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Church welcomes gospel artist for New Year’s Eve concert

The room was packed for the Bri Babineaux concert at Praise Assembly Church Ministries.

Church welcomes gospel artist for New Year’s Eve concert
January 10
10:13 2019

Praise Assembly Church Ministries welcomed contemporary gospel artist, Bri Babineaux, for their New Year’s Eve concert.  

The concert was the idea of senior pastor, Johnny York, who wanted to bring Babineaux to Praise Assembly to “engage with the younger generation,” according to organizer, Regina Cole. The concert was free for the public and the house was packed for the event.

“He (York) has been wanting to expand the horizon for Praise Assembly to do something different,” said Cole. “His whole idea was just to find an urban contemporary gospel artist to come for New Year’s Eve.

“We have had other traditional gospel artists to come, but we have never had someone this young and urban that is reaching a generation that a lot of churches are not able to reach. We want to make sure we are doing things that connect with the younger generation because we do not want to lose them, because they are the future of the church.”

Cole stated the underlying goal was to also enlighten the older generation of the congregation about the contemporary music that the young people enjoy.  

“We wanted to let them know that there are a group of young people that love the Lord and know how to praise and worship him,” she continued. “It might sound a little different, but it is still their way of bringing glory to God.

“As each generation comes along, there is a different perspective. If the church does not change and shift with that perspective, it will get left behind.”

Prior to Babineaux taking the stage, the church kicked off the night with a praise and worship involving the choir and dance teams. They transitioned into a fun game involving everyone in the audience to get them engaged. 

Babineaux then took the stage and sang several songs that immediately touched all in attendance. Even with a sore throat, Babineaux powered through, giving the audience what they came for. York closed the show with a few words.

York said when he thought about doing this concert, he wanted to “think outside of the box.”  His goal was to consider all ages of his congregation, but did want to show the younger generation they were not forgotten.

“Churches need to be more community oriented and be more sensitive to the ages of the people and one of the ways we can do this as a church is to have opportunities for guests to come in,” said York.  “Whether the guest is a musical artist, comedian or entrepreneur, outside of what we do on Sundays, we are dealing with all of these things in life, so the church needs to be a venue that helps speak to the opportunities for people to connect with in life.”

York said once he spoke with his minister of music and they thought about what demographic they wanted to appeal to, Babineaux was the perfect choice.  

“We wanted to let that age group know that the mainstream church has a need for you,” he said. “They are the future of our churches and as a pastor, I cannot be insensitive to the needs of the next generation.”

Several years ago, York says the Lord spoke to him in prayer about ways to attract the younger population.  

“He told me if I want to attract the next generation to this church, I have to be intentional,” he said. “I can’t just talk about it, I have to be intentional, I have to do things that are outside of the box and have to not only have conversation, but want to hear what they have to say.”

York says they are already beginning to think of how to plan for next year’s event. He said their effort to attract the young people does not end with the concert, but will continue to strive for more in the future.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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