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Worship conference aimed at providing theology of worship for students
February 26, 2007
By Ashley Andrews

Boyce College will present its first Heart of Worship conference, March 9-10.

Designed for high school and college students involved in leading worship in their local churches, the conference will provide a biblical understanding of worship in addition to helping students develop music skills, said Greg Brewton, department coordinator for music studies at Boyce.

Brewton said many people think immediately of music when describing worship, while biblical worship involves much more.

"Hebrews 12:28 tells us that 'since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we offer to God an acceptable sacrifice with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire,'" he said. "Worship is all about showing gratitude for what we have [received] in our Lord Jesus Christ. Worship is offering to God acceptable service with reverence and awe.

"In Hebrews 13:15-16 we read that we should 'continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God' both with our lips and through not neglecting doing good [works] 'for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.' We should worship God continually with our lips and in our actions. We worship Him during our times together as the body of Christ and in the way we live our lives during the week."

The conference will include plenary and breakout sessions, concerts and auditions for Boyce music scholarships, and will allow high school and college students to interact with Boyce students and professors.

Jimmy Scroggins, dean of Boyce College, and Barry Joslin, assistant professor of Christian theology at Boyce, are the featured speakers at the event. Joslin will speak Friday night on what constitutes a biblical theology of worship.

"Biblical worship always flows from biblical theology," Joslin said. "Theology always leads to doxology, and doxology always flows from theology. Being both a theology professor and worship leader, these two topics are each near and dear to my heart. This is a message that I have been working on for years in my own life. I want to turn all worship leaders into theologians, and all theologians into worshipers. There should never be a breakdown between theology and worship, since one drives the other."

Joslin encouraged students with musical ability to use their talent to glorify God and to make preparation for leading worship a priority.

"If you are a musician, your craft has been given to you by God to be used for worship, and He deserves nothing less than what is excellent," he said. "This does not mean that you have to have every note perfect or you can't lead. It does mean, like the psalmist said in Psalm 33, that you should 'play skillfully.' This must involve planning. Please do not think that you'll be able to just 'wing it,' [when you lead worship]. The Lord honors practice and preparation."

Breakout sessions will focus on practical topics, such as, "How do I select songs for worship?;" "Sound basics for worship;" "How can I improve my vocal skills?;" "What is biblical worship?;" and "Praise band instruments and praise band workshop."

Several Boyce music groups will be highlighted during the conference, with concerts featuring Aletheia, the Boyce worship band and Boyce chorale. Brewton said most of the college's music professors and students will be involved in the conference in some way. Auditions for Boyce music scholarships will also be conducted.

Early registration, by March 1, is $20 per person and after March 1 the fee is $25. Group discounts are available. A discounted rate of $12 is also offered for Boyce students, whom Brewton encouraged to participate. The cost of the conference includes a pizza fellowship Friday evening, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. More information and registration forms are available at

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