Night of Worship fosters spiritual growth and community

February 21, 2024

By Sam Bennett, Staff Writer

Berry Chapel was filled with the echoes of melodies and prayers as students gathered recently for a Night of Worship, an event meticulously planned and led by worship studies students. This cherished tradition, held twice each spring, offers aspiring student worship leaders a platform to hone their skills and lead their peers in an evening of spiritual development through music and devotion.

The first of these gatherings, an acoustic night held on Feb. 13, enveloped attendees in an atmosphere of intimacy and reflection. Stripped of elaborate productions, the focus was solely on the raw essence of worship. With each strum of the guitar and every reverent lyric sung, the room was transformed into a sanctuary of praise. “It was good to see students our age lead in worship and to be so joyful in doing so. It was truly filled with the Spirit,” said sophomore DeAnna Brown.

According to Larry Grayson, Chair of Ouachita’s Department of Worship Studies, these nights hold profound significance for both the participants and the organizers. 

“Worship studies students look forward to these nights every spring,” Grayson remarked. “It is a joy for me to watch them as they grow and develop from their first year to their last.”

Indeed, the Night of Worship is not merely about showcasing musical talents; it is about nurturing the spiritual growth and leadership skills of future worship leaders. As students immerse themselves in the preparation and execution of the event, they learn invaluable lessons in musicianship, theology and worship leadership. Every detail is a step toward fulfilling their call to professional ministry.

“Yes, these nights are about gaining hands-on experience in leading,” Grayson affirmed. “It is our prayer that the night will provide their fellow students with an opportunity to engage in God-honoring worship.” 

This sentiment encapsulates the heart behind the Night of Worship, which is to create an environment where students can encounter the presence of God in a profound and meaningful way.

Looking ahead, the anticipation builds for the upcoming Night of Worship scheduled in Jones Performing Arts Center on March 12. With its larger venue and broader scope, this event promises to be another transformative experience for all. As the worship studies students continue to pour their hearts and souls into the planning process, they remain steadfast in their commitment to facilitating authentic and impactful worship environments.

For those involved, the Night of Worship is more than just a musical performance, as it dually serves as a meaningful experience that fosters spiritual growth and community. As students come together to lift their voices in harmony, they are reminded of the power of worship to transcend boundaries and touch hearts. Throughout the atmosphere of Berry Chapel and beyond, the spirit of worship continues to thrive, setting forth the environment of praise that Ouachita students hope to be surrounded by with each passing semester.

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