Songwriter Jennie Lee Riddle has won multiple Dove awards for her worship songs, among them "Revelation Song." But her vision for leading people in worship goes beyond songs, which is why she recently launched the Emerging Sound Camp for creative teens with the goal of raising up a new generation of worship leaders.
"The Lord has called me to serve Him by aiding the church in raising one voice as one bride to one King," Riddle says. "I currently do this by way of my personal writing as well as by investing in those called to use music, as I believe music is the most powerful tool we have to aid in memorization of Scripture. I can't think of another earthly thing that affords the opportunity for us to literally all get on the same page."
The camp launched last summer outside Dallas with guests including songwriters Dustin Smith ("The One That Really Matters," covered by Michael W. Smith and Kari Jobe), Travis Ryan ("We Believe," covered by the Newsboys) and Benji Cowart ("Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave). With a student-to-professional musician ration of 5 to 1, more than 70 vetted teenagers from different states had hands-on teaching about songwriting. "The kids were so lit up by the songwriting process that they completely ignored the afternoon set aside for canoeing and zip-lining at the lake. All but eight decided to stay back and write," Riddle says.
More importantly, she says there was an outpouring of the Spirit during the sessions. Staff and teachers were so moved by this outpouring and by students' enthusiasm that they made the decision to record many of the songs written during camp.
"My intent is to arm young leaders with a love for the church because hers is the most powerful voice on earth, and when you're standing with her, you're in the most powerful place on the planet," Riddle says.
The Emerging Sound will expand to New England and Canada next summer. —Leilani Haywood
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