Heart of Worship Conference to help students claim music for Christ

Communications Staff — January 5, 2009

Music is a powerful force. Hundreds of conversations begin with the words “Man, I can’t get this song out of my head.” Movies are brought to life by the soundtracks they feature. Rarely does a day go by when people do not have the lyrics of a favorite tune running through their minds.

Music is a particularly powerful force among youth. From garage bands of the 1970s and 80s to video games like Guitar Hero today — first developed in 2005, current gross of $1.6 billion in sales — music has been and continues to be an integral part of the lives of most middle and high school students.

The Heart of Worship Conference at Boyce College seeks to help students claim music as a domain where God is glorified. Greg Brewton, department coordinator and associate professor of church music at Boyce, said this year’s conference, Jan. 30-31, will particularly focus on equipping students who lead worship or who play in praise bands for youth services.

“We are trying to help them have a biblical foundation for what they are already doing in their youth groups in the area of worship,” he said.

“I want to get them (students) together with the worship leaders who are leading these sessions and let the students observe them, meet them and experience their walk with the Lord. In addition to helping them with their biblical foundation, we also want to help them develop their musical skills. We can help them see directions they need to be going to help them improve.’

Brewton said the third annual Heart of Worship Conference will feature three primary breakout session tracks: praise bands, student choirs and drama teams. People interested in attending can download a registration form at www.boycecollege.com/heartofworship. Discounted early bird registration ends Jan. 18.

Denny Burk, dean of Boyce, and Dan DeWitt, associate vice president for communications at Southern Seminary, are the keynote speakers for the event. DeWitt said he looks forward to serving the local church through his involvement at the conference.

“The Heart of Worship Conference is a unique event which allows local churches to invest in their student leaders,” he said. “I’ve always been impressed with Dr. Brewton’s leadership and influence. Both the Boyce music program and, by extension, this conference, are a tremendous resource for the church.”

Bo and Danielle Warren will present a concert at the conference the evening of Jan. 30. Bo serves as associate minister of music at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., is a graduate of Southern (master of arts in worship) and is a music theory instructor at Boyce. Danielle is a voice instructor and a graduate of Boyce and recently received a master’s degree in vocal performance at Converse College in South Carolina.

One unique element from last year’s conference that will return this year is a praise band workshop/critique. As part of the praise band elective track, bands will take turns playing a couple of songs and receiving instruction and critique from a panel.

Electives speakers include Dan Odle, associate pastor of music and worship at Highview Baptist Church’s Fegenbush Campus, who will present a biblical foundation for worship, and

Other electives include how to structure a worship service, selecting songs for worship, how to lead a worship band and what to say to introduce songs. Several local worship leaders and Boyce graduates will lead the electives.

Various Boyce ensembles will lead worship at the event, including Aletheia, Jubilate, the Boyce Worship Band, Boyce Chorale and the Boyce Instrumental Ensemble.

Participants can receive a special conference rate on reservations at the Legacy Center by mentioning group id# 37078 when they call (736-0600) or register online (www.legacycenteratsouthern.com). For more information, email Brewton at gbrewton@sbts.edu.

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