Ben Knudson leads worship during a chapel service in October 2019.

International Worship Event in a Virtual Format

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by Brianna Coffey, Student Public Relations Writer

Ariana Brooks plays keys for a 2019 chapel.

Cedarville University will be among nine schools from around the world participating in a virtual international worship event on Thursday, Oct. 22. This event, hosted by Next Level Worship, will take place from 11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and will include schools and universities from Mexico, Zambia, Germany and the United States.

Next Level Worship, a nonprofit in Lacey’s Spring, Alabama, has organized four similar live interactive praise gatherings in the past and is greatly anticipating this year’s event. 

Because of the virtual format, Cedarville students will meet with college students who share a common faith while representing many cultures, languages and locales.  

Together with worship majors from Bibel Seminar in Germany and Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee, Cedarville students will lead in song and Scripture reading, reminding participants of the truths of God’s character and goodness in a context of international unity.

“Three of our worship students — Ben Knudson, Megan Davis and Ariana Brooks — will be leading one song and a responsive reading on hope,” said Roger O’Neel, associate professor of music and worship at Cedarville.

In addition to these three, worship students from seven other schools and universities have been invited to attend virtually: Central Africa Baptist University in Zambia, Destiny Africa School of Arts in Uganda, Africa 4 Jesus in South Africa, Sacrifice Trust Worship School in Bangladesh, Mexican Indian Training Center in Mexico, and Liberty and Samford Universities in the United States.

The heart of the event is to bring students together to worship from a social distance, so most schools, including Cedarville, will hold the worship service in a large room and livestream it for attendants to watch. Cedarville’s live stream will only be open to worship majors. 

“When it is our turn, we will have the camera on our three students who are leading,” said O’Neel. “When others are leading and we are participating, we will have the camera on the rest of our students. We will be socially distanced in the recital hall to make sure that the room can accommodate all of our worship majors.”

Hosting a live event adds a whole level of unknowns. “You have to take it as it comes, trust the Lord, step out and do something that feels very organic and spontaneous,” said Dwayne Moore, the founder of Next Level Worship. “Like it says in Proverbs 16:9, ‘the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.’ I think that in all our planning, sometimes we miss the opportunity for God to blow our minds.” 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in Worship and Master of Arts in Worship and Theology programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.