'For Regi, worship is not just music. It is what he lives. It is the passion he carries to share with the world'. David M. Edwards In the fullest sense of the phrase, worship is Regi Stone's life. As founder of Experience Worship, Regi produces a steady stream of worship materials ranging from albums to devotionals, and growing all the time. As owner and publisher of Belden Street Music, he produces more than 100 worship songs each year. In addition to his session work for Word, PraiseGathering, Integrity, LifeWay, Prism, Brentwood Benson, and several other Christian music publishers, Regi has recorded multiple vocal projects and instrumental albums. He regularly leads worship at Christ Church in Nashville, TN as well as at conferences and churches all over the country. Yet if you talk to Regi about worship, you won't hear about any of that. "After years of music ministry, I have come to realize that songs and choruses are not worship - although they can be used in worship," says Regi. "Worship is not confined to the Sunday morning half hour of singing the words on the screen. It's in the stuff we do every day; it's how we live our lives. Worship isn't about music. It's an experience with God himself." But it did not start that way for Regi. "Worship has been an evolving part of my life. When I was first introduced to 'worship', I really thought it's definition was the 15 minutes or so of chorus singing during Sunday morning services. And I wasn't too big on the format, singing the same choruses over and over again. Wasn't once enough?" Regi's story began in Valdosta, Georgia. As a child he wanted to be a concert pianist and began studying classical piano at the age of four. While other kids played sports, he practiced four or five hours every day. Despite being raised in a Christian home and involved in church since birth, his relationship with Jesus did not start until he was 18. At that point, his aspirations switched from performance to ministry - but not necessarily leading worship. Although his musical skill had been developing for years, Regi discovered his vocal talent by accident while taking mandatory vocal courses in college. After working with several vocal ensembles, Regi launched into music ministry: first as a musical accompanist, then a choir director, finally a worship leader. He met his wife Kimberlee while serving a church in Tallahassee. They spent the next nine years in various ministry positions, finally settling in Nashville. After a series of painful and miraculous events, they adopted their daughter Sophia. Four years later they adopted their son Eli. For Regi, his family is the most important part of his ministry. "Successful ministry means something different to everyone. For some it's a title. For others it's monetary. But for me, it's about people: loving and caring for people, helping them truly meet with God. After years of ministry, I've found that if you follow your gifts, be who you really are and live what you really enjoy, that in itself is a description of success - in ministry and in life. Truly doing that is one of our highest forms of worship."
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