Highlights from the 2015 Austin Stone Worship Conference

I can’t fully articulate all my thoughts about the Austin Stone Worship Conference last week! Simply put, God overshadowed all the expectations any of us had for our time together. Our team considered it an absolute privilege to serve all week long, and were thankful for the opportunity to come alongside so many great worship leaders and teams from all over the country.

Our five main sessions covered our five Foundations of worship culture: Engagement, Excellence, The Word, Togetherness, and Development. We’d love to continue to be a resource to you and your teams, and help in any way possible as you continue to unpack these foundations and adapt them to your own context.

Here are a few highlights from the sessions. Hope you’ll share!
And as always, we are honored to serve the Bride of Christ alongside you.
Please let our team know if there’s anything we can do to help!

Aaron Ivey

P.S. You can now click the button below to download the five main session talks (videos and mp3’s). We hope the Holy Spirit will use these messages to encourage, convict, and endure you in shepherding the Bride of Christ!  

We have struggled whether we should charge for this content or not, and after much thought and prayer we have decided to allow you to pay what you can/want. We don’t want money to be a barrier for anyone when it comes to resourcing the Body of Christ. We sincerely appreciate your donation (suggested price $50) which will help cover the cost of the conference and fund future resources, but if you have no way to donate, we would be honored to partner in your ministry by giving this to you as our gift.

P.P.S. – Also don’t forget about these incredible conference sponsors:



A Culture Of Engagement

Matt Carter

Matt Carter_aswcon

Live tweets from Session 1:

God the Holy Spirit is proof that throughout history God has been moving progressively closer to us.
In the Old Testament, God dwelt above us. In the New Testament, God dwelt with us. Now, God dwells in us.
Your ability to experience the power of God has everything to do with the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
When we are being filled with the Holy Spirit in our lives, we experience the power of God in our lives.
Why do we sing in church? Worship through singing causes us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.
When I sing to Him my soul is reminded of the goodness of the Lord.
There’s nothing like worship that reminds my heart of all the things God has done for me.
God doesn’t care about the quality of your voice, He’s looking at the condition of your heart.
Worship Leaders, what you do is infinitely more than filling space in a service before someone preaches.
We are filled with the Holy Spirit of God when we sing with the body of Christ.
We sing so that others around us can be filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

A Culture Of Excellence

Aaron Ivey

Aaron Ivey_aswcon

Live tweets from Session 2:

God’s view of excellence is much different than ours.
It’s God that looks inwardly, He looks past the outside to see the heart.
Is your work marked by your own excellence, or is it marked by the same Spirit that was in Jesus?
Human hands and human skill are not enough. The true source of excellence is the Holy Spirit.
The reason we struggle with our pursuit of Spirit-filled excellence is because we’re either cynical or lazy.
In our cynicism, we avoid excellence altogether.
You and I as worship leaders, as artists that are called to lead and shepherd the flock, have to kill laziness.
There is no true excellency in our ministries without the power of the Holy Spirit.
Excellence begins with a heart that has been overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Our God IS beauty; therefore He loves beauty.
Your creative skill is not ultimately for you. It’s for the purpose of saying ‘look how beautiful God is!’
The primary reason you have been given any skill is to lead God’s people into His presence.
We have been called to serve, love, and build the Church – to display God.
Excellence takes time. It’s not something that we just fall in to.
Well rehearsed set lists are undistracting set lists.
You don’t just stumble upon excellence, you have to war for it.
Excellence requires attention to detail.
Excellence always inspires others to be excellent.
The Lord has not stopped using artists to display how beautiful He truly is.

A Culture Of The Word

Tony Merida

Tony Merida_aswcon

Live tweets from Session 3:

“The Church is an outpost of the greater Kingdom of God.”
“Live in light of your true citizenship.”
“Never lose the wonder of the gospel. Never forget Christ Jesus has made us His own.”
“What one change could you make in order to pursue the one thing that matters the most?”
“Earning is not a good word for the Christian, but effort is.”
“When you realize you haven’t arrived, you don’t look down your nose at other people.”
“If you feel conviction, it’s a sign of the Father’s love.”
“There is a knowledge of Him that you experience in suffering that you can’t experience without it.”
“This is good news today: we are found in Christ!”
“Don’t put your confidence in a ritual, put your confidence in a Person.”
“If God ever gives you a platform, make it about Him.”
“Worship is not about a location, it’s about a reality.”
“Continuing to remind people of the gospel is a form of love.”
“What you really need for joy is a bigger view of Jesus – a bigger view of His grace.”
“Joy is not based on circumstances, it’s rooted in our union and communion with Jesus Christ.”
“If your ministry ability is surpassing your spiritual maturity, you’re a walking disaster zone.”
“We have to both explain and exemplify our theology.”

A Culture Of Togetherness

Charlie Hall

Charlie Hall_aswcon

Live tweets from Session 4:

“You can rest in the hands of a sovereign God.”
“Don’t start serving for your position’s longevity instead of the gospel’s motion forward.”
“When we’re not believing what we’re singing, there’s something wrong.”
“When we’re individualistic or isolated, it’s hard to call people to the Lord’s feast.”
“You’re not the mediator. Jesus is the mediator. You’re the pointer.”
“The forgiveness of Jesus glues us together.”
“We gather as a church because when we isolate ourselves, we forget the goodness of God”

A Culture Of Development

Jesse Reeves

Jesse Reeves_aswcon

Live tweets from Session 5:

“You can have seeker friendly songs, but you can’t have seeker friendly worship.”
“We’re commanded to sing, but singing doesn’t define our worship.”
“We sing because singing is our expression of intimacy with a living God.”
“What one generation tolerates, the next will embrace.”
“This Word is the only thing God promises won’t return void. Everything else is just opinion.”
“The enemy’s goal isn’t to make you hate God, it’s to make you miss God – to put your eyes on something else.”
“Moses gave the people what God wanted. Aaron gave the people what the people wanted.”

“Are you developing your people to be worshipers of the living God? Or worshipers of worship?”
“We can so quickly take our eyes off worshiping the living God to worshiping something we’ve created.”

About Austin Stone Worship

Austin Stone Worship is a collection of worship leaders, musicians, songwriters, storytellers and artists serving and equipping the Church with content rich in theology, mission, and expression.