“Music’s powerful and so many people love it, and it’s an emotional thing, and so many people connect with it. And I think that’s something that’s very impactful because it’s taking something that most people love and using it to glorify God and using it to encourage people,” says Elizabeth Brinkley
Elizabeth, a sophomore at Samford University, has been leading worship for several years. At first, Elizabeth did not want to lead worship. However, when there was an open spot in her church’s worship band, her parents forced her to audition because they wanted her to serve God in a way that was her own.
The youth ministry assistant at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, where Elizabeth first led worship, is Samantha Williams who says, “Worship bands, choirs, and orchestras are every bit a part of service as the message is…It is the job of the worship leaders to encourage an atmosphere that points not to themselves and not to the speaker/pastor, but completely to Christ.”
Recognizing that her gifts were able to create an atmosphere of worship is what eventually drew Elizabeth to love being a member of a worship band. She started out playing piano and was on rotation to sing backup and harmonies. Eventually, she took over for the lead singer after he went to college.
“While she is leading worship, she encourages the congregation to worship along side her, not only through what she may say, but through how she demonstrates true worship,” her younger sister, Rachel Brinkley, remarks, adding “She is also a huge encouragement to people off stage because of how she shows the love of Christ to the people around her.”
And when she left for college, she decided to find a place where she could keep leading worship. She says, “I loved worship leading after my experience at my church; I learned a lot from it, by making mistakes and from doing things well, and so God taught me a lot through doing that, and I wanted to continue doing that in college.”
She began to attend Christ City Church her freshman year, and started leading worship second semester, bringing encouragement to a new congregation. One of her friends, Rachel Harvey, began attending worship services there and says, “She is an incredible singer, but I know she doesn’t lead worship for the praise; she leads it because she feels closer to God when she does. Knowing these things made my worship experience better because I knew, due to my friendship with Elizabeth, that the time wasn’t to put on a show for an audience, but to worship God. When I was attending this service, I wasn’t thinking about anything else but Jesus. It was so refreshing.”
Elizabeth is able to use her gift of musical talent to serve the church and to worship God. She is able to impact a congregation, and she does so with utmost humility. She says, “When people go through different seasons of life, and they’re in the congregation…. and there’s a song that really resonates with them, you can just see it. Whether they’re raising their hands or come up to you afterwards…you can just see the Holy Spirit moving, and it’s not what I’m doing or what anybody else is doing, but it’s the Holy Spirit through us and through music.”
To listen to Elizabeth sing one of her favorite worship songs, click here.