October 18, 2019
East Texas Baptist University, along with Texas Baptists (BGCT), hosted the fourth annual Worship Summit on Thursday, October 17 in ETBU’s Ornelas Student Center. The gathering focused on encouraging and training church music ministers and worship leaders with teachings focused on congregational music, songwriting, and technology in music.
“We want to make the most of this day, it’s about worshipping the Lord, leading worship effectively, networking with each other, encouraging one another, and supporting the work that God has called us to. There are more churches in East Texas that need worship leadership and we have the students to provide that resource,” Dean of the School of Communication and Performing Arts Tom Webster said. “We are proud of what is going on here at ETBU through our program and our students, and we hope to continue to fill that need throughout East Texas.”
This year, the Worship Summit guest speaker lineup included music artist Caroline Cobb, Associate Worship Minister at Mobberly Baptist Church Nate Harrison, and Music Minister at First Baptist Church in Lindale Andrew Pressley. In 2011, Caroline Cobb gave herself a goal to write a song for every book of the Bible in a year. That year of writing set in motion a new passion to tell the stories of scripture through music. During the Worship Summit, she shared a concert with attendees as well as taught sessions on “Songwriting Techniques.”
“Throughout scripture, you see this artistic aspect of the people of God. As we sing these songs, someone is writing them and someone is leading them, and it is so important,” Cobb said. “Our job isn’t necessarily to produce the next worship hit, our job is to be faithful, to show up, and then God will make things grow. He’ll do it in His own way, and we may not even know how He will use it.”
As technology in music continues to advance, Harrison encouraged and challenged attendees to be intentional when utilizing technology for worship.
“Spontaneous worship is always planned spontaneous worship. God can work in our intentionality,” Harrison said. “We need to stop thinking that technology puts us in a box. If we use it right, it frees us up to do more musically than we ever could without it.”
ETBU Music and Worship Ministry students who attended had the opportunity to become further equipped in their call to ministry. The ETBU Lampsato and Hilltop Singers led worship and performed for the conference, enabling them to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom.
“Today I’ve learned more about songwriting than I ever have before, as well as the technical side of worship,” ETBU junior Shelby Nallin said. “I come to Worship Summit because I know that I am called to do what the Lord has gifted me with. I’ve come to learn more about my calling, but most of all, the heart of worship has reminded me why I lead worship in the first place.”d more about songwriting than I ever have before, as well as the technical side of worship,” ETBU junior Shelby Nallin said. “I come to Worship Summit because I know that I am called to do what the Lord has gifted me with. I’ve come to learn more about my calling, but most of all, the heart of worship has reminded me why I lead worship in the first place.”