This past Wednesday Cameron Walker, one of our lead team members and coaches, hosted a Facebook live event. He discussed the focus for each of the three tracks, and answered some great questions from the viewers. We’ve collected some of the best insights here, but be sure to check out the full one hour video found at the bottom of the post.
Cameron: 10,000 Fathers began close to 10 years ago. Aaron and Megan Keyes saw that just teaching worship alone wasn’t cutting it for people looking for true transformation. There had to be a deeper process than attending an event or sitting through a seminar. They took a bold step in opening their home and inviting worship leaders to live with them, for several months at a time. Even with a marriage, young kids, full time jobs, and traveling it was very very taxing, but they continued to open their home and hearts to these leaders. Eventually they realized that they needed a new model. About four years ago they invited a new team to the Atlanta area and began a worship school with a new model, which is over an 18 month process with three intensives. Each intensive has about 15 to 25 students. They stay in our homes and we share meals together. Each day kicks off around 8 am and goes into the night, around 10 pm. It’s really beautiful to watch people come together in this shared experience. It is very different from just listening to an instructor. We’re teaching, sharing, processing, pushing, and challenging one another
We are passionate about true transformation, which comes through helping people achiece their own revelation. We aren’t interested in talking AT people, but inviting them into a dialog that leads to their own revelation and transformation which they can then bring back to their own culture.”
Track One begins with a character intensive. It has less to do with the nuts and bolts of being a worship leader and more to do with the health of your soul. We’re more interested in the whole life that you’re leading. Being emotionally, physically, and spiritually whole is fundamental to the scriptures.
Playing the role of the worship leader is a small story. An important one, but only part of your whole story. We look into how we understand the bible for how it is intended to be read. We take a deep dive into your identity.
You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know who you are.
We believe in understanding identity, THEN direction.
Who you are?
What are you wired to do?
Are you celebrating the way God created you?
Is what you’re doing actually working to bring you to who God wants you to be?
You can’t lead yourself from where you wish you were, but only from where you actually are.
We help our students articulate where they are, this is what’s working, this is what’s not, this is where I’m stuck, and this is where I need to be UNstuck.
We do all of this within the context of community. Sitting around the table, getting to know each other, and sharing in the same journey.
The intensive is then followed by six months of online coaching.
Five to seven students make up each coaching huddle, which has a seasoned coach - all who’ve been students of the school. So that’s one coach walking with you for 18 months. This is what makes 10,000 Fathers unique. The coaching huddle is really where we see true transformation and breakthrough.
Josh: Can you weigh out the pros/cons of participating in the on-site intensive versus simply the online experience for an out-of-state student?
Cameron: We’ve launched, about two years ago, and online platform. We basically filmed an onsite intensive. All of the teaching, Q and A are on film. You join a coaching huddle, watch these videos over a 6 month journey, and process with your coaching huddle just as you would with the onsite intensive. You’re still getting all of the content, and processing it all with your coach and huddle. The biggest difference is that you’re not doing the 5 day on-site experience in Atlanta, but you’ll still be in a coaching huddle with people from all over the world.
Josh: Would you say you're missing out on more of the community and relationship building aspect if you do not come to the on-site?
Cameron: To say it frankly, yes. There certainly is a community that forms over the online journey experience, though anytime you spend 5 days together with people, morning to night, sharing meals, and deep camaraderie forms. We don’t do what we do in churches, we do what we do in our homes. There really is a community experience that is unique and special to the onsite intensive. But we understand that being here in person is not always possible. We’ve actually had several students start with the online course, and later on come to Atlanta to participate in the onsite experience.
Tim: What are the dates of the May track? And is it still open?
Cameron: The May online kicks off on May 14th, a monday. We are still taking applications (link) and it is still open.
JoAnne: What if I don’t play an instrument? Can I still come to worship school?
Camerson Absolutely. At the end of each intensive we ask our students to set a goal for an area in which they need improvement. Over the 6 month huddle process the coaches will encourage our students to get the training they need. If you set one small goal and stick to it, it’s amazing how much you’ll grow.
Track Two kicks off what more traditionally looks like worship school. This is where we turn the corner from character to competency and focus on the hard skills that are necessary to becoming a great worship leader, with a deep passion for songwriting. There are a handful of movements and songwriters that make up 80 - 90% of all the songs that are being sung in the church. We want to help mold songwriters that can write for their church and their own context.
There is a deep dive around songwriting and melody, with a focus on understanding what is going on behind the songs you love, and what the author is doing whether they understand it or not.
There are lessons regarding the mechanics of communicating from the stage - Crafting a call to worship, exhortations, and benedictions based on practical skills and applications.
Track Three is about the calling.
We really want to see students equipped to turn around and help other people.
Great discipleship creates more disciples.
At this point, you’ve been on a journey for a year with the same students and teaching team. Now we say “Hey, here are the tools we’ve been using with you. This is the framework your coach was using.” So for the the final 6 months, it’s all about making our students proficient in the coaching skills and seeing them applied to their communities at home.
This is truly where the students become the leaders they're called to be.
Be sure to check out Cameron's full video below. We only captured some of the gold above!