The Wilds Music Conference
Over the first week of January I had the privilege of attending the Wilds Music Conference at the Wilds Christian Conference Center in Brevard, NC. I was given the opportunity to speak at a few of the workshops, which was a lot of fun. I met a lot of great people who lead in their various music ministries across the country. It was great to connect, meet new friends, and renew old acquaintances.
The topics I spoke on were about church administration. My first session was a “nuts and bolts” session, which basically went through everything we do as ministers of music. My second session was more of a philosophical discussion that tackled two main areas: turning from a performance mind-set to a worship mind-set, and the idea that we all lead out of our calling. My third and final session was a potpourri of tidbits I’ve learned and done through the years.
Whenever I’ve attended these sessions, I’ve always felt like I could walk away with one or two nuggets that I could take back to my ministry and incorporate. And that was my goal for the participants in my sessions. From the feedback I heard, people seemed to appreciate the content.
While I was there, I was able to “hob nob” with some ministry friends. I’d like to make you aware of their ministries, though I suspect most of you are already familiar with them.
Majesty Music has for years been the standard when it comes to conservative music in many churches. In addition to being a great resource to church musicians, they have produced hymnals and choral music. Probably most notably, however, they have produced children’s CDs just about every year for many years. Our children love listening to them, and you can trust that the songs are based on great biblical truths (and there are a lot of fun songs, too!).
It was great to connect with Ron (“Patch the Pirate”) and Shelly Hamilton, who lead this ministry. I hope you’ll head on over to their website and learn more about their resources for church musicians and children’s recordings.
Church Works Media
Another great ministry is ChurchWorksMedia.com. At the helm of this ministry is Chris Anderson, a self-described “word nerd” who serves in a pastorate in the Atlanta area. I’ve had the privilege of writing at least one tune for one of Chris’s texts, and so have many other amazing composers. Chris is a theologian, and it comes through in his hymn texts. Many congregations across the nation are singing his texts in their Sunday worship services. Check out his website, which includes many free hymns and other great resources for the church. And I love the name of his ministry, because I believe that, yes, church does work!
Additionally, I was able to spend some time with Andy Gleiser. He’s a full time evangelist with a heart for souls, and a gift of writing great hymn texts. Be sure to check out his hymns, which are freely available on his website. Take note of his name; you will begin to see more and more of his songs released in the near future.
There were many other friends I was able to spend time with, but if I began listing their names, I would inevitably omit someone. I left the conference encouraged and inspired. It was remarkable how God uses many different ministries to accomplish His purposes. I’m humbled and honored to be a small part of His plan.
James Koerts serves as the worship pastor of Mikado Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia. In addition to his full time responsibilities at the church, James is also a published composer and arranger.