Those who know Pastor Keith McMinn have seen his desire to use the gifts given him for the glory of God. McMinn is the pastor of worship at Bethel Baptist Church in Yorktown, VA, where he has served for 10 of his nearly 18 years in ministry.
Investing in Believers
In his time at Bethel, McMinn has created a multi-faceted worship ministry pipeline. He says his goal is to help believers develop their God-given artistic gifts as authentic worshipers and skilled worship leaders.
The foundation of Pastor McMinn’s worship ministry model is doxology. He writes, “The ministry of doxology flows from Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, encouraging one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”
After arriving at Bethel Baptist Church, one of the first things he did was establish a worship internship. The internship was shaped by his personal experience at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. At the time of this writing, there were currently 7 worship ministry interns serving at Bethel, the latest of 19 total that have served since the internship’s inception.
Each applicant has to go through assessment and approval before a personal development plan is created. The plan includes components of assigned reading, prayer, accountability, worship-related service opportunities, and strategic relationship networking. Most doxology interns come from within the church, but some interns have come from other churches. Interns range in age from teens to senior adults, and the internship lasts a minimum of one semester.
While the internships are geared toward more advanced worship participation and leadership, Pastor McMinn created and developed two additional ministries in 2013. The first was a Worship Camp, focusing on “who the God of the Bible is and how He wants to be worshiped.” The annual Worship Camp is open for pre-kindergarteners through high school students, with a 2021 attendance of 176, led by 70 volunteer leaders.
Worship Arts Academy
The second worship-related ministry added in 2013 was the Worship Arts Academy with the purpose of training artist theologians for the glory of God. Students enrolled in the Worship Arts Academy hone their musical gifting, gain knowledge of God and theology, survey the Old and New Testaments, acquire and develop spiritual disciplines, and gain a biblical understanding of worship. The academy has had a total of 78 students so far and is presently led by 14 faculty members.
Hannah Miles is a stellar example of the Worship Arts Academy’s fruit. One of the first academy students, Hannah studied piano. After her senior recital, she enrolled at Christopher Newport University and has since graduated with a master’s in piano pedagogy. Miles later returned to teach at the Worship Arts Academy and now plays keys in the worship band at Catalyst Church in Newport News.
Reaching Followers of Jesus
As time passed, McMinn added still more components geared towards everyday followers of Jesus. Those components include:
The Doxology Collective. This collective is a team of creative artists seeking to carry out the Doxology Ministry through writing, praying, planning, and engagement in worship ministry.
Doxology Records. These records are projects that contain original songs written and published by the Doxology Collective. They provide charts in multiple keys for each song, along with orchestration (if available) to promote worship in the body of Christ and to invest in the development of worship leaders.
Their most recent project, “You’re My God,” was recorded in Nashville and released in October 2021. The 16 members of the Collective went on a songwriting retreat at which they divided into pods to reflect on and write songs from specific passages in Ephesians. They ended up with 12 songs that were recorded and included in the project.
The Doxology Sessions. These sessions premiered in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help followers of Jesus continue to worship in their homes. McMinn explained, “We produce videos of Christ-centered songs filled with God’s Word so that you may be encouraged in Jesus.” The first episode, featuring the song, “He Will Hold Me Fast,” garnered 2,000 views in the first two days. They have published 62 sessions thus far.
Doxology Matters. This podcast was begun in 2019 and is currently in the top 25% of podcasts worldwide. The podcast operates with the purpose of helping followers of Jesus think deeply about God’s Word as they praise Him.
Doxology Devotions. These devotions are designed to enhance a disciple’s study of God, prayerfully leading to authentic worship.
Doxology Songs. This component is made up of collections of worship songs sung for services and events and Bethel.
The story of the Doxology Ministry at Bethel Baptist Church is truly inspiring. It serves as a compelling example of how to build a legacy of equipped believers who model authentic worship and lead others to do the same.
For more information about the worship ministry at Bethel Baptist Church, visit: bbcyorktown.org/worshiparts