East Texas Baptist University, along with Texas Baptists (BGCT), hosted the third annual Worship Summit on Thursday, November 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in ETBU’s Ornelas Student Center. The gathering focused on the spiritual health of worship pastors with presentations on balancing responsibilities, building relationships, and finding rest.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of hosting the Worship Summit in partnership with Texas Baptists (BGCT) is the unique interaction that takes place between ETBU Worship Studies students and the many worship pastors from across our region,” ETBU Dean of the School of Communication and Performing Arts Tom Webster said. “As we seek to develop and facilitate the work of the next generation of worship leaders, it is imperative that we connect our students with those who are currently serving in the church and supportive ministries.”
Dr. Tom Tillman and Dr. Tim Watson from Texas Baptists (BGCT) led a group session focused on Building Your Relationship with Church Staff and Lay Leaders. Dr. Tillman currently serves as the Music and Worship Leader Specialist. As the Director and East Texas Area Representative, Dr. Watson works with more than 500 churches. Their session centered on the importance of connecting with God and His people.
“No matter where you are in life, whether you are in college or working with a church, everyone needs love and encouragement,” Dr. Tillman expressed. “Positive communication is key to building healthy relationships. It can be easy for ministers to withdraw into themselves, but it is important for them to reach out and seek relationships. Consistently network with those in your field to be challenged in becoming a better minister.”
As every relationship takes time and effort, Dr. Watson urged church musicians to schedule times of rest through daily devotionals, weekly Sabbath days and occasional sabbaticals.
“Daily quality time with God is necessary and changes everything about the way we interact with others,” Dr. Watson shared. “Rest your body, recharge your emotions, and restore your spirit. Go back to your primary source by reconnecting with God and His Word.”
The cost to attend the Worship Summit was waived for ETBU Music and Worship Ministry students in order to provide an affordable opportunity to become further equipped in their call to ministry. The ETBU Worship Studies students, Jubilant Worship, and Hilltop Singers led worship for the conference, enabling them to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom.
“The most rewarding aspect of attending the conference is the opportunity to learn with an open mind to receive other perspectives of worship in the church,” ETBU senior Katie Ashcraft commented. “The Worship Summit prepares us as we move forward in our careers by allowing us to hear from experienced and seasoned music ministers.”