The Worship Initiative Writers

Shane Barnard

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

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

David is executive editor for, 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

Jayme is a publisher, consultant, and a conference co-coordinator. She directs the Linger Conference and oversees Dallas-based WellHouse Entertainment as well as 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

Jonathan is a writer and content strategist at 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

Jimmy is a singer/songwriter, contributor for, 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

Jonathan "JP" Pokluda

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

Bethany Barnard

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

Karli Venable

Ryan Kennedy

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

Marshall Segal

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

Shane Everett

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

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.

Stephen Venable

Stephen is a senior leader at the Antioch Center for Training and Sending (ACTS) in Colorado Springs, CO, and is a writer and teacher for the ministry Beholding Jesus. He serves ACTS through teaching, writing, and traveling.

Caroline Cobb

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

Jennie Lee Riddle

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

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.