Cedarville students will have an opportunity Friday night to participate in a night of worship with worship pastor Travis Cottrell as part of the Worship 4:24 conference. Cottrell is one of the guests being brought in by the conference, said Roger O’Neel, associate professor of music and worship.
“Most students will be interested in that,” O’Neel said. He said they advertised the night of worship along with the conference itself.
The Worship 4:24 Conference begins on Friday night, put on by Cedarville’s music and worship department in coordination with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. While often an on-campus conference can fly under the radar, on Jan. 24-25 few students will be unaware that something big is happening.
O’Neel said that hundreds of worship leaders will fill Cedarville’s campus, and that number will include more than just Cedarville’s own students. O’Neel said through advertising with the Southern Baptist partnership, word of the conference has reached various worship leaders and pastors from several hundred miles away.
What exactly is it about this conference in particular that attracts so many people?
“The event is designed to equip worship leaders, people who serve in any capacity, to facilitate and improve their skills,” O’Neel said.
The Worship 4:24 conference, based on the Bible verse John 4:24, is also an opportunity to make sure that our worship is spiritually based, O’Neel said. He said the primary focus of the verse was to offer a reminder to worship God in spirit and in truth. O’Neel said the conference provides something for everyone and offers variety for any student or worship leader interested in attending.
“My role is basically logistics,” O’Neel said. He collaborated with the Southern Baptist partnership to bring in guests from around the country and vendors who support the worship leaders. The 5-year-old program is open to the public and begins on Friday afternoon with 72 seminars during the two-day event.
The seminars aren’t just limited to a single skill or a single track; it’s applicable as much as possible for every single person, O’Neel said. Sessions will be offered from professionals on individual instruments, sound, leading, video and other forms of support worship.
Although worship students are required to attend the conference, it is open to all students for a cost of $30.
“If students have interest in worship and want to soak in some teaching or worship, it’s a very practical thing to do,” O’Neel said.
O’Neel said award winning song-writer Steve Merkel will give a session on how students can get their songs published.
“We’ve got some fantastic video guys in support worship,” he said. “There’s a plethora of things.”
“Hey, if you’re interested in the conference, great,” O’Neel said. He said walk-in registration remains open for students who may decide to explore some of the available seminars, but the night of worship is targeted for and open to all students interested.
“It will be a great evening for the whole campus and community,” O’Neel said.
Steve Clark is a sophomore liberal arts major and reporter for Cedars. He hopes one day to become a pastor and to set a world record for total miles driven in a minivan.