Service caters to young adults

EVERETT — In a church with more than 1,200 regular Sunday attendees, it’s hard to have worship music that everyone can identify with. Some people like contemporary Christian music, while others enjoy acoustic rock, and some prefer singing from hymnals.

With so many worship and music styles in the modern church, how can you showcase them all?

At Bethany Christian Assembly, the goal is not to just provide choice for a few, but choices for everyone, by matching regular services with different musical styles.

Pastor Rob Carlson explains that though the music may change, the message will not.

“The idea behind the service venues is that we are one church but we celebrate different styles with the same relevant message,” Carlson said.

The concept was born out of necessity as growing churches had to accommodate three to four services each Sunday, which put a strain on pastoral staff. By offering different musical worship styles on different nights, pastoral burnout is prevented — with the added bonus of focusing those services on certain age groups.

For example, the Fusion service is a young adult service that provides a mellow, acoustic experience.

Stephanie Perrine is a 20-year-old Bethany parishioner from Kirkland who said she comes because the music and service are tailored for her generation.

“I thought it was amazing, a great start. They were reaching out to people with a more intimate setting,” Perrine said. “They are reaching out to people where they are.”

The obvious musical talent of the church band members is readily apparent as they close their set. Their sound is polished and a violinist adds the right touch of musical diversity to the evening.

“Our focal point, our main thing is that we are communicating the same vision as the other services but with a different sound,” Brad Rohr said. Rohr, the host pastor for Fusion, also leads the band. “What you have here is a collaborative effort in making a good worship experience for everyone.”

As the service winds down and the music fades, the mix of young adults, teenagers and adults linger and enjoy the fellowship. The inaugural Fusion service is over, but for the worship team and Carlson, it is just the beginning.

“I think if you minister to the needs of people and care about people, growth is a natural outcome,” Carlson said. “With different worship services, we can branch out and focus on people. We just need to keep taking it one step at a time.”

Reporter Justin Arnold: 425-339-3432 or

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