PULLMAN, Wash. (BP) — Putting together high-quality worship experiences for college students can be expensive. Josh Martin knows that firsthand.
The 31-year-old worship arts pastor at collegiate-oriented Resonate Church was part of the team that helped lead pastor Keith Wieser plant the church in 2007.
Resonate has grown to more than 800 in attendance and now meets in two services at Washington State University in Pullman and two at the University of Idaho in Moscow. The church remains focused on starting new worship services and churches in college towns and on college campuses throughout the Pacific Northwest.
As Martin and other leaders at Resonate planned to start a new church at Central Washington University in Ellensburg this fall, they wondered how they’d pay for the sound system and other equipment for a new worship service. Leaning back onto a truth he discovered a couple of years earlier — “the resources are in the crowd” — Martin decided to raise funds by selling a new CD, called the “Ellensburg” project, with 100 percent of the funds going to the new church plant on a campus of 11,000 students.
“I had all the band members [for Resonate’s four campuses] in my living room — there are about 35 of them — and asked them, ‘Would you be willing to spend a ton of time, a ton of energy to record an album for the sake of the church — and put all of our names aside?'” Martin recounted.
The band members agreed. Over the next few months, they wrote and recorded the songs, producing an album, in Martin’s words, “for the church and by the church.” No names of any of the artists appear on the album.
Resonate Church hopes to sell 5,000 copies of the album, which would be enough to pay for a sound system and other worship service needs for the new church.
“This will be an ongoing ministry of Resonate Church that I hope will fund future church plants every time,” Martin said. “I want the gathering team to buy the equipment for the next church’s gathering team.”
Resonate’s gathering team is responsible for the church’s worship services, including the music and the overall experience. Martin expects the church’s gathering team to put together an album written by its musicians every other year. In the off years, the team will record a live album. He plans to begin work soon on the “Missoula” project, which will fund the church’s next church plant in the college town of Missoula, Mont.
“We’re really serious about planting collegiate churches,” Martin said about the church’s musicians. “We’re so serious we’re going to use our collective energy as musicians to help.”
The Ellensburg project is available at iTunes.
Tobin Perry writes for the North American Mission Board. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).