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Monday, November 16, 2015

Power and Holiness: The Spirituality of Christian praise of Mission Timothée, France


 

                                          Mission Timothée, Cholet city, France
 
*The original post was written by Sanae T in Japanese(here). Translated by Kinuko.

 
Sister Caroline is currently attending at Mission Timothée, a Bible-believing evangelical church in France. I had cherished the Christian hymns even before I was saved at the age of 20, and I love listening to the hymns in various languages in all over the world.

Through Kinuko and Caroline, I've come to know the Mission Timothée website, where we can listen to their original hymns. (Click Liste des chants, and you will see so many beautiful French hymns there.)

They are constantly updating the contents and I see how they acknowledge the importance of hymns and try to share them with non-Christians for outreach,too. I heard from Caroline that even some Korean churches asked them to come to teach their hymns!

Three characteristics
 
Regarding the Mission Timothée hymns, I found three distinct characteristics. 

1. Rendition by natural voices of the worshippers and the acoustic musical instruments

2. New but simple hymns, which are different from most of the CCM songs

3. Power and holiness. Hymns as testimonies of their faith.

Nowadays, modern electronic musical instruments and band performances have been introduced vigorously in many Western churches, and they use highly-modern CCM songs at their Sunday worship service. And we often see this phenomenon in bigger churches.
 
 
CCM worship service
 
The musical performance of Mission Timothée, on the other hand, is practiced by simple acoustic instruments and I see they try to arrange the play in such a way that the music would not stand out by itself. As pastor David Gutcher says; "the music supports the lyrics and not vice versa."

And unlike most of the CCM praise & worship (which normally one worship leader stands in the middle of the stage and sings almost like a soloist), in Mission Timothée, many worshippers sing together. In this way, I think we can avoid the temptation of self-glorification and we can cherish the "congregational" worship. As for the melody, too, in contrast to many of the gaudily-decorated and highly complicated CCM melodies, they use rather simple styles.

It seems to me that they are trying to avoid the error which modern CCM enterprise often makes; that is, to pursue musical elaboration excessively so as to conceal the poorness of its content and its spirituality.  

Another point which I noticed while watching their youtube is their simple, modest clothes. I also noticed that men in the church have short hairs while the women have long hairs. I think they do so because they have been taught the importance of biblical manhood and womanhood.

Conclusion

The Bible repeatedly exhorts us to sing new songs to the Lord. Out of the fear of becoming "worldly", some churches do not accept any new songs, which I think it rather hinders biblical praise. In this sense, I believe we can learn a lot from Mission Timothée which is creating new songs while preserving the solid biblical principles. Let us learn from their simple and spiritually rich hymns and songs!

I am going to attach some of their youtube videos.

   This song was based on John 13:34
  
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
Prayer
 
*Let us pray for our French brothers and sisters in Christ that the Lord give them strength and courage to proclaim the Gospel truth. Bible-believing French believers are very few and thus, extremely precious in His eyes. They are like stars of hope in France. Let us pray that they would be filled with His spirit and run the race of faith bravely until the end.
 
Chers frères et sœurs françaises en Christ. Nous sommes désolés pour la tragédie qui a eu lieu à Paris la semaine dernière. Nous voulons prier pour vous que Dieu vous donne la profonde consolation, l'encouragement et la force d'avancer. Tu n'es pas seul. Nous sommes une famille dans le Christ. de Sanae et Kinuko
 

11 comments:

  1. Dear Kinuko, thank you so much for the post. This is so great to see believers in France. Many churches use modern musical instruments especially during youth ministries.
    There are some Christian bands that became very worldly. It is hard to keep balance in modern life--too many temptations.
    I love their approach to worship music.

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    1. Dear Irina, thank you for your comment. Yes, it was so great to see our fellow believers in France. They are few in number but they have strong faith in Jesus Christ. As you mentioned rightly, more and more evangelical churches (especially youth ministries) have become "entertainment-oriented", and because of this, serious seekers have got stumbled. I am grateful for the uncompromising stance which Mission Timothee takes. Let us pray for them and cheer them up. Kinuko

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  2. Thank you for translating this article in English,Kinuko. I've heard many praise music for years,but first time when I heard their praise songs, I was so impressed by its spirituality.What I wrote in this article is what I felt frankly.

    I've heard many pessimistic opinion about christianity in France,but strongly I am convinced that truth-seeking believers are hope of this country.

    May God bless them and may His consolation,truth and love be always with them.

    Sanae


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    1. Sanae, thank you so much for your heart and love for French believers. This is my prayer that through your article, many believers will be uplifted and encouraged. As you said, they are the hope of France.
      Ésaïe 49:13
      O cieux, poussez des cris de joie!
      O terre, réjouis-toi!
      Criez de joie, montagnes,
      parce que l'Eternel a consolé son peuple
      et qu'il a compassion des affligés.

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  3. Thank you for sharing.
    Mission Timothée writes new hymns regularly, you may find more details from the dedicated website Avec des Cris de Joie
    Unfortunatly, it is only in french but Google Translate might certainly help :-)
    Patrick

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  4. Dear Brother Patrick,

    Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, we'll definitely visit the website which you kindly gave us. Also, Sister Caroline sent me the following article (written by a brother in Mission Timothée) regarding the problem of CCM. We could read it in English and it was beneficial for us.

    https://translate.google.fr/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.missiontimothee.fr%2Findex.php%2Fmitim%2FMission-Timothee%2FParole-partagee%2FExhortations%2FLa-musique-dans-l-Eglise&edit-text=

    Sister Sanae (the author of this article)has a burning heart and love for French believers and she wrote to me today as follows;

    "I believe that the singing voice of Mission Timothée is a sound of trumpet which proclaims hope to France. And this singing voice shall never cease."

    I say Amen to that. Many people in the world think Christianity in France had already died out but it is not true!! Here we see the living hope in you, my French brothers and sisters.Your dedicated life and faith testify to the world that He is God over all nations and He is working through faithful servants of God like you in France.
    We are so grateful to have known you and your church. May the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified in France and in all over the world. Amen.

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  5. For reference, I am going to quote from the following article which is on the Mission Timothee website.

    A short historical background of the Mission Timothée

    (http://www.missiontimothee.fr/index.php/mitim_en/Mission-Timothee/Statutes)

    In spring 1968, we were young members of a small evangelical church from the South of France and heard the call from a missionary coming from Africa.

    Our hearts were deeply moved but the question was: how can we possibly get involved in the Lord service? Then, some camps were planned for the following summer, it is at last for us door opened, that was a practical answer!

    In spite of our lack of experience, God blessed these evangelizing campaigns in the central part of France. A year after, a small church was founded there. Then, other camps were organized, new towns were evangelized in the South , Central part and East of France. As early as 1971, three assemblies were born.

    At the same time, a vocation stood out, approved by the local church: a young man left the South of France to go to a theological faculty. There he met some active and zealous students, but his new friends were in great personal difficulties: there were shadows and questions without answers. Losing heart, somme of them thought of giving up their studies.

    Then, being helped by the man who became the founder of the Mission, these students allowed their lives to be set under the light of the Gospel, confessed their sins and opened "their heartfelt sorrow" (1 Kings 8:38) God confirmed His Scripture and freed them from their difficulties. But their testimony was not well received, giving rise to a conflict sometimes growing more intense through their overzealousness in the joy of such experiences….

    Some students had to leave the university due to their piety and not to doctrine. Their call remained but they could not respond to it in their religious circles. Thus, the decision was made to work together.
    An association was made, and the Mission Timothee was born in 1972. It is not the fulfilment of a dream, or the carrying out of a project. One of the founders had a car accident followed by some friendly visits at the hospitall. Then there was the work of God in the suffering heart and the immediate fellowship between two men. Eventually all these have borne their fruit…

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  6. (Part 2)
    Spiritual direction is given through the word of God:

    "Enlarge the place of your tent : stretch your curtaind wide, do not hold back ; lenghten your cords, strengthen your stakes. …" (Isaiah 54:2) ;

    "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to relaible people, who will also be qualified to teach others" (1 Timothy 2:2).

    In this obediant spirit, the young team meet in Anduze to build a "welcoming centre" intended to welcome new converts, Christians with difficulties , people "wounded on the road", to organise biblical camps and later training sessions for fellow workers.

    As time goes by, many christian hymns are composed, all of them being biblical texts set to music. A hymn book, cassettes and CDs named "Avec des cris de joie"(with glad songs of praise) testify to the importance of praising and worship during our meetings, our biblical camps and teenager camps.

    Mainly through this work, the Mission Timothée will develop. New calls will appear, churches will be founded, and christian groups already existing but a long way from a church will ask for help and then will become fellow workers.

    Working in a spirit of unity in the light and fellowship, devoting oneself to the church as a whole, leading lost people to the personal knowledge of God, are our vocation, the one we want to fulfil while seeking to discern that "each one should build with care" (1 Corinthians 3:10 b)

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  7. Hello to you all of you in Japan,
    I'm really happy to see that God's word is spread in Japan. It really never came to me that we may have brothers and sisters in Japan. I really thanks God for that.
    My family and I, joined Mission Timothée in 1995 for the exact reason you mentioned above, and plus the fact that the entire Bible was preached and not man words, but only God's word, like it is in 'Actes 17:11' : "Now the Berean Jews ... they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed..."
    Thank you again,
    My best thoughts in our God and his son our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Olivier.

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    1. Hello,brother Olivier,I am Japanese christian who wrote this article. I wrote it in Japanese,and sister Kinuko translated into English to introduce in this site. I am so happy to hear that many French brothers and sisters read this article.

      They say that one percent of population in Japan is christians,but those who attend church service are very few.But I can say to you,there are also people who ask God seriously in my country.

      I heard that Mission Timothee is so serious to Bible words.Christian Liberalism is often accepted in churches of developed countries including Japan.
      But God's words never change.

      Please say hello to your church members and pray for Japan.

      Sanae.T

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  8. Dear Olivier,
    Hello! Thank you so much for your message. We are so glad to receive it. Now, I am going to translate your comment into Japanese and share it with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Japan. They are thinking of you and praying for you. Please send our best regards to your church brethren. In Christ, Kinuko

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