Any worship leader will confess, “Yeah, I need more training,” says Eben Brusco, the worship and arts pastor of Vineyard Church of Augusta.
A new event organized by four local churches aims to help them get that training.
Centered, a free, half-day worship-training seminar, will be offered at Vineyard Church of Augusta on April 21. It’s sponsored by Vineyard Church of Augusta, Oasis de Bendicion, Gospel Water Branch Baptist, and Vineyard Community Church.
The seminar includes basic guitar, vocals, keyboarding and percussion for worship, in addition to sessions on the heart and character of a worship leader, and topics such as “creating a safe, multicultural worship environment.”
It was important to the seminar’s creators to craft an event that focuses on musicianship alongside issues of character and leadership, said Patrick Steed, the worship leader of Vineyard Community Church.
“They both matter,” he said. “As a worship leader, you have to depend on a band behind you. If you don’t have a good band, people get distracted.”
Steve Carpenter, a Chicago musician, will appear as a special guest to speak on creativity and hip-hop in worship.
“People think leading worship is just about singing songs,” Brusco said. “It’s meant to be more than that. Hopefully, we’re creating a safe place where people can meet with God.
‘‘We want to ask ourselves, ‘How can we grow more in our facilitation of people meeting with Jesus?’”
The event grew out of a discussion that started more than a year ago, Brusco said.
“Last year we started talking about having some sort of equipping event for the worship pastors in the community that would have this sort of multicultural flavor. We’re really interested in how different cultures approach music,” he said. “This crosses ethnic and denominational lines.”
Kevin Staley, minister of worship and arts at Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church, agreed.
“We want as many people involved as we can. It doesn’t belong to just two or three churches,” he said.
“This is needed. There’s an excitement just to be able to come together as one body of Christ,” he said. “With all of us coming together from different churches, we get a better understanding of how each other sees God. We’re all better for it.”