Two-Heart Harmony: Convention Artists Reflect on Love, Life, and Leading Worship
By Carl Stagner
As if the remarkably strong roster of speakers and the schedule of practically valuable and intriguing electives at the Church of God Convention weren’t enough, the moments and places set aside for the singing of the saints are shaping up to be times and spaces keenly favorable for supernatural outpouring. Current cultural climate combined with recent renewed desperation for the presence and power of God are contributing to a rise in reports of spiritual renewal and breakthrough from college campuses and local churches; as Convention 2023 scheduling and planning signal a return to pre-pandemic proportions and excellence, the opportunity for the Spirit to move through the worship, preaching, and business of the Church of God movement appears especially potent. One ministry couple engaged in the preparation and leading of the worship experiences this year in Tampa know firsthand what it means to prepare for, and bask in, the transforming presence of God.
But for Leo and Meagan Flores, you’ve got to start at the beginning of their story to understand their perspective on worship.
“My journey with music started at a very young age,” Meagan recounts, “when I would listen to Christian cassettes and CDs in my room and car, and I would sing and create dances to the songs when I was alone and no one was looking.”
Meagan admits she struggled with stage fright even as she gained more confidence in her God-given talent. It couldn’t hurt that she enjoyed stellar examples in the home; you may know Meagan’s father, Mitchell Burch, who serves as state pastor for West Virginia Ministries of the Church of God. Of course, Meagan is a worship-leading force to be reckoned with, in her own right, but she doesn’t hesitate to give credit where credit is due.
“Growing up in a pastor’s home,” Meagan remembers, “I watched my parents sing and lead together as my mom played piano every week. This greatly shaped my love for music, and specifically worship music. I knew about the age of twelve that God was calling me to be a worship leader, and I pursued what he said by leading worship for my middle school youth groups, and also at the Christian high school that I attended. I then went on to Mid-America Christian University, where I studied music and worship ministry.”
Leo admits his backstory is strikingly similar.
“I watched my parents minister together in revivals, concerts, and camp meetings growing up,” he explains. “My mom plays piano and sings, and my dad sings and plays guitar, piano, and trumpet. I have them to thank for encouraging me to start playing, even if I was bad at first. We shared a lot of the instruments around the house and, eventually, started leading worship at a youth group nearby.”
Many in the Movement know and love Leo’s parents, Paul and Janet Flores. Like their longtime ministry of music (and preaching, too!), Leo also followed in this footsteps of his songwriting father. Also like his parents, Leo and Meagan each found love—in the Lord and in each other.
“I met Meagan on the campus of Mid-America Christian University in 2006,” he recalls. “She was singing in chapel, and my heart was moved by her. I believe we met in the cafeteria. We sang in the choir together and had ministry classes together, too. I invited her to sing with me for chapel, and when I heard the sound that came out of her, it stuck me. Then when she hit that high D-sharp on the chorus of “King of Majesty,” it was game over!”
Meagan tells her side of the budding love story. “I remember my sophomore year at MACU. There were a lot of new students that came. In one of my ministry classes, the professor asked on the first day how many of us were pastor’s kids and, out of the fifteen students that were in the class, about nine people raised their hands. I looked over and saw Leo’s hand raised and I thought, ‘Hmm, he’s cute. I wonder what that could become.’ From there were became friends, had several classes together, and just four months later were engaged.”
A year later, Leo and Meagan united in holy matrimony. They’ve been married nearly fifteen years. Over these years, they’ve been blessed to do what they love—together. Serving in worship ministry leadership has been a joy they’ve shared at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City; The Gathering in Muncie, Indiana; GraceRiver Church in Orlando, Florida; and now Bayside Church in Safety Harbor, Florida. At Convention 2019 in Orlando, the two joined Josh Edington from Crossings Oklahoma to produce some of the congregational worship experiences. For Convention 2023, Leo and Meagan are excited to be a part of another worship team, one especially unique—comprised of a geographically and culturally diverse array of artists, including, but not limited to Leslie Barnes, Michael Romero, Allen Swoope, and Sarah Scharbrough McLaughlin.
Meagan reflects, “I am excited to hear from each of the worship team members where God has brought them from and what he’s been doing in their lives currently. I love gleaning from other worship leader’s stories and how they have been experiencing God in their own lives and in their circles of influence. I also look forward to hearing the sound that we create together and how God will partner with us as a team to do what he wants to.”
Leo adds, “I look forward to experiencing a unique move of the Spirit in our times together. I long to be in the presence of God for a time such as this. Our world is changing rapidly, and we desperately need to hear from God. I believe God wants to pour out a fresh anointing on us.”
How insightful. How accurate! God wants to pour out a fresh anointing on us, together, in one place, in harmony. Through the gift of music at Tampa, he’s certain do just that. Meagan’s sentiment reflects many in the Movement.
“Music has a way of softening my heart when other things don’t,” she concludes. “It is a unique language that gets down deep…. I think that worshiping God through music is how I am able to express my love for him in a way that touches his heart, and at the same time transforms mine.”
“He’s got the whole world in his hands.” What an encouraging reality! Be inspired by it, be challenged by it, and experience it firsthand at Convention 2023 and General Assembly, June 22–25 in Tampa, Florida. Learn more and register at www.chogconvention.org.