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Get Out of Town This Summer: Worship Conferences, Training, and Retreats
By: Branon Dempsey

Following the Lord's call in leading His people in ministry and worship is a great delight in the life of a leader. It's one of the best, yet few, vocations in which artistry and spirituality meet. Sometimes along the journey, we encounter obstacles that go beyond our musical craft, or miles to run that seem to overtake our resources. As the pastor, worship leader, or layperson of your church, where do you go to find encouragement, training and replenishment to help invigorate and sustain the joy of serving your church? Better yet, what are you doing to help train and nurture your staff and their ministries?

There's no question, in today's day and age, we are inundated with the "How-To'" of eBooks, "Seven Step To…" Youtube videos. Don't forget about those countless emails that beg for your attention to get the latest and greatest. Out of all the options we have at the click of a mouse, nothing takes the place of a real-life human interaction and an event that will inspire your creativity.

Worship Conferences
Worship conferences are extremely helpful to inspire and build confidence within your team. Here's a quick list of a few summer 2012 seminars.

Christian Musician Summit @ theChapel
Buffalo, New York, May 4-5
The Christian Musician Summit conferences exist to provide practical training, equipping and resources for musicians, worship leaders, technicians, pastors, songwriters, and independent artists in order to improve skill and inspire talent for God's glory.

Engage 2012
Roanoke, Virginia, June 14-16, 2012
Learn tools, be refreshed and engage in intimate worship with your entire worship team. Engage 2012 is the affordable worship conference that you can attend by yourself or feasibly attend with your entire worship team. Specialty classes are offered in vocals, all instruments, worship leading and audio/technology.

Lifeway Worship Week
Asheville, North Carolina, July 16-20
LifeWay Worship Week takes the guesswork out of deciding which conferences are worth your time and money. Part of what makes this music week fresh and unique each year is the valuable feedback we receive from attendees. We take these responses and craft a comprehensive worship conference that is relevant to today's church worship needs.

Seminars and Workshops
It's one thing to attend large conferences, but it's another to join smaller seminars, or better yet, have a workshop that visit's your church for that extra personal touch. Sometimes, having the up-close point of view and single attention from a teacher can make an exponential difference. Here are a few smaller seminars that will deliver quality training at close distance learning for a cost that will keep your finance committee smiling.

One Day Intensives | Songwriter Boot Camp
Nashville, Tennessee, October 5- 6
The Songwriter Boot Camp is an intensive day of workshops and critiques for serious songwriters as well as beginners who desire to improve their craft by learning from the best in the industry. This is a great event for serious writers who want to begin the networking process with other writers and publishers. This is for worship leaders, unsigned songwriters, independent artists, and aspiring writers.

Worship Seminar with Tom Kraeuter
St. Paul, Minnesota, October 13, 2012
Author and Teacher Tom Kraeuter is one of America's leading voices on Christian worship. He serves as executive director of Training Resources, a ministry devoted to strengthening Christians in their relationships with God and with one another. Tom provides worship seminars to area churches for teaching on praise and worship. Their primary goal as a ministry is to help as many people as possible develop a vibrant, scripturally-based relationship with God and His people.

Worship Team Training with Branon Dempsey
Register a Workshop for Your Church
Since 2004, Worship Team Training has been serving church worship ministries by providing live workshops and online resources to help inspire, create and transform the leading of worship. WTT provides multiple styles of workshops (private teams or groups) at your local church, including studies of worship, music theory, team-leadership and instrumental and vocal techniques, as well as coaching sessions on the power of team will maximize your rehearsals and further inspire your services of worship – all that come to your church!

Worship Retreats
What comes to mind when you hear the word "retreat?" Are you filled with memories from childhood camp, a church group event or was it a frantic cry in response to being pursued? In Isaiah 55, we hear God calling the prophet Isaiah and his people into retreat – a return to the Lord. For those of us in worship ministry, we too are being called to be restored and replenished to God and his service.

Worship Leaders' Retreat at Laity Lodge
Leakey, Texas, April 23-26, 2012
Worship Leaders' Retreat is not a conference, nor an event that is information-driven, but rather a retreat that is restoration-driven.

For your accommodations, Laity Lodge has fully equipped apartment homes, a full dining hall with a kitchen staff and chef, also the main lodge for assemblies, library, concert hall, bookstore and an art museum. The Lodge also features full outdoor accommodations and dockside rest areas right on the river. They also have hammocks to help you take that long awaited nap.

No phones, no television, no traffic, only surrounded by tall trees, inspiring canyons and crystal blue rivers. For those who need to stay connected, the main Lodge does offer wireless Internet. Moreover, we desire your stay to be directed by God and not dictated by the clock. What activities take place at the retreat? Canoeing down the river, hiking through the canyons, swimming in the lake, biking on the off-road trails, coffee in the lodge, quiet in the library, checking out a book at the on-site bookstore, finding a hammock, and taking a nap.

Blessings to you as you find the right kind of training and equipping for your ministry and for your spiritual development in serving Christ in His call in worship.

Branon Dempsey is the chief executive officer, founder, and training director of Worship Team Training, a ministry providing live workshops and online resources for local worship ministries, www.worshipteamtraining.com.

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