Reflections on the Online Experience with Derek Williams

Derek Williams, a Nashville native, graduated from the Online Experience this past fall. He shares his thoughts as we get ready to kick off our next online class this May.

What were some of your reservations before applying to the Online School?

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I didn’t know how much time I would need to spend away from my job and family every week to do the coursework. I didn’t have much of an idea as to what kind of work we would actually be doing. That was all explained well up front and things settled in really well. 

When you first started leading worship, what were some the most challenging aspects of it?

(Can I say "not sucking"? Hahaha...) I was also used to playing concerts and pretty much saying the same thing every night. When I started leading worship every week at the same church, I had to make sure I was bringing something new and fresh weekly. I couldn’t just say/do the same old thing. The most challenging part of leading worship back then is still the same thing that’s most challenging now… I can’t change the hearts of the people, and I can’t make them sing.

What are things you learned from 10,000 Fathers that surprised you?

How many lies I had believed about myself for so long and how much I was keeping everything I had learned over the years to myself.

What advice would you give to a brand-new worship leader?


Find someone that’s further along than you. Learn from them. Be challenged by them. It will take you much farther than you can go on your own. Then do the same for the people that are coming up behind you.

What was your most prominent take away from 10,000 Fathers?

Who I am - I am seen and loved by God. Also, we are most effective when we have strong competency and character.

What are some of your most rewarding parts of being in ministry?

Being able to do the very thing I believe I was made to do... Being able to point people to God and actually see them respond to him.