Variety marks MBC worship event
JEFFERSON CITY–Worship leaders from around the state converged on Concord Baptist Church for a time of spiritual refreshment and fellowship as they honed their skills for leading Missouri Baptists in worship. Around 125 attended the annual Worship Leadership Conference hosted by the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
John Francis, MBC worship specialist, said the event was “better than I could have hoped” as the conference addressed practical, spiritual and theoretical issues in leading worship.
“I think we were able to give a good mixture,” he said.
The conference featured breakout sessions focusing on audio-visual production, technology issues, worship planning and sessions designed specifically for small churches.
In a world where technological breakthroughs occur on a regular basis, Francis made a conscious effort to integrate technology into the teaching sessions.
“I touch on it everywhere I go,” he said. “If you try to divorce worship from technology these days, you’re missing the boat. Technology is a great avenue for worship.”
A deep understanding of the spiritual nature of worship is even more essential, Francis said.
“You can’t plan worship adequately and you certainly can’t do it in tune with the Spirit without first understanding Scripture.”
David Manner, Francis’ counterpart in the Kansas/Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists, addressed the spiritual concept of worship while Worship Leader Joel Engle of Southlake, Texas, discussed the ins and outs of leading worship in a variety of settings and scenarios.
According to Francis, one of the most important features of the Worship Leadership Conference is simply that it provides for a time of fellowship.
“Worship leaders are really a lonely breed,” he said. “It also allows them to be led in worship instead of leading. These guys never get to take off on a Sunday and see how other people lead worship so it can be easy for them to become stale. If you don’t have something like this to shake yourself out of that rut, your worship can become stale and predictable.”
Francis said he hopes next year’s conference will see a jump in attendance.
“It’s growing year by year,” he said. “We want this to be the thing for worship leaders every year. We do a lot of field work and regional conferences, but I’d really like for this to be the big must-see event.”