For Kayla Lohnes, the new Worship Ministry Associate at Brook Hills, worshiping God through song and praise has always been a big part of her life. She grew up in a church where her grandfather has been the pastor for the last 27 years, and in a home with parents who love the Lord. With that came opportunities for her to use the gift of her voice. She remembers, “My mom had me singing ‘special music’ in our church from the time I was about six or seven years old.”
However, as she neared the end of high school and prepared for college, the Lord began to shift her perspective of worship. “I realized it was way more than me just getting up there and singing because I could. This is me leading people to a place where they can put their attention on the Lord. We have gifts and abilities and the Lord is glorified when we bring those gifts and use them, but it’s way more about the spirit behind how we come into worship. Are our hearts right with the Lord? Are we in pursuit of relationship with Him, or are we just showing up and singing because it sounds good?”
With this change of perspective, a desire arose in her to attend a Christian college where she could gain knowledge and experience in leading the church in corporate worship through more than the solo opportunities she had growing up. This led her to Liberty University, where she began to lead worship for her local church and through other opportunities from her schooling.
“It was then when I began to gain a better understanding of what worship, both personal and corporate, truly is. Corporate worship has been incredibly important in my walk with Christ. It is where I have had some of the sweetest moments with the Lord. But, I have come to realize that what I experience in corporate worship only complements personal worship. Knowing Christ and pursuing a relationship with him is where my worship should overflow from and ultimately what will sustain me in every season of life. As I learn more about God and fall more in love with Him, I am compelled to worship Him for His holiness, goodness, mercy, and numerous other attributes.”
She has since served in worship ministry through various capacities, gaining experience through a traveling ministry team that led worship for youth groups. Most recently, she’s been in Louisville, Kentucky, working on her Bachelor’s degree at Boyce College and leading worship in her local church. And there the Lord directed her steps once more to worship ministry.
“I didn’t know if I would ever end up working in full-time ministry. Then, earlier this summer, I got connected to Matt Powell through the worship leader at my church, and he let me know that they were looking to fill the Worship Ministry Associate position. From there, it was a process of prayerfully considering the position, and also watching the Lord work all of the details out for me to end up here. Every step forward I took, the Lord kept opening the doors and it made me more and more excited about the opportunity. As terrifying as it is to move to a new city and not know anyone, I had this peace that I couldn’t have written out how this happened if I had tried to, but the Lord worked it all out. It’s been exciting to look back and see things I’ve experienced in the last couple of years of my life and to now know the Lord prepared me for this position using those things.”
Looking forward, she says, “I’m really excited for the opportunity to be a part of this faith family. The more you get involved and get to know people, the more you’re surrounded by people that are your family. You can better grasp what worship means, what truth means, what God’s Word says and how it impacts other people. I like to see the Lord’s faithfulness through other people and see how the body works together to be an encouragement to each other. People go through hard things, but they’re still in there on Sunday, coming together as a body, worshiping God and edifying one another. There is something so powerful about gathering with other believers and singing and reminding ourselves of truth together.”
Kayla Lohnes grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the older sister to three other siblings, all of who currently live in Louisville. She is finishing up her Bachelor’s degree from Boyce College in Humanities and loves a good cup of coffee. She’s only been in Birmingham about a week and a half, so be sure to give her a warm welcome and recommend a good cup of joe!