Ten years ago, Jeremy Byng was a student in the audience at Brethren National Youth Conference. This year, the tables turned as he took to the stage for the first time to lead worship at the annual Grace Brethren event, now called Momentum.
It’s a responsibility that Jeremy, now a worship pastor at Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Goshen, Ind., doesn’t take lightly.
“There are a lot of guys out there who, years down the road, will look back and say, this (conference) cemented me in the faith,” Jeremy says he reminded his band members before they left home. “Part of the reason I am here today is because of the encouragement and the challenge that I got at this conference every year.”
He recognizes how much he was impacted by the worship leaders at those conferences. “I’m here because they really helped people see God and they really helped people feel the passion for Him.”
It’s something he tries to do each time he is on the platform.
“Any time I lead worship, I want people to encounter God,” says Jeremy. He realizes that musicians, even worship leaders, are often placed on a pedestal.
“I want to make it not about me and put the limelight on God,” he adds, noting he likes to “step back in the shadow.”
As a student, he was involved in the NAC (Nurturing Abilities for Christ) program, which is designed to encourage students in using their gifts and talents in service for the Lord. He appreciated the emphasis on learning, not on competition.
“NAC helped me hone my skills,” says Jeremy, who started leading worship for the youth group while growing up in the Grace Brethren Church in Sebring, Fla. “Those are the things that really shape where I am today.”
Each week he fronts an all-volunteer band at one of two Sunday morning venues at the Goshen campus. He also leads worship for the Wednesday night youth group, is in charge of a Thursday night discussion and worship for college-aged adults, and plans a monthly worship night for the young adults.
“I love leading worship for the Church, for the body of Christ,” he says, “and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.”