From Staff Reports

MARSHALL — In 2011, Caroline Cobb gave herself the goal of writing a song for every book of the Bible in a year. That year of writing set in motion a new passion to tell the stories of scripture through music.

At East Texas Baptist University’s fourth annual Worship Summit this week, she shared those stories, and taught sessions on songwriting.

“Throughout scripture, you see this artistic aspect of the people of God. As we sing these songs, someone is writing them and someone is leading them, and it is so important,” Cobb said. “Our job isn’t necessarily to produce the next worship hit, our job is to be faithful, to show up, and then God will make things grow. He’ll do it in His own way, and we may not even know how He will use it.”

She was one of several guest speakers to take part in the on-campus session Thursday, which focused on encouraging and training church music ministers and worship leaders with teachings focused on congregational music, songwriting, and technology in music.

“It’s about worshiping the Lord, leading worship effectively, networking with each other, encouraging one another, and supporting the work that God has called us to, said Tom Webster, dean of the School of Communication and Performing Arts. “We hope to continue to fill that need throughout East Texas.”

Other guest speakers were Nate Harrison, associate worship minister at Mobberly Baptist Church, and Andrew Pressley, music minister at First Baptist Church in Lindale.

As technology in music continues to advance, Harrison encouraged and challenged attendees to be intentional when utilizing technology for worship.

“Spontaneous worship is always planned spontaneous worship. God can work in our intentionality,” Harrison said. “We need to stop thinking that technology puts us in a box. If we use it right, it frees us up to do more musically than we ever could without it.”

ETBU Music and Worship Ministry students had the opportunity to become further equipped in their call to ministry. The ETBU Lampsato and Hilltop Singers led worship and performed for the conference, enabling them to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom.

“Today I’ve learned more about songwriting than I ever have before, as well as the technical side of worship,” said ETBU junior Shelby Nallin. “I come to Worship Summit because I know that I am called to do what the Lord has gifted me with. I’ve come to learn more about my calling, but most of all, the heart of worship has reminded me why I lead worship in the first place.”