BASTROP—For 15 years, the Texas-based worship band Burgundy Road has helped teenagers and young adults navigate life’s journey.
“When we started the band, I was in a church service, and the pastor was talking about how our lives should reflect the image of Christ and how Jesus’ ministry on earth reflected service and suffering,” lead singer Phillip Cole said.
“The name Burgundy Road is a metaphor that represents the road to Calvary. It’s also a reminder as a band to be committed to walking with others on this journey and serving them. We want to be ministry-driven first.”
Wherever Burgundy Road performs, the band’s desire is to bring people into a closer relationship with God. More than having a passion for music, the group has a calling to touch lives, its members insist.
“One experience that really sticks out in our minds is about a girl we met many years ago when we were leading worship for a preteen camp,” drummer Jason Bray said. “At the time, this girl was 11 years old, and we signed a picture for her. Four years later, we got a call from her mother and the girl was in the hospital battling leukemia. The mother said it wasn’t looking good for her daughter, but the one thing she kept holding onto was this picture of our group.
“The mother asked us to pray for her daughter, so went to the hospital and prayed with them. Now, she is in her early 20s and doing great. Her healing showed the power of God at work. It had nothing to do with us. Our desire is just to be obedient to wherever God calls us and to lead people into a deeper relationship with him.”
When Burgundy Road performs, band members offer more than a concert. They hope to provide students and young adults a life-changing encounter.
“More than anything, we want students to know Jesus and understand why we worship him,” Cole said. “The more students realize how much Jesus loves them, then worship becomes an overflow of that relationship.”
Many times, having a band like Burgundy Road perform at church functions can break the ice and make it easier for students to invite their friends to hear the gospel, band members said.
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The group maintains a busy schedule leading worship for ministry events around the state, including Disciple Now weekends, church worship services, conferences and youth camps such as Texas Baptists’ Super Summer.
In addition to leading worship with popular contemporary songs, the group also incorporates their own original songs.
“When we are writing worship songs, we try to make the songs easy for people to remember and relate to,” Cole said. “Our main goal in writing songs is to keep them centered around biblical truths. When we’re leading worship, we want to help students understand who God is and what he has done for them, so they can glorify him.”
Burgundy Road feels strongly about leading teenagers to Christ and assisting youth ministries. Band members also said they want to help build bridges for local churches to use as a tool for attracting youth and ministering to their needs.
“We try to be really intentional with students—eating lunch with them, playing games with them during rec and having conversations—so they can relate to us,” Cole said. “By doing these things and being available to assist ministries, we hope to develop a relationship that will help soften hearts and lead students to Christ. We care deeply about connecting with students and impacting their lives, so they can see the gospel lived out and continue to reach others.”
While enjoying the journey, they continue to take the task seriously.
“As a band, we try to gather together and encourage each other with Scriptures and stories of how God is at work,” Cole said.
“We really want to be intentional, authentic and engaging in each moment. Investing in these students really makes the worship more effective. Every moment, conversation and connection has to matter. Taking the time to meet with students gives us so many memories we will never forget.”
As a solid foundation has been laid for Burgundy Road, they continue to trust God to direct their path.
“During events, we are committed to serving youth ministries and helping equip students,” Bray said. “We are all on this spiritual journey together, growing together and worshipping God together. We want to engage students and help youth ministers see the fruits of their labor.”