Back in 2006, Sovereign Grace Music hosted our first WorshipGod conference in Maryland.
Since then, we’ve led conferences in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, and the UK. By my count, this year will be our 20th.
Each time we prepare for another one, I ask myself the same question: Do we really need another worship conference?
Obviously, I think the answer is yes. Which is why we’ll be gathering in Louisville, KY, July 31-Aug. 3 for WorshipGod19 – The Glorious Christ: Music is great. Jesus is greater.
There are a number of worship conferences you can choose from these days. They range from massive productions to local church offerings. All of them are seeking to make their unique contribution to the church.
So why come to WorshipGod19? Here are ten reasons.
1. The theme.
When people think “worship conference” they usually think “music.” And yes, we’ll have a lot of music and great musicians at this year’s WorshipGod conference.
But music is not the same thing as Jesus. Music can only help us express, with “lisping tongues,” how glorious the Savior is. It’s meant to point us to the greater reality, truth, and joy found in Christ alone. That’s why I’m so excited about this year’s theme. While developing our skills, we’re going to learn how to be more impressed with Jesus than our offerings to him, and help others to do the same.
2. The focus.
Sovereign Grace Music isn’t a conference production machine. We’re people in local churches seeking to serve others in local churches. We understand the day-in-day-out challenges you face with lack of resources, changing personnel, and your own issues. We don’t spend tons of money on technological wizardry, lighting effects, or stage designs. You won’t get tips on developing your “worship career.” While there is definitely a place for going to massive conferences to learn from well-known, extraordinarily gifted people, we think there’s a unique place for conferences where the people leading look and sound a lot like you.
3. The speakers.
At a WorshipGod conference, we want you to hear messages that are rooted in God’s authoritative word, gospel-driven, and heart-affecting. This year, Jared Mellinger, a WorshipGod regular, will open the conference with Jesus: God’s Just and Merciful Servant. Matt Mason, from Brook Hills Church, is going to explore the wonders of Jesus: Incarnate God. Mike Bullmore will help us marvel at Jesus: Our Saving Substitute. H.B. Charles, Jr. will point us to the glory of Jesus: Our Risen King. Joselo Mercado will talk about Jesus: Our Compassionate Brother. Mike Reeves will be joining us from the UK to exalt Jesus: Our Great Intercessor. And Rick Gamache will lift our hearts to consider Jesus: Our Returning Bridegroom. And how can we not want to sing after all that!
4. Joe Pace and the Shiloh band.
Joe Pace is a gospel music veteran of over two decades and serves as a campus pastor for Shiloh Church in Jacksonville, FL. This past February we recorded a live album with the Shiloh choir and musicians, and we wanted you to experience a taste of that night. And if you sign up to participate in the pre-conference choir workshop with Joe, you’ll be helping to lead us on Friday morning!
5. The musicians.
In addition to Joe Pace and the Shiloh band, we’re excited to be joined this year by Matt Boswell, Adam Wright, Daniel Renstrom and Brook Hills Music, the Immanuel Church Nashville band, Jordan Kauflin, Sol Fenne from 20Schemes in Scotland, and various Sovereign Grace musicians.
6. The seminars.
The seminars at WorshipGod speak practically to our hearts, theology, and skills. Along with breakouts for musicians, vocalists, tech teams, and songwriters, we’ll be covering topics that include:
- Christ and the Enemies Within: Dealing with Pride, Discouragement, Depression, and Lust (Bob Kauflin)
- Living in the Good of Our Union with Christ (Mike Reeves)
- Pursuing Spiritual Gifts to Exalt Christ (Rick Gamache)
- A Cross and Cultural Conversation (with H.B. Charles, Jr., Joe Pace, Devon Kauflin, and myself)
- The Gospel for Real Life (Mike Bullmore)
- Cultivating a Passion for Christ in the Next Generation (Bob, Devon, & Jordan Kauflin, Matt Boswell, Matt Mason)
- Worshiping a Big God in a Small Church (Devon Kauflin)
On Thursday afternoon, we’ll also be devoting a main session to demonstrating the relationship between arranging and mixing, and how both can be used more effectively to serve our congregations.
7. Free stuff.
Giveaways have always been a part of WorshipGod conferences. In fact, one of my highlights every conference is hearing the reasons people give for why someone else should receive an electric guitar, iPad, or amp. Giving stuff away reminds us of the riches of grace we’ve freely received in the gospel. And just to be clear, “stuff” means drumsticks, guitar strings, pedals, books, CDs, keyboards, microphones, and more. You’ll also be getting two free lunches. It’s almost like we’re paying you to come.
8. Free nights.
We’re trying a new schedule this year and we think you’ll love it. The days are packed, but we’re ending around dinner time on Thursday and Friday. That will give you a number of options. Take some extended, unhurried time to debrief with your team or those you came with. Get to know some new friends. Check out the amazing Louisville restaurant scene. Come back to the building after dinner and make music together in one of the jam rooms. Or just go to bed early. It’s your choice!
9. The attendees.
The WorshipGod conference isn’t for everyone. But if you love God’s Word, care about your heart and theology as much as your music, desire to encounter God we gather on Sundays, and have a passion for serving your local church, you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of people a lot like you.
10. Two live albums.
We’re planning on recording our next live album, The Glorious Christ, on Tuesday night, July 30. If you’re in the area, or can come in a day early, we’d love for you to join us! We also plan on releasing the album we recorded with Shiloh Church, Behold Our God, at the conference.
Through April 30, students and groups (of 5 or more) can register for only $150. Individuals are just $175. Church planters and senior pastors can get in for only $99! You can find out more and register on the WorshipGod website.
So whether you’re a pastor, leader, instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, techie, or just someone who wants to grow in their passion for Jesus, we hope to see you there!