Georgia Baptist Mission Board's Rhon Carter undertakes new initiative to mentor young music ministers


DULUTH, Ga. – One of the most biblical, helpful, and productive things a skilled leader and mature Christian can do is disciple or mentor young believers or growing Christians. The Apostle Paul admonished Timothy, writing, “Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the thing that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (II Tim. 2:1-2).

Rhon Carter, former minister of music at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear and First Baptist Church in Statesboro and current Catalyst for Music and Worship with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, understands the importance of discipleship and mentoring and is convinced that an integral part of God’s calling in his life is to support and encourage young ministers of music.

Carter explained, “In my life as a worship pastor, my heart’s desire is to build relationships with other worship pastors in hopes of encouraging and strengthening them as they do ministry. I want to share my life as a worship pastor with them. I hope to encourage them on their journey as they lead their local churches.”

The online mentoring network developed by Carter includes a spiritual gifts assessment designed help young ministers discover their spiritual gifts and how those gifts can be used to enhance their ministry. The learning process also includes a personality inventory evaluation, connections with other likeminded ministers and instruction on how to provide effective and loving leadership.

Carter has also developed six worship magnets that he uses to explain his philosophy of ministry. They include: Having the mind of Christ, the heart of worship, the voice of discipleship, the hands of the artist, the feet of service and the ears of the next generation. (These six principles of worship are so compelling that they will necessitate a follow-up article on Carter’s philosophy of worship).

In late January Carter started his Young Worship Leader Network with an online Zoom call involving 25 young praise and worship leaders across Georgia including one participant from Haiti now serving a Georgia Baptist Church. His intention is to have these learning sessions once a month for the entire year and then enlist a new group of mentees for 2023.

Carter has enlisted Natalie Beall and Michael King to help him guide this group of young ministers of praise and worship. Natalie has served First Baptist Church in Soperton since 1999 in music/worship and children’s ministry. Michael is the Worship Arts Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus.

Natalie explained, “I am especially grateful for the opportunity to encourage, help and pray for young worship leaders. Their passion and energy are essential for the church in the years ahead. I’m excited to serve and support them as they use their gifts and talents to glorify God, lead others, and proclaim the Gospel.”

Chase Boatright, who followed Carter from Emmanuel Baptist Church to Statesboro, has graduated from Georgia Southern with a Music Education Degree. He has worked with the choir at First Baptist Statesboro on an interim basis and led worship services and is participating in Carter’s discipling of young ministers. He testified, “I believe that this Network is important in Georgia because it gives young worship leaders an opportunity to not only learn from those who are experienced but to also learn from and relate to each other as they grow in their ministries. It helps us to see that we are truly not alone in our positions.”

Newlyweds Timothy and Lauren Stroud have also become a part of the Network. They are both graduates of the University of Mobile and Timothy is the associate worship minister at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City. Timothy avowed, “I think a Young Worship Leader Network in Georgia is important because those of us who have only been in ministry for a short time do not have the many connections that experienced church leaders have. This Network is connecting us to other worship leaders who are our age which enables us to bounce our ideas, struggles and successes off each other.

Lauren added, “The Young Worship Leader Network is so important because we can share ideas and connect with a community of young leaders and walk with them through all the challenging and rewarding aspects of ministry together.”

Many young ministers desire guidance as they navigate through issues like spiritual growth, vocational discernment, and the principles of leadership; and they are eager to learn from those who have gone before them in natural, authentic settings. Those who have served the Lord for years should look across our current spiritual landscape for young ministers who need and would appreciate counsel from those who have experienced many of the pitfalls and mountaintops of vocational ministry.