Ocean's Edge Worship Band
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Ocean's Edge Worship Band


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"Worship 101"


By Jamie Gardner

The Good News
Before attending Ocean’s Edge School of Worship in Fort Lauderdale, JR Shelton believed that worship was only about singing songs to God.

“I always thought worship was a part of church where everyone sung the words on the screen and raised their hands,” says Shelton, a drummer pursuing a career in music technology or music engineering.

As he began to study what the Bible says about worship, God opened his eyes through the verse 1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV), which says, “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice.”

Shelton began to see that worship is not completely about the skill of the musician or about the perfection of the music; it’s about the condition of a person’s heart throughout every moment of every day. He realized that there is more than one way to worship the Lord. It is not confined to a small box of worship songs.

“Obedience to the Lord is the highest form of worship there is. I still love to sing praises to God, but I long to worship Him every day of my life through the way I live,” says Shelton. “The teaching that is presented at O.E definitely helped me to become a better worshipper and informed me of what true worship looked like.”

However, it took some time for Shelton to understand worship in this way, he says.

“First, I learned how to trust in God, then I learned about the character of God, and, finally, I learned about the obedience of worshipping God,” Shelton says.

Stepping out, stepping in
Learning to be a worship leader wasn’t an easy transition for one Ocean’s Edge student, guitar player Andrew Strickland.

Before attending this school, Strickland worked in the youth ministry at his church. His desire to become a trained worship leader required him to step out of his full-time position and to step into the next chapter of his life.

“I needed to go to a place where I could expand my musical talent,” Strickland says. “I decided to step down out of my full-time job in the youth ministry at my church back at home to prepare to be a worship leader.”

Two weeks into the first term, he was parked at a gas station when a drunk driver suddenly swerved through the lot and rammed into the side of his vehicle. Fortunately, he jumped out of the way before the collision.

But after this incident, Strickland says his eyes were opened to Jesus’ protection for him and his purpose at O.E.

“I began to see God use it as a tool to remind me that He has a purpose for me here,” Strickland says.

Through his time at the school, God has molded him, like clay in the hands of a potter, teaching him determination and dedication in leadership.

“Responsibility and leadership are [some] of the big things God has taught me,” Strickland says. “If God wants you to be a leader, you need to work hard for it.”

Learning among a smaller group of Christians who are musically gifted has kept Strickland accountable spiritually and has also encouraged him to grow in the Lord.

He says “community with other Christian musicians is extremely important in your spiritual and musical growth. I’ve seen a passion in other Christians here. It’s contagious! They definitely watch your back.”

Beautician to worship leader
Rachel Anderson is one of the youngest students at Ocean’s Edge, but the 19-year-old never envisioned herself as a worship leader.

She originally wanted to go to beauty school, but as a senior in high school, she asked God to reveal where He wanted her to go after graduation.

One of her mother’s friends came across the Ocean’s Edge website and told Anderson about it.

Now that she’s been trained at Ocean’s Edge, she is currently leading worship for the Liquid High School Ministry at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.

“I knew that God wanted to train me and disciple me, but recently I was torn between recording and worship leading,” she says. “When Jim Young [the Associate Director of Ocean’s Edge] out of the blue asked me to pray about leading worship for Liquid, I knew right away that God wanted me to be a worship leader.”

Anderson says the most valuable part of Ocean’s Edge has been the Bible courses, such as Old Testament survey, practical Christian living and apologetics.

She has been challenged to not only study God’s Word each day but to apply it.

“All the teachers are Christ-centered and focused on Jesus,” says Anderson. “Since it’s an intimate setting, we can have more personal discussions in class. I’ve been applying it more by loving people and following Jesus. That’s what it’s about.”

And she says she’s learned a lot from her peers at the school of worship as well.

“Being around such talented people, you can pick up on their talent,” she says. “Just as iron sharpens iron, so we sharpen each other musically and spiritually - The Good News - http://www.goodnewsfl.org


Sample our music and link to artists at http://myspace.com/oceansedgeschoolofworship



Based at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Ocean's Edge exists to make disciples of all nations by training, equipping, and mobilizing Christian worship leaders and musicians to bring glory to God through their gifts and talents.

Imagine what it would be like to be personally raised up by experienced Christian musicians. At OE, we do just that with a school that has been carefully designed to meet the needs of those who are called to worship ministry. Because programs don�t make disciples, but people do, we limit the number of students to maintain a close-knit environment that promotes mentoring relationships between staff and students. Because we desire to see well-rounded, competent, and Godly believers at the end of our year together, we train the whole person, not just the musician part. To this end, our school targets the three core areas we believe to be critical in worship ministry: Ministry and Leadership, Musicianship and Personal Development.