New Worship Album Spotlight: Nicole Crosby, The Project & Sathiya

Nicole Crosby “Your Way” 13087226_10105098159963412_9019238403535185028_o

Nicole grew up in a small Florida town and now resides in Nashville Tennessee. At 8 years old, she sang her first solo in church and by age the of 12 she was asked to join the worship team! Nicole has always felt a sweet connection with God through singing. Nicole’s desire is to see people transformed by the love and power of Jesus Christ through music! Her debut single “Your Way” is an upbeat, feel-good anthem that declares Christ as the King of Glory & is layered with driving drums, bright synths, crunchy guitars & Nicole’s powerful voice! Buy on iTunes

CoverThe Project “Mystic Chapel” 

“The Project” is a collaboration of musicians under the leadership of Michael Glen Bell and Duane W. H. Arnold from Indianapolis, Indiana. Their sound is very diverse and refreshing and ranges from acoustic folk to rock n roll! Their latest release “Mystic Chapel” is music created around lyrics drawn from ancient liturgy that asks the question, “What if we still believed?” Michael & Duane offer this album as a “love letter” of sorts to the body of Christ. Buy on iTunes


Sathiya “Deeper”nIF73P0-

A self-taught musician based out of Ontario, “Sathiya” has released his debut album “Deeper.” With a strong understanding of both theoretical & practical elements of worship and Influenced by musicians such as Andrew McMahon, Matt Redman and Jesus Culture, Sathiya’s music comes to life from his private encounters with God! He hopes his songs and the stories behind them will launch others into radical God encounters and inspire them to use their own creative gifting. Buy on iTunes

3 Keys to Engage Teens in Worship


#1 Know Your Audience
In any worship setting, knowing the people who you are trying to take with you into God’s presence is so important! Now, I’m not saying you have to be personally acquainted with each student at your gathering, but rather that you should have a general idea about the type of group you’re leading. Every group of youth will have a different flavor, a unique style, and its own set of challenges that you’ll need to break through. For example, the teens I currently lead in Fairbanks, Alaska are a different breed than those I previously led in Sacramento, California! All groups of youth are unique. When you look at it this way, your eyes will be opened to how the Lord would have you lead the specific, unique group of teens He has called you to.

With this in mind, pay attention to the little things – for example, the way your teens respond to certain songs. Take notice of the styles they prefer. Don’t be afraid to change things up! And don’t take it personally if you try something new and don’t get the reaction you were looking for. Of course we’d hope for our teens to press through and worship no matter what, but let’s be realistic. Sometimes teenagers need a little bit of extra help to engage during worship. So pay attention to the way your teens respond (or don’t respond). Learn from them and let it grow you as a leader!

#2 Don’t Be Afraid to Go Deep
Your teens want to go deep, trust me. As the Psalmist so eloquently states in Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” There is an innate desire and longing in every human being to know and experience God’s love and power. You are actually depriving your teens if you only “skim the surface” and never lead them to the depths of God’s presence that they long to go to.

Of course, you aren’t capable of leading someone to a place you haven’t first been yourself. As a worship leader, don’t deprive your own spirit. Deliberately spend time in the presence of God daily. Allow Him to take you to deeper depths than you’ve ever been. As you do so, you’ll see how this directly affects your worship leading. There have been many instances in my life that I can specifically pin-point when God did a special work in my life, and immediately following there was a dynamic shift in the worship culture of our youth group. I’m telling you, whatever is in you will leak. It affects your worship team, and it affects your teens. Go deep. Take them with you.

#3 Invest in Your Worship Team
I’ve been on several different worship teams, beginning in my junior high years. Some experiences have been amazing, while others were less than impressive. What made the difference didn’t so much have to do with the songs we were playing, the skill level of the musicians, or anything like that. It had everything to do with the community of people I led worship with. I’ve played with several teams that were inwardly focused, not inclusive of others, and very much cliques. This stunts growth in a team and keeps others from reaching their full potential in using their God-given gifts to glorify Him. You must keep the doors open, and your eyes open, so that others are included and your team grows! When a team is inwardly focused, the atmosphere can be dull, versus a team that is community-oriented and focused on leading others into the presence of God with them. The latter will cultivate a free and inviting atmosphere where others desire to participate in worship.
Also, pour into your team as much as possible. Invest in them. Duplicate yourself so that the next generation can carry the torch when it’s their turn. Equip them spiritually and practically. Set them up for success. See them as your very own disciples that God has placed under your leadership for a specific time and purpose! When they’re well-equipped and they begin to take ownership, it definitely encourages the youth in your service to press in even more.

Don’t forget – you are making more of an impact than you know! Let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you as you continue your journey of leading the next generation in worship!

IMG_2872Kayla Kitay is an Intern at Fairbanks First Assembly & oversees the worship ministry of Vertical NextGen . You can Follow Kayla on Instagram.

Spring: 10 New Worship Albums for 2016

Keep 2016 going strong with these new worship albums & songs!

BETHEL“Have It All” by Bethel Music

Featuring 13 worship leaders from the Bethel Music team & 14 new songs focused on God’s nature, His promises & His presence in our lives, this album captures the refreshing essence of live worship and includes spontaneous moments as those gathered respond in to God’s presence.

“Edge Of Heaven” by River Valley WorshipCc5PObxUcAAX7JC

“We’re writing songs that hopefully capture just piece of the majesty, the greatness, of the God that we serve, sing to and live for.” – Ryan Williams. Edge of Heaven, was recorded live at the River Valley campus.

takeheart“Take Heart” by Covenant Worship

“Take Heart,” the newest record from Covenant Worship – the music ministry of the Dallas area based Covenant Church, is distinctively more upbeat with its bouncy synths and punchy melodies than previous albums. The project is inspired by Jesus’ words in John 16:33 “Take heart, I have overcome the world.”

“Youth Revival” by Hillsong Young & FreeYouth-Revival_portada

Infused with energetic loops & dance beats, Hillsong Young & Free, one of the new creations of the worship ministry that has grown from Hillsong Church in Australia, is a group with a specific goal in mind: come together to make worship music for the next generation.

EW-HAIH_Cover“Here As In Heaven” by Elevation Worship

This new live album “Here As In Heaven,” recorded at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, declares that the Kingdom of God is here among us & inspires listeners to worship with a new sense of expectation and passion, to let our lives be the evidence of His presence on earth.

“Eclipsed” by Fellowship CreativePhoto_ART

This album tells the story of what God has done & is doing in the lives of Fellowship Church. Walking the line between electronically driven pop and guitar-driven rock worship, “Eclipsed” takes the best of both worlds for a modern worship album that pushes the movement forward.

Audrey Assad-Inheritance Cover

“Inheritance” by Audrey Assad

Audrey Assad’s newest album reflects a unique soundscape featuring lush textures & wide, expansive rhythms that allow her beautiful voice to glide effortlessly over a diverse landscape of prayerful contemplation.

“Let It Echo” by Jesus Culture91WozJlKrRL._SY355_

With an undercurrent of electronic beats, rhythms, and a brisk tempos, “Let It Echo” is different from their preceding records, in the sense that it wasn’t recorded at their large concert settings, but instead, the individual songs were recorded during worship services across various Sundays.

VM-digital-cover-final.190Anchour Studio Sessions” by Vineyard Music

Musicians and worship leaders from all over the Northeast U.S. also collaborated on this effort which will inspire churches and worshippers alike to discover new artistic expression and imagination within the songs we sing.

“Hymns II: Shine On Us” by Michael W. SmithMWS_HymnsII_digi_cover

Michael W. Smith has partnered once again with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for the exclusive “Hymns II – Shine On Us.” This album features 16 of the top classics.

Top 5 Worship Album Reviews & Posts of 2015


#1 School of the Rock: 5 Keys to Building Great Youth Worship Teams

  • Are you a Youth Pastor or a Youth Leader? In this article you will find almost everything you need to know how to build great worship teams!

#2 10 New Worship Albums for Summer 2015 

  • Here you will find 10 of the top worship albums of the year with a short description for each & links to purchase them on iTunes!

#3 7 New Worship Songs for Spring

  • In this post, we focus on 7 of our favorite inspirational & diverse worship songs of 2015 with descriptions & links to purchase them on iTunes!

#4 Autumn: 9 New Worship Albums for 2015

  • This is our most recent worship album review with links to purchase 9 of the newest albums of the year!

#5 15 New Worship Songs for 2015

  • In this post you will find an eclectic mix of powerful worship songs released near the beginning of 2015!

Autumn: 9 New Worship Albums for 2015

rend-collective---as-family-we-goAs Family We Go” by Rend Collective

Favorite Song: “You Will Never Run”

In a Word: Eclectic

“Before all Things” by Eleven22 WorshipEleven22-Worship-before-all-things

Favorite Song: “I’m Not Alone”

In a Word: Electronica

amanda-cook“Brave New World” by Amanda Cook

Favorite Song: “Heroes”

In a Word: Peaceful

“Brighter” by Fearless Bandfearless-bnd

Favorite Song: “Brighter”

In a Word: Crazy

71QfKbA2r-L._SY355_“Grand Symphony” by Ricardo Sanchez

Favorite Song: “Take Over”

In a Word: Fun

“Mighty” by Kristene DiMarcoPrint

Favorite Song: “Be Still”

In a Word: Moving

Open-Heaven-Flat“Open Heaven/ River Wild” by Hillsong Live

Favorite Song: “O Praise the Name”

In a Word: Anthem

“Pocketful of Faith” by Tim HughesPocketful_of_Faith_by_Tim_Hughes

Favorite Song: “Only the Brave”

In a Word: Hopefull

ShoutYourName_Cover“Shout Your Name” by OneThing Live

Favorite Song: “In the Presence of the Angels”

In a Word: Stirring