The past few weeks I’ve been at work preparing for WorshipGod East and WorshipGod West. I’m excited for the way things are coming together and wanted to let you know what’s going on, since we don’t expect to have the website up until Feb. 1 and people have been asking for details.
WorshipGod West will be held June 27-29 at Calvary Church, Santa Ana, CA. The folks at Calvary have enthusiastically welcomed us and we can’t wait to hold the conference there. WorshipGod East is going to be Aug. 1-3 at Highview Baptist Church East, Louisville, KY. They have also been extremely gracious and kind. For the East conference I’m working on offering some pre-conference intensives (piano, choir, vocal, and guitar) on July 31.
This year’s conference theme is Called to be Faithful. In light of the massive number of options we have available to us today in corporate worship (lighting, video, instruments, arrangements, etc.), it’s easy to get distracted and off track. So this year we’re going to highlight some of the things God has called us specifically to be faithful in when we lead the church at our gatherings. Here’s the line up of messages and speakers:
Faithful to Receive – Conversations about worship typically begin and end with what WE do. But worship is a gift, received by grace, not something that originates with us. The Father not only seeks worshipers, he creates worshipers (John 4:1-26; ;1 Tim. 1:12-17). This message will remind us that our worship of God is rooted in and sustained by grace alone. Craig Cabaniss, senior pastor of Grace Chruch in Frisco and a well-loved speaker at WorshipGod conferences, will be giving this message at both events.
Faithful to Proclaim – While we often view “worship” as passionately expressing our feelings toward God, worship always involves proclaiming truths about God that fuel our emotional fire. What we are specifically called to proclaim is the Word of God and the gospel. God has told us that his word is living and active and will not return void, and that the gospel is the power of God (Heb. 4:12; Is. 55:10-11; Rom. 1:16). Jeff Purswell is scheduled to give this message at WorshipGod west and Dr. Russ Moore will be serving us at East.
Faithful to Serve – Anyone involved in music ministry can be tempted to exalt themselves. But Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all (Mk. 10:42-44). How do we develop a servant mindset while leading people in corporate worship? What does it look like? Two younger Sovereign Grace pastors will seek to answer this question. In the West it will be Jon Payne, associate pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ. Jared Mellinger, pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church near Philadelphia, will address this topic in the East.
Faithful to Grow – Being faithful doesn’t mean doing the same things you’ve always done. Every musician and leader has the opportunity and responsibility to grow in their character, theology, and skills. I’ll have the joy of speaking to this topic at both events.
Faithful to Prepare – This doesn’t refer to preparing for a meeting, but preparing our people for suffering, death, and heaven. Congregational worship is meant to open people’s eyes to the weighty, eternal realities that we’re dealing with each time we meet. I’m thrilled that Kevin DeYoung will speak on this at WorshipGod West, and that Kevin Twit of Indelible Grace Music will be addressing it in the East.
Seminars at both conferences are going to be designed for pastors, worship leaders, musicians, vocalists, song writers, and tech personnel. We’re bringing back some familiar seminar speakers (Donald Whitney, Sheri Gould, Doug Gould, Matt Mason, Ken Boer, Patrick Anderson, Mike Cosper, etc.) and adding some new ones (Kevin DeYoung, Darius Fong, Malcolm DuPlessis, etc.).
Rates will be similar to last year with early bird registration starting at $90/student, $115/group of 5+, $140/individual, all of which include lunch both days. We’re also working up a special discount for any senior pastor who comes with his worship leader.
I’d appreciate prayers as we hash out the final details of the schedule.
And since I’m still working on seminar topics, if you have any ideas for something you’d like to see, leave a comment below.