Word In Song Conference  [Houston, TX]

Word In Song Conference [Houston, TX]

HopePointe Anglican Church
The Woodlands, Texas 
Sat 28th March, 8:45am - 3pm

Due to concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 virus we have decided to postpone this event until later in the year. All current registrations will be fully refunded. But please watch this space for more information.

What does the Bible say about our singing and worship? How do we lead singing or play our instruments in a way that helps the congregation’s praise? How do I create a healthy culture amongst my music team? Our Word In Song day conference for church musicians and leaders is centred around great Bible teaching, and applied through practical seminars, singing, fellowship and discussion. Come along to be equipped, challenged, resourced and excited about God’s purposes for your church’s music ministry, whatever your size or musical tradition.


Led by Philip Percival, Alanna Glover and Liv Chapman, we'll be running a range of practical workshops to help you in every aspect of your church's music ministry.




At the heart of the Word In Song conference is a careful balance of biblical teaching with useful practical input.
Three key elements of the day are:
1. Bible Talk – Our main session where we sing, meet the team and hear from God’s word about his purposes for the church, music and worship. The key idea is that our singing is fundamentally a ministry of the word of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Col 3:16; Eph 5:18-20).
2. Church Music Masterclass – A fun and informative session where we look at how musical ensembles work, especially in the context of congregational singing, and where we talk about how to lead great singing with whatever musical resources you have in your church.
3. Seminars – Specialist sessions covering a range of practical, theological and leadership issues, with lots of time for questions and discussion.
Friday 27th March, 7:30pm
A Night In With Emu Concert (Admission free)
An evening of word and song for the whole church.
Saturday 28th March
Session 1 – Singing & Bible Talk
Session 2 - Church Music Masterclass
Seminar Breakouts
Song leading
Leading from piano
Leading from guitar
Drum & bass
Seminar Breakouts
What songs should we sing?
Leading a music team
Music for small churches

Check out our latest song: Creation Awaits!

Seminar/Masterclass descriptions:

Church Music Masterclass
: In this session, we aim to cover everything you’ll ever need to know about leading excellent singing in your church - whatever your church size or preferred style of music! We’ll look at how (as a music team) we give priority to the congregation’s voice, and how we can use any instrument and vocal combination to provide a creative and confident lead for the singing in your church. Helpful for everyone - musicians, vocalists, worship leaders, sound team, pastors.

Song leading: In many ways, the song leader is the single most important person in leading great congregational singing. We will look at the biblical basis for having a song leader, but will aim to spend most of our time on the practicalities of how to lead singing well - including mic technique, what to say, how to teach new material etc., as well offering some constructive criticism to those who are happy to stand up and have a go! Helpful for singers, worship leaders, pastors.

What songs should we sing?: Choosing songs thoughtfully and intentionally is key to an effective word-based music ministry. However, there is so much to consider when creating services week in and week out - and it can be hard to keep our focus on what is important! In this session we’ll think about how to create a well-rounded repertoire of songs for our church and talk through all the factors we need to consider when choosing from this list each week. We’ll also consider how style, instrumentation, lyrical content and liturgy affect our song choices. Helpful for pastors, singers, worship leaders, songwriters.

Leading from piano: For many churches, the piano is the key instrument in leading congregational singing. But often we lack the skills to turn years of lessons and exams into playing in a helpful style for church leading. We'll look at contemporary keyboard techniques and discuss how and when to leave the score behind! We'll also discuss the differences between playing on your own and in a band. Helpful for pianists and worship leaders.

Leading from guitar: This session will look at how the guitar can be used most effectively in facilitating congregational singing, as part of a band but also on your own. We will look closely at use of capos, strumming rhythms, and how to play hymns on a guitar. Helpful for guitarists and song leaders.

Drums & bass: What does it take to create a solid foundation to a rhythm section? The bass and drums are the 'engine room' of any church band. We will look at: our roles, finding a part, locking in together, time, technical skills, playing the song, groove vocabulary and more. Bring your sticks and bass!

Leading a music team: Effective music ministry can’t happen without someone in charge. But many of us land in the job of music director with little experience or knowing how to take the ministry forward. This session will look at the role of the music director, how to shape a team culture, how to shape a culture of singing in the church, how to partner with the pastor, as well thinking about your own personal holiness and development. Helpful for worship leaders, administrators, music team leaders, and those aspiring to these roles!

Our Team

Philip Percival
Philip is Music Director at St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, UK and also has many years experience leading music teams in smaller churches and church plants. Trained in piano, organ and brass, and formerly a High School music teacher, Philip now loves helping Church musicians grow in their gifts to serve their church, and teaches the Bible and practical skills at conferences and seminars around the world. He lectures in music ministry at Moore College, Sydney and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He is the author of Then Sings My Soul, a book about Biblical music ministry for every Christian. Philip studied music at Sydney University, theology at Moore Theological College, has a Masters degree from Oxford University and is currently studying for a PhD in the biblical theology of worship.

Alanna Glover
Alanna is a gifted singer, songwriter and teacher, and is worship leader at the annual Keswick Convention in the UK. Previously a church music director in Sydney and member of the band Garage Hymnal, she now lives in Oxford where she splits her time between working for Emu, leading music at church and being a mum. She has a Bachelor of Theology from Sydney Missionary Bible College and a Music Degree from Sydney University. Alanna has developed Emu's Word In Song online training course, and lectures in music ministry at Moore College, Sydney and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. 

Liv Chapman
Liv has been writing and leading congregational worship for many years as a singer and guitarist, and is currently part of the ministry team at St Ebbe's, Oxford. Regularly involved with album production, she has a special interest in developing new music and resources for youth and children. She studied English and Ancient History at Sydney University, and Theology at Moore College, Sydney.

Jonny Catt
Jonny studied Philosophy, Politics & Economics at Oxford University. But what he really likes doing is playing the drums. Having played percussion at large Christian conventions and on numerous albums, he equally has a heart for helping regular Church musicians grow in the right skills and attitudes for serving Christ in their local context.

What people are saying…

‘Word in Song is a very practical music conference. I left the conference feeling more equipped to lead my music team at church, select songs and play my role in helping our church sing praises to our God and each other.’ Brenton (Perth, Australia)
‘Absolutely brilliant day and so much to take away and put into practice. The whole team were so friendly and helpful. Anyone involved with Church music whether you are the one singer or part of a choir, the one organist or part of a band, the PA person or someone who only joins the choir for Christmas should definitely get to one of these conferences and learn more about music in church!’ Ben (Gateshead, UK)

‘A superb, spirit-filled day that engaged, inspired and provided practical advice’. Jane (Durham, UK)

‘Six of our music group came along from our small church. We had an amazing day which immediately impacted the way we do music at church. Just wish I could have taken the whole church along!’ Chris (Otley, UK) 

‘Great teaching, Great Music and a Great encouragement for people involved in music ministry in their local church. Look forward to EMU coming again.’
 James (Forbes, Australia)

‘The conference was very helpful and inspiring, gave me new insight into what it means to write songs for the Church and made me want to start writing myself! All Glory to God!’ Elsa (Leipzig, Germany)

‘Thanks for a great day. I was challenged at a heart level, was inspired to practice my craft more and encouraged that some of what we’re doing is on the right track after all. I am grateful for the additional resources our church now has access to through Emu Music.’ Anderson (Mt Barker, Australia)

‘God-centred and extremely practical. They know what they’re talking about!’ Pearl (Newcastle, UK)

‘We really enjoyed the 1 day Word in Song Conference; it was well planned and well executed. The highlight was the Masterclass where the layering of instruments was demonstrated; that was particularly effective. The individual workshops were also really well done – the variety was helpful, and I also appreciated the consistency of message across all the workshops and talks.’ Joy (Singapore)

‘I feel refreshed and inspired to be a part of bringing glory to Jesus through our church’s music ministry.’ Becky (Porthcawl, Wales)

‘It was such an encouragement to have people from lots of different churches worshipping and learning together last weekend. The Emu team provided a well-organised, professional package, that carefully defined the reasons behind using music and song to worship God, as well as giving helpful and accessible practical advice on how to lead sung worship. I enjoyed every part of the conference and really look forward to inviting them back again in the future!’ Peter (Gateshead, UK)

Cancellations made up to and including one week prior the date of the conference will incur a $10 administrative charge. Sorry, no refunds will be given after that date.