Ahead of Easter, Shane & Shane urge worship leaders to return to simplicity: 'At our worst, He does His best'

Worship duo Shane & Shane.
Worship duo Shane & Shane. | Turning Point Media

As Easter Sunday approaches and worship leaders are pressured to create meaningful services amid the high expectations of congregations and church leadership, worship duo Shane & Shane are calling for a return to simplicity and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

“You can let the pressure just go away because, at the end of the day, it is completely up to God,” Shane Barnard told The Christian Post. “What happens at any given service, Easter service week, after Easter service, Christmas service, it's all Him. At our worst, He does His best. When the power goes off, there's nothing there but people and the Holy Spirit of God. 

"In the fast-paced, secularized, Hollywood feel of, ‘I need to do it like that church,’ just let that go away. Know if you’re in God’s family, you have everything you need. That’s straight from the Scripture: 'He will satisfy your heart.' No approval from man or congregation will satisfy your heart. Show up, do the best you can, and then be with your family. The pressure’s off. You’re free in Jesus. Enjoy this Easter, don’t be entangled by the pressures of pleasing man.”

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For over two decades, Shane Barnard and Shane Everett have been creating music together, collaborating with other chart-topping artists, including Michael W. Smith, David Crowder and Keith and Kristyn Getty to create some of today’s most-loved worship songs. The Dallas, Texas-based duo are passionate about creating scripturally sound, God-glorying music — and equipping the next generation to do the same.

They’re behind The Worship Initiative, an online platform designed to support and equip worship leaders and musicians with resources that foster a deep, scriptural foundation in their ministry. The initiative seeks to counteract the issue of biblical illiteracy among worship songwriters by encouraging the creation of music deeply rooted in Scripture.

Barnard and Everett began working on the project nearly a decade ago, inspired by Colossians 3:16: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Recently, The Worship Initiative collaborated with Gloo, a tech platform used by 65,000 churches, to expand its reach.

“We believe that as the Bride is healthy and satisfied and equipped by the Spirit, then it's going to be doing what the Bride has always done, and that's point to Jesus,” Everett said. “We want people pointed to Jesus because He’s going to gather all of His kids, and He’s going to come back. We’re saying, ‘Hey, let's get this party started. Let's go out and share the good news of Christ.’ We want the church to be healthy. So we're going to sit over here and we're going to make content and resources for the Church to believe who they are in Him and know He's put them here for a purpose, and that purpose is to bring the Kingdom of God back.”

Barnard added that those involved in worship ministry, whether they are volunteers, part-time, or full-time workers, even in large churches, often struggle with isolation and other challenges and need community support. 

“We exist to encourage you,” he said. “We have a lot of different corners on our site. We have a big team that works all day long just to create resources and community for you, wherever you're at."

The duo weighed in on the challenges and shifts within modern worship music, particularly focusing on the importance of biblical literacy and communal worship.

Other modern hymn writers like Keith Getty, whom the duo have shared a stage with at the Getty's Sing! Conference, have raised concerns about the diminishing scriptural foundation in contemporary worship songs.

“We did a songwriting class a few years ago, and a lot of the students, I don't think, had ever been in the Word; they’d never been encouraged to be in the Word,” Everett said. “We saw a couple of kids come to faith. These kids were in ministry school, they were serving in the church and were like, ‘Man, I don't think I've ever read that before.’ We want people to know there’s a feast available in the Word of God.”

And amid growing biblical illiteracy, Barnard emphasized their proactive stance: “One of our little mottos around here is ‘stop griping about it and start writing about it,’ he said. “We have a whole section on The Worship Initiative called ‘The Writer's Well.’ We do writing retreats, and we have students come in the summer and you can submit songs. The focus is on writing songs directly from God's Word. It's just that simple.”

Everett added that he and Barnard "basically plagiarize Scripture" when they write their songs, adding: “It’s important to fill people's mouths and ears with things that are true."

“It’s so weighty and so heavy," he said. "We want to be a place where songs are filled with truth and God's Word and good theology. We just want to surround ourselves with folks like that. ... We don't want things that are fake or rooted in emotion. An emotional experience is not what we're after. We're after seeing and savoring the real, true God in spirit and truth.”

Looking ahead, Shane & Shane articulated a vision for worship that emphasizes participation over performance. Through The Worship Initiative, the duo is actively encouraging a shift toward more engaging and communal worship experiences, fostering deeper connections among believers and with God.

And over the years, Barnard said, he’s witnessed a growing importance of singing together in worship services, moving away from passive listening to active participation. He expressed hope that the future of worship might look more like its past, with congregations engaging more directly in worship through singing.

“I think we’ll be seeing a lot less of, ‘We're going to put on a show and perform for you’ and a lot more, ‘What can we do up here on a stage to facilitate teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom so that the Word of Christ might dwell richly in us through singing?’” Barnard said. 

“My hope is that in the future, singing to Jesus will become a lot more corporate than individual.”

Learn more about The Worship Initiative here.

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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