of our friends in Poland.

It is my belief that the stage has been set and the foundation laid to supportively mentor and coach many on the journey of faith while still being culturally sensitive to who they are as people and individuals.

While in Atlanta, Gospel Joy and Allan Wiltshire were guests on Babbie’s House. You may watch a short clip from this TV show by clicking on the video box below.