The duo of Shane Barnard and Shane Everett are better known as Shane and Shane, a contemporary worship band who have always aimed to keep worship focused on Christ rather than themselves through their music, which, according to their website is “biblically based, lyrically rich, and sonically engaging.”
They have dedicated their lives to encouraging and equipping worship leaders through The Worship Initiative, a collective of like-minded musicians focused on Christ and Gospel-centered worship. They also have a worship series for kids through The Worship Initiative called “Worship in the Word.”
Shane and Shane recently took time to talk to the Focus on the Family Church Engagement Team about their ministry and how they’re serving worship leaders. Learn a little bit about The Shanes below, and be sure to check out our video series with the Shanes throughout the month of August on our YouTube channel.
And for more information on The Worship Initiative check out their website at TheWorshipInitiative.com.
How did Shane and Shane become a thing?
Shane Barnard: Shane and I were both going to Texas A&M University. Both business majors. At the time that we met, I hadn’t even come to Christ yet. I had kind of grown up around the church, but didn’t know Jesus.
Shane (Everett) got asked to play a concert on campus at A&M. it was kind of a big event that Christian fraternity put on called island party. He got asked to play with with another dude at the 2:00 p.m. spot or whatever. He didn’t really have a guitar that plugged in. Through some mutual friends, he came over and borrowed a guitar. We kind of just meet and he barrows my guitar. A few weeks later I get saved, and his group of buddies saw me singing in the choir church. They were like, “Hey man, you need some friends?” We connected and started hanging out with Shane and his group of buddies and just really started walking with the Body. We were all just kids who were starting to read the Bible for the first time. We stumbled through of years of just reading scripture and the Lord just using it change our hearts and reveal glory from one degree to the next.
That’s kind of how we started, and by the Lord’s grace, he’s sustained us by His Word and His Spirit and the Body. I feel like we’re kind of doing the same thing, singing the word of God. That’s kind of our journey. The Lord set us up to love him and love his people. That’s what we do. Music might be the medium, but that’s our calling.
It’s evident that the music you’re creating is very scripture-centric. Can you talk a little bit about the process of writing these songs?
Shane Everett: I don’t know if there’s ever been an established process. For the first decade or decade-and-a-half, we toured a lot. We were on the road, 300 days a year and, and then we did a record on the two weeks we had off. I think for me, it was just clinging to God’s word, usually in a stairwell, at like 2 in the morning when we get to a hotel, just crying out to God. It was very devotional and still is for the most part. I’m just crying out to the Lord, and those became songs.
There wasn’t really a grid for a long time of how we do what we do. But I did have some kind of sense that I have nothing else to offer or nothing else to say, other than what’s been revealed by the God of the universe. To this day I’m still like, “It’s a dangerous thing to fill the mouths of people with words that may not be true. I know something that is true, and I just don’t want mess that up.
That’s usually what we’re trying to do here—and trying to train other folks do. Just cling to his word, remove distractions—those words or experiences—that might distract us from the living word.
You started The Worship Initiative back in 2013. What is it, and what’s it’s mission?
Everett: I think if you boil it down to just a one-liner mission, it would be to initiate worship in the hearts of men and women. I think of the John Piper quote: missions exist because worship does not exist. That God would use broken people in this little corner of our little world to initiate true worship. The way that pans out is The Worship Initiative is a training resource online for churches. We provide content for churches subscribe and join this little website team. Then we just crank out all kinds of stuff in the form of songs, and video tutorials for every instrument, and devotionals around every song, and scripture tagging around songs.
We also create music. SI think we’ll do 16 albums this year. Some of those are like cover albums where we do scripturally sound songs that already exist. And then we’ll just coat those in resources.
And then we now have an original music team. We have three artists, and we started a record label was last year. It’s super exciting, and we’re just writing new songs for the church out of God’s word, just kind of taking our core values and putting them into song. We have a kids’ brand, and we’re just starting to do kids.