About four years ago, Jon Whaley attended Eastern Michigan University, studying arts management. Today, he is the leader of Metro Worship, a collective effort of all of the worship bands at Metro South Church in Taylor, Mich.
“I had a lot of dreams and ambitions when I was a student at EMU,” he said.
The idea started when Whaley organized Unite EMU, when he attended a similar effort to combine all of the worship bands and campus ministries that normally compete against each other into a united effort of a larger church. Hundreds of students showed up, including many students who have never seen God or Jesus.
“We’re all here for the same purpose,” Whaley said. “If we could be just one, we could do infinitely more.”
Whaley took this idea and ran with it, creating the successful band Metro Worship. The band just released their first album,“As One,” which is now available on iTunes. It consists mainly of covers that are popular on Christian radio. Their next endeavor is to record an album that consists of original songs as well.
“We just packed a thousand people into a room and hit the record button,” Whaley said. “It’s a catalyst for what we want to do as a church. One day we want our songs sung in churches all over the world.”
Whaley defines Metro South Church as a bit of a “rock ‘n’ roll church.”
“We have a lot of bands that come through our church,” Whaley said. “We want to see a day where all of the bands perform together.”
In addition to the album release, Metro Worship has been touring
around the Midwest, and has even been to Colombia to record a promotional video for the band. They’ve also played the Cornerstone Festival, a Christian rock and alternative festival in Bushnell, Ill. They played the main stage, opening for big acts like Tenth Avenue North, Superchick and the Robbie Seay Band.
“Our main mission isn’t so much what we want to do, but why we want to do the things we’re doing,” Whaley said.
He said they want to reach the people in their city and to unite the church and share the passion.
“I think for too long the American church has been competing against each other. A lot of people won’t walk into a church because they’re getting mixed messages.”
In an effort to reach their city and the areas surrounding it, Metro Worship also has partnerships with local radio stations.
“We believe in our faith, that God can do infinitely more than we can do as people,” Whaley said. “Our effort will change people’s lives.”
He said that people in the church aren’t perfect, that they’re just like everyone else. They’re just going after a good God.
“If you have a dream, and you have something you want to see happen in your life, be willing to take a risk and go for it and the money will follow,” Whaley said. “But if it’s about the money, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.”
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