With boundless energy, a myriad of creative channels, an unflinching commitment to evangelism and a heart of worship at every diverse turn, Yancy Ministries is rapidly becoming a premiere destination for uplifting entertainment and church resources used all across the globe.“I think diversity is something that happens in creative people,” notices Yancy, who’s spent more than a decade on the front lines of artistry and ministry with an ever increasing desire to serve fellow believers in many different areas. “I’m just one of those people who has a whole lot to share and express. My life plan has always included music. I started off doing more CCM music, then started leading worship, and with God’s prompting, began making music for families. There are several elements that are a part of the music and ministry that I do. Those things are what make me who I am. Some see those things as diverse. I just see it as me being obedient and doing what God has called me to do.”
The journey to Yancy Ministries’ extensive reach started with the simple desire to explore singer/songwriter terrain under the clever banner of “music that makes Jesus loud,” which like many newcomers, began with many songwriting trips to Nashville. From the get go, Yancy caught the ear of audiences and industry alike, first following in Jars Of Clay’s footsteps to win the Gospel Music Association’s International Spotlight Competition, then scoring the “Best Artist” slot in a WordRecords.com competition and being named one of 7ball Magazine’s “Best 25 Independent Artists.”Besides recording and personally producing a steady string of her own artist-centric, “Jesus, Glitter and Rock-N-Roll”-inspired albums, she quickly became one of Music City’s most sought after songwriters, penning the chart-topping/ASCAP Award winning song “I Don’t Want To Go” for Avalon’s Grammy and Dove nominated Oxygen album, fellow contemporary pop favorite “Something Beautiful” for Jaci Velasquez, alongside numerous co-writes and recordings with now legendary Third Day front man Mac Powell. Along the way, she’s also shared the stage with Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, and Plumb, been a featured guest many times over on tv shows such as LESEA Broadcasting’s “The Harvest Show”, and took home About.com’s Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Christian Indie Solo Artist.”
In addition to Yancy’s artist side blossoming at such a rapid rate, she also embraced a calling and opportunity to start leading worship and writing songs for children at Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While she never abandoned recording adult studio albums, her songwriting muse soon shifted towards a kid-friendly twist birthed merely out of a void within her congregation, particularly when it came to providing praise tunes to accompany their pre-school program.Tangibly speaking, these recordings became known as the Yancy-spearheaded Little Praise Party series, which combines audio CDs with DVDs filled with cartoon characters to help visualize the words and stories portrayed within the songs. As a mom herself, Yancy definitely knows what it takes to keep kids simultaneously entertained and uplifted, plus she always makes sure to score a stamp of approval from her very own family prior to releasing these exciting projects publicly. (There’s even an entire Spanish-language collection of Little Praise Party mainstays called Pequeña Fiesta de Alabanza, which features vocal production from Jaci Velasquez and Salvador’s Nic Gonzales).
“The first Little Praise Party I made for my church just trying to fill a need that they had for worship for that age group,” explains Yancy, who’s just as fun as she is serious, as demonstrated by her huge heart for people of all ages. “I had no idea how God would use those songs and that it would grow into a series of projects. It was truly a ‘God’s dream and plans are bigger than we can comprehend’ scenario for me.”
Continues Yancy: “The new Little Praise Party album is called Taste and See, which is a major point on my heart right now. I know the power of music and love the fact that the songs I write have the potential to plant seeds in the hearts of people. I want this generation to Taste and See that the Lord is good, and if they do that at an early age, I believe they’ll be able to have the relationship they need to have with the Lord so it doesn’t turn into one of those sad stories you hear about people turning their backs on their faith later in life.”
And while they’re still very much a part of her home congregation now in Tennessee, the world at large has caught on to the leader’s lively and colorful approach, even spawning a Little Praise Party app (which features four English videos and one Spanish video once a month). Yancy also recorded several albums that have been fully embraced by a pre-teen audience and gone beyond to attract a wide spectrum of ages. Popular titles include Jesus Music Box and Stars, Guitars & Megaphone Dreams, which once again feature both audio and lyric video versions, further ensuring their reach within both home and church audiences. Teaching is another passionate area for Yancy, who can also be found leading praise workshops at various conferences and personally penning a column centered around worship for children in KidzMatter Magazine. Last but not least, Yancy and her dad (legendary children’s pastor Jim Wideman) also designed a father/daughter event for churches to host all across the country called “Kings & Princesses,” which seeks to enrich the bonds between dads and their little gals through Biblically-based teaching and sessions.
Spending so much time with children and their families also stirred Yancy to branch out with her worship leadership, most recently releasing the acoustically-framed Roots For The Journey, her first decidedly adult-oriented worship album from a musical perspective, but one that nonetheless includes aspects for the entire family. To further illustrate its all ages appeal, the accompanying Roots For the Journey app is loaded with family devotions, activities and prayers, all based around the Scriptures from which each song was inspired.In addition to leading worship for youngsters at Hillsong Church (Sydney), Lakewood Church (Houston), Prestonwood Baptist (Dallas) and Northpoint Community Church (Atlanta), all of those congregations (and countless more) continue to use Yancy’s music in various services, while her version of “Oceans” reached #1 on the main section of WorshipHouseMedia.com (a leading video resource provider for adult congregations). Yet perhaps the biggest component of Yancy’s calendar is comprised of family concerts, which include an audience of kids, their parents and grandparents, in turn, yielding a truly revolutionary multi-generational worship event.
“I’ve always loved traveling and performing or leading worship in the live context, but I also like spending weekends at home with my home congregation,” shares Yancy. “I have some songs that have become really popular, and sometimes on Sunday after church, I go onto social networking and see comments from all over the country- even places I’ve never been- who’ve used one of my songs in their services. That’s been the most motivating and rewarding part to me- making music and materials other people can use. There’s no way I can be in all those churches at the same time, but by making these songs and videos, it allows me to serve local churches and be part of others’ journey with Christ even though we may never meet face to face. As I’ve been thinking through that process, I’ve gotten super passionate about shifting Yancy Ministries’ focus towards those types of efforts.”
Add up the artist side, ushering in the spirit of worship for literally all ages, plus being a pastor’s daughter, and it’s all most certainly shaped Yancy Ministries’ latest venture into church resources. Above and beyond the worldwide distribution of the Little Praise Party CD/DVDs, Yancy Ministries’ has written and produced the music and videos for Standard Publishing’s Vacation Bible School curriculum since 2012, which also features author and missionary Beth Guckenberger of Back2Back Ministries and reaches over 1,000,000 kids each year.
Another element in the equation is the Connect The Dots DVD series, which focuses on quick clips spanning a variety of topical subjects (the greatness of God, thankfulness, surrender), all set to a soundtrack of instrumental music that can be used as church service segues prior to the main message or other transition points in the service. Devotionals are also an ample component of Yancy Ministries, accompanying many of the albums as they seek to reinforce the messages of the songs and teach God’s word especially to pre-teen participants. The resources area is still growing, but if it winds up mirroring even a sliver of Yancy Ministries’ highly productive and connective outpouring thus far, it’s destined to deliver yet another innovative season of spiritual enrichment, encouragement and impact all the world over. “Yancy Ministries exists to make Jesus loud, whether that’s through songs, videos, devotionals, training or family concerts. It also happens at home- one family at a time- or though church- one city at a time. A love and passion for Jesus is at the core of everything we do. We want to encourage whole families to love God with all their heart, spending time singing God’s praises, and celebrating all that He has done.”