The Worship Initiative Writers

Karli Venable

@venablefour

Karli and her husband serve on the executive team of the Antioch Center for Training and Sending (ACTS), a missions organization that trains and sends young pioneering leaders committed to extravagant worship and making disciples among unreached people groups in the 10/40 window. She has served in ministry for over 20 years, and her heart is to see the Church come alive with the beauty and worth of Jesus Christ. Karli and Stephen, and their two little boys, live in Colorado Springs.


Shane Barnard

@shanebarnard
Shane is a worship leader, songwriter, and co-founder of The Worship Initiative. His heart is to disciple and train people in their craft and in the Word so that they may reach others for the Gospel. He also serves as a worship director at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX.

Jeff Mathena

@unhinderedvoice
Jeff is the founder and lead vocal coach at The Unhindered Voice, a vocal studio dedicated to helping people sing the way God intended–which offers private lessons, master classes, and worship team workshops. He is also a worship leader and songwriter at Journey Church in Nashville, TN.

David Mathis

@davidcmathis
David is executive editor for desiringGod.org, pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and adjunct professor for Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is the author of Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines.

Jayme Thompson

@jaymethompson
Jayme is a publisher, consultant, and a conference co-coordinator. She directs the Linger Conference and oversees Dallas-based WellHouse Entertainment as well as analyzemysong.com. Among other ventures she is a managing partner alongside Christian artists, Shane & Shane and she owns two small publishing companies. Jayme regularly teaches, judges, and critiques at conferences and events.

Jonathan Parnell

@jonathanparnell
Jonathan is a writer and content strategist at desiringGod.org and is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is co-editor of Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.

Michael Armstrong

Michael is the co-founder and the worship leader at The Well Church in Argyle, TX. He has recorded a dozen albums and has lead worship at Breakaway Texas A&M, METRO Dallas, and for the Song of Solomon Conferences with Tommy Nelson.

Jimmy Needham

@jimmyneedham
Jimmy is a singer/songwriter, contributor for desiringGod.org, and the worship director at Stonegate Church in Midlothian, TX. He serves the church, equipping and developing worship leaders to hone their craft and know their God. Learn more at jimmyneedham.com.

Jonathan "JP" Pokluda

@jpokluda
JP is a teaching pastor at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. He serves as the leader of The Porch ministry at Watermark and he has a passion to share the Gospel with anyone who will listen and equip others to do the same. Learn more about The Porch at theporchdallas.com

Ryan Kennedy

@ryankennedyband
Ryan Kennedy is an internationally touring Christian artist and worship leader. When not on the road, Ryan serves as a resident artist at Woodlands Church in Houston, TX. To find out more about Ryan & his ministry, check out ryankennedyofficial.com.

Marshall Segal

@marshallsegal
Marshall is a writer and managing editor at desiringGod.org. He’s the author of Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness & Dating. He graduated from Bethlehem College & Seminary.

Shane Everett

@shaneandshane
Shane is a worship leader, songwriter and co-founder of The Worship Initiative, and is a worship director at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. He desires to see people learn and grow in the knowledge of God and in their craft to help strengthen their lives and ministries in the local church.

John Elmore

@johnaelmore
John serves as the Men’s Director of re:generation recovery at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. He is a graduate of Baylor University and holds a Master’s in Ministry from John Brown University and a Master’s in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Laura and their two children live in Dallas, TX.

Bethany Barnard

@bethanybarnard
Bethany is the wife of Shane Barnard (Shane & Shane) and mom to their three daughters. She is also a singer/songwriter and worship leader in Dallas, TX. She has a heart to minister to the church through song. Learn more at bethanybarnard.com.

Stephen Venable

@stephenvenable

Stephen serves on the executive team of the Antioch Center for Training and Sending (ACTS), a missions organization that trains and sends young pioneering leaders committed to extravagant worship and making disciples among unreached people groups in the 10/40 window. His passion is to see the knowledge of the glory of Jesus fill the earth through frontier missions. Stephen and Karli, and their two little boys, live in Colorado Springs.

David Marvin

Aside from being called servant of Christ, David would say his greatest title is "Calli’s husband".  Calli is his wife, ministry partner, and daily example of godly living.  David has the privilege of serving at "The Porch", the Young Adults ministry at Watermark Community Church, in Dallas.  He loves this age group, and he believes it is crucial in its influence, and limitless in its potential impact.

Caroline Cobb

@carocobbmusic
Caroline is a singer-songwriter and worship leader particularly interested in telling the stories of scripture through her music. Her most recent album the Blood + the Breath traces the biblical story of redemption, with each song parachuting into a different scene from scripture. Her new album will focus on a theme of kingdom hope. She and her husband Nick live in Dallas, TX with their three kids. Learn more at carolinecobb.com.

Jennie Lee Riddle

@jennieleeriddle
Jennie is a certified gold, multi dove award winning, top CCLI song-writer best known for authoring "Revelation Song." At heart, she is a community builder. She has used her platform and resources to found and lead movements like People & Songs, The Emerging Sound, GodSpotNow, and GMA Immerse ReViewYou. The passion of her heart, evidenced by her work, is a devotion to strengthening the Church. She uses the tool of music to train servants, encourage unity of the brethren, and enable bible literacy. Jennie and her best friend, Darrin Riddle married in 1988 and together have four adult children and reside at the People & Songs headquarters in La Porte, IN.

Sean Carter

@scartermusic
Sean is a leader in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. As a worshipper, he has an unquenchable love for the Church. He is a uniter of hearts and has been very successful in founding and building a community of local worship leaders that is now over 300 members strong through the DFW Worship Leaders Network. Sean is involved with  Dallas Art House, is a part of the People & Songs community, and is a teacher/coach for The Emerging Sound, a summer intensive for youth. He, his wife Christi, and daughter Vail, reside in Rockwall, TX.