Growing Worship Conference Draws 2nd Wave of Artists

Worship leaders, artists, worship teams, bands and songwriters from different backgrounds have gathered for the second annual "Inspire" conference in the Nashville, Tenn., area.

And among the speakers this year are international worship figures Tommy Walker and Don Koch as well as Michael Easley, the former president of the Moody Bible Institute.

"No one should ever lead worship outside the influence of God's Word and His people, so Inspire is building a community for worship leaders to find courage, compassion and accountability," said Carl Cartee, the conference's host and the founder of the Summer Worship Experience, a mentoring program for young worship leaders.

"From practical skill to spiritual discipline, there is something for every member of the team at this conference. I am eager to see the great things that God brings to life through our time together," he added in an announcement.

Held at the Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tenn., "Inspire" will be providing an opportunity for the worship community to connect, create, and be inspired through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one interaction with music industry professionals.

"Our vision for this event is rooted in supporting and encouraging worship leadership in the church," said Cartee.

Though the first conference drew only 87 attendees, Cartee said because the conference received "great reviews and evaluations from everyone," it was immediately confirmed that a second gathering would be held – on a larger scale than the first.

In addition to nearly two dozen workshops, this year's event includes a local worship talent search, which will provide an opportunity for one aspiring songwriter to receive a publishing contract with Brentwood Benson/ and have a free professional demo of their winning song.

"Events like Inspire enhance the genre of worship music, the overall Christian music industry and, most importantly, they provide a direct service to the church which is invaluable for those of us working in the Christian music industry," commented John Andrade, brand manager of, which partnered with Inspire for the talent search.

"It will be exciting to see the talent and passion represented at this year's event," he added.

The "Inspire" conference, which will be held for two days, concludes late Thursday night despite complaints the year before that about the length of the gathering.

Workshops include "Theology of Worship," "Worship Leader vs. Pastor," and "Producing a CD for Your Church," among others.

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