By Jessica Berg
The ability to worship freely is an integral part of what it means to be a student at Samford University. From weekly convocation services to small group cadres, Samford encourages the exploration and cultivation of one’s own individual faith in many ways.
Along with ways to grow together in group settings, the university also offers students the opportunity to lead the student body in worship through and within their class time.
Samford Worship Team is a new worship collective that guides students to cultivate skills in worship leadership during their time at Samford as well as gain real-world experience in leading various congregations in the area.
Samford Worship Team is a course offered through the School of the Arts and is open to any major. Auditions are required in order to participate, and class credit is available.
The syllabus for the course provides a detailed explanation of the mission and expectation for individuals involved and interested in the course.
“Samford Worship Team consists of students who desire to develop musical and spiritual leadership skills for planning and facilitating corporate worship…to promote growth and Christian discipleship through worship leadership, scripture and the arts,” the class syllabus states.
Sophomore Brock scholar Luna Mora said she believes that the course is highly effective in training and growing leaders.
“On the Samford Worship Team, we do not only lead worship, but we learn how to biblically plan, organize and execute a worship service,” Mora said. “We spend time in the Word, memorize Bible verses weekly, and have discussions that help us become more like Christ on and off of the stage.”
While not much is yet known about the Samford Worship Team, participants rave about how much the group and experience as a whole has meant to them. The outlook for the future of this group looks to be only positive.
Freshman health science major Natalie Hope has been a worship leader for years and when she heard about the Samford Worship Team, she knew it was the place for her.
“All throughout high school, I helped lead worship at my church back in my hometown. It’s something that recharged me every week, but also gave me a musical outlet and the opportunity to serve and worship the Lord through leading others,” Hope said. “So when I saw the signs about auditions, I immediately knew that God was continuing to call me into leading worship and he graciously gave me the opportunity to do so through SWT.”
Over the course of the school year, Samford Worship Team has hosted a worship night for President Beck Taylor’s inauguration as well as services for Samford’s Student Government Association and staff worship for Hunter Street Baptist Church.
This initial year of the course is only the beginning of the journey. There are sizable hopes and dreams for the future of this group, and junior worship leadership major Wheat Bailey shared his.
“My vision and hope for Samford Worship Team is that it will grow into something akin to the Liberty Worship Collective,” Bailey said. “I would love to see SWT writing and producing their own worship music, traveling all over the country to lead worship, and giving Samford students the opportunity to have practical experience in worship leadership and worship production.”
Samford Worship Team will hold their second night of worship for the year on April 7 at 6 p.m. in Reid Chapel. All are welcome to participate in the service.