Worship Warehouse offers free music for churchesMissions and Outreach
The COVID-19 pandemic brought sudden and seismic changes to every church in the Florida Conference. Pastors and leadership teams quickly realized they had to supplement the traditional way of worship with a new and largely uncharted online service.
While larger churches may already have had the necessary technical tools to pull it off, many small and medium-sized churches had to figure it out on the fly. Compounding the problem, music videos could be out of reach because of copyright issues.
Janet Earls, Director of Church Vitality and Leadership Development for the Conference, sought to turn a problem into a plus. The result is Worship Warehouse, a trove of free video material that churches can use to supplement their worship or midweek classes.
It is available online at worshipwarehouse.net. Users will need to register and set up an account.
"After listening to what some churches were dealing with during the pandemic, one of the top issues was leading worship virtually. We had small churches with very little technology or technology experience trying to make online worship happen," Earls said.
"Or they would lose their worship leader from illness, or age, or having to move. These small churches don't have much of a budget at all for worship. I thought, what would be a way to provide them free music from another church and be able to find it quickly?"
Along with Conference Communicator Brittany Jackson and Administrative Assistant Katherine Lain, Earls went to work last spring to pull the project together.
The site offers music videos in multiple categories and styles, most of it in the public domain because of copyright restrictions.
"We went with as much as we could find with public domain," Earls said. "There was quite a bit in traditional and instrumental categories. We didn't find as much in the modern because they were more likely covered by copyright issues."
Two artists—Nathan Drake of Reawakenedhymns.com and Teresa Pash of a United Methodist church in Nashville, Mich.—donated music.
There are about 100 items on the site now, but Earls expects that number to grow as the word spreads about what is available.
"What we hope is that more churches will donate more," Earls said. "It's a place not only to find music but share music as well. I have some categories that are deep and some that need more donations."
As recent news events have shown, the pandemic is far from over. That makes Worship Warehouse an even more valuable tool as churches grapple with the new reality.
"I really think this can help in many ways," Earls said. "As we know, online worship is here to stay."
Joe Henderson is News Content Editor of flumc.org.
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