I’ll never forget my first visit to Ridgecrest for Music Week. I was 16 years old and our youth choir from Tate Street Baptist Church in Corinth, Mississippi went on our church bus. There were 30 or so in the group.
Spilman Auditorium at Ridgecrest was packed. There were choirs from all over the country from places I had never been with people that thought I sounded funny when I talked. The highlight of the week, for me, was when I auditioned to sing in the talent show and was selected! I sang one of the first songs I had ever written titled, “Handful of Sand.” These days, I can’t remember the song, but I’ll never forget my first Music Week. It was an epic moment in my life.
This week, we are here again fully expecting more epic moments. I love the time we spend together during Worship Week. Here’s my top 5 reasons why:
- Conversation. Over the course of these days, I will have dozens of conversations with people who serve the Church on the front lines of disciple-making – an enterprise we are called to serve. I cherish these interactions. They inform our work for the whole year.
- Inspiration. We will hear great corporate worship music, great choirs and instrumentalists, and great preaching. My heart is blessed by all of it!
- Instruction. Some of the finest ministry leaders and creative people make up our teaching faculty each year. They come ready to equip leaders for ministry and to re-fire the work of the ministries for years to come!
- Renewal. Jesus modeled for us the necessity for ministry leaders to get away from the routine and to be refreshed. A few days in the beautiful mountains bring the margin I need to be refreshed physically and spiritually.
- Connection. I need to hear God’s voice. I need to reconnect with my family and the people I serve with through the year. I need to connect again with other leaders and Christians – to learn from their experiences and to share mine. I need to be reminded the world is bigger than just my corner. That happens for me at this conference.
All this happens at Worship Week each year. We are grateful for all the ways God has blessed the lives of many through this event over the years.
But something new is in the works!
You may know our team has been working on a transformational event for next year that will encompass all the wonderful aspects of Worship Week AND bring even more offerings that will ultimately help worship leaders (and more) live out God’s greatest commandment, Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” I am more than excited about the conference we are building for the future that will be in Gatlinburg, TN next summer – WorshipLife Event 2016!
Mark this down: Our inaugural worship event – WorshipLife Event – is June 27-30, 2016 in Gatlinburg, TN.
Conversations, Inspiration, Instruction, Renewal, and Connection – all in a new place as the largest gathering of worship ministry leaders in the country come together for a one-of-a-kind worship event. Bring your family, your leadership team, and your worship leaders. It will be THE place to be for church music leaders next summer!
You can sign up NOW to be among the first to receive announcements and early bird opportunities for WorshipLife Event registration.
And next year, in the Smoky Mountains, we’ll sit down, together, and talk about all God has done for us!
Can’t wait to see you this week… and if not this week, definitely next summer!
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.