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Worship Academy: Let's Get The Whole World Praising God

Author: Pippa Baker

Worship Academy: Let's Get The Whole World Praising God

Pippa Baker tells Andy Drozdziak about a new way for young people to access worship, musical and leadership skills: the One Hope Project Worship Academy.

Pippa Baker is passionate about worship and empowering people to become worship leaders. The missionary from Sheffield, who is part of Catholic worship collective One Hope Project, has led and pioneered the Worship Academy, with the aim of helping worship leaders grow in faith, and develop worship, creative and liturgical skills.

“We believe that music and worship have such an important part to play in how each of us can encounter God,” she said.

The programme is an online course of bi-weekly teaching. Sessions cover a range of topics, including songwriting, leading worship, music for liturgy and building a team. The project gives an opportunity to grow in a specific practical skill that applies to participants’ particular contexts, such as growing in the playing of an instrument or how to start a worship event.

Faith-Filled Worship Leaders

Why does Pippa Baker believe there is currently a need for well-formed and faith-filled worship leaders? “We desire to see God being praised all over the world and we want to play our part in helping people do that,” she said. “When music is done well, when it is thought through, when it is prayed through, the spirit of God powerfully leads us to experience His life changing love.”

Community and support are major features of the academy. Pippa underlined the aspect of encouragement, in the spirit of the New Testament. “The OHP Academy gives all involved the opportunity to create friendships, experience community and meet other like-minded Christians desiring to grow in worship, prayer, musicality and creativity.” she said.

“St Paul said to the Roman church that he longed to be with them so that they ‘may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.’  We can totally relate: other people’s faith does encourage us. Plus, let’s face it - we need each other, don’t we?”

Throughout the process, each participant is allocated a mentor and a manager, which involves one to one monthly meetings for both practical musical guidance and spiritual accompaniment. 

Community, Support and Connection

Yet how does the academy work in practice-and can it help people? Simeon Adeoye from Blackburn, Lancashire, who works in supply chain management, also took part in the first year of The OHP Academy. The elements of community and support helped him enormously.

“It makes a difference when you feel connected to the people,” he said. “You can feel quite isolated as a young person doing music ministry and, in this platform, you’re able to meet people the same age as you, who are also passionate about serving God. That was very attractive to me. I feel a lot more confident about leading music ministry in my parish.” 

On his experience of being mentored, he said: “When I had challenges, or questions, I was able to reach out to that person and they were able to support me through that. That was really helpful. It made me feel a lot more confident about what I was doing.”

Hear more from Simeon in the video below:

Growing Spiritually

Primary school teacher Lydia Jackson, a participant of the first year of The OHP Academy, shared how being mentored and being a part of this school boosted her faith and worship leading capabilities.

"I was encouraged to apply for the One Hope Project Worship Academy because I had been involved with worship for a long time, but never received any actual formation," she said. "I knew that I really wanted to grow in leading a life of worship and learning some practical skills. I was really blessed by the authentic leadership session and a session on how to build a setlist."

Yet the biggest takeaway for Lydia was growing spiritually. "I have definitely been able to develop a stronger prayer life. God completely blew my mind." Lydia also felt supported by her spiritual mentor, who prayed for her fervently.

 

Pippa believes taking part in the academy can bring multiple benefits. “God can do so much when we step out and make a decision for him. The OHP Academy aims to raise up accomplished, Spirit-filled worshippers around the country. This is what we long for in every parish, every local community and every home.”

To apply for the One Hope Project Worship Academy, visit One Hope Project’s website: https://www.onehopeproject.co.uk/ohpacademy

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