Jenn Beard leans back into the cushions of the sofa, her gaze sliding away as she reminisces on how the worship team has become like her family over the years. “It’s been a rotating cast of characters over the years, but we spend a couple days together every week. They’re my small group. Before everyone started having children we got into several hi jinks.”

Her eyes refocus on the interview team and she laughs. “We had this Polaroid scavenger hunt all over Lee’s Summit. Chris and Alica had set up all the challenges and it got crazy. At one point one member got on front of the horse-dog statue in front of UMB. One of the challenges was getting all of your members in a cart at Wal-Mart and taking a picture. Chris and Aliica had to judge all the entries when we got back. It was hilarious.”

Despite their lighthearted adventures and times of laughter, the Worship Team has also supported each other in times of challenge and hardship.

“I think we also go through life together, when someone’s lost someone or had a baby,” Jenn shares. “It’s a group that’s easy to stay together with since we see each other several times a week.” Every weekend the Worship Team leads Lakeland in praise. Not only do these incredible singers and musicians share their talents with their friends and family, they also take on a great deal of responsibility.

“We have a mutual love of worship, it’s definitely something where we have to build a lot of trust. There’s funny moments but there’s times when things go very sideways and we have to salvage it. It’s a big responsibility to lead people in worship and if we get in people’s way we don’t want to hurt their experience.” Jenn ducks her head. “It feels terrible when something goes wrong because we want everyone to be able to worship.”


Pastor Marta encourages her that many times people don’t notice, but Jenn leans forward, another smile dancing across her face. “See, I still remember very viscerally one Sunday that years ago we were here. I was leading and I was singing with Sara Zung and I was only singing the harmony part.” She crosses her hands over her chest, color high in her cheeks. “I started to sweat, wondering if I should pass out and pretend I was sick, because I couldn’t remember the lead lines. I’ve never done that song since.”


“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to You; my soul also, which You have redeemed.”

-Psalm 71:23



1 Corinthians 13:13

About My Stories

Every month Pastor Marta Gillilan and members of the Lakeland Social Media Team interview an individual, couple or family. From struggles in faith to joyful events, Lakelanders are sharing their stories through the “Humans of Lakeland” blog series. Get to know the people who call Lakeland home.