For over a decade, Koiné has traveled North America leading worship with modern arrangements of traditional hymns and Biblically inspired multimedia. During that time, we've talked to hundreds of pastors and worship leaders about their frustrations and concerns when it comes to worship planning. Koiné Worship Media was created to try to eliminate some of those frustrations, specifically the high cost of worship materials and access to high-quality worship materials.
Worship planning is time consuming. Pairing the perfect song with the perfect background, copying and pasting lyrics and formatting text can be daunting, even for a seasoned professional. And who hasn’t experienced the embarrassment of spelling errors or firing the wrong slide during a worship service? Plus, the high cost of quality worship materials can be prohibitive for churches and schools.
But what if you could eliminate those problems and focus your time on other areas of your ministry? What if someone else were to format your slides, select quality music, or compile presentations into videos where you would only have to press “play”?
As a partner, you’ll have access to presentation slides with lyrics or notation, motion backgrounds, still images, sheet music, lead sheets, guitar chord charts, audio files, accompaniment tracks, lyric videos, and sing-along style videos with musical notation. You can drag and drop finished videos with lyrics or notation into your worship presentations, or use the individual elements provided to custom build your service. You are in control!
Much of the music we’ve arranged and recorded are classic Christian Hymns, some of which were written hundreds of years ago and are now in the public domain. The artwork and videos are created by us, and are released under the creative commons agreement. This allows us to offer much of this material at no cost to you!
For over a decade, Koiné has traveled the world pairing their modern arrangements of beloved Christian hymns presented alongside stunning, Biblically inspired, multimedia presentations. We’ve talked with hundreds of people about what materials they want and need for their congregations, schools, pastors, and worship leaders to succeed in providing an excellent worship experience every week, and feel it’s our calling to serve the Church by doing our best to provide tools to do that.
Much of the music Koiné has arranged and recorded are classic Christian Hymns, many of which were written hundreds of years ago and are now available in the public domain. The artwork and videos are created by us, which we have chosen to release for FREE under the creative commons agreement. We are a not-for-profit ministry who wishes to inspire and serve the Church of Christ. For those who find value in our worship materials, we ask them to support our ministry through giving.
Brian’s sisters will tell you that he never stopped singing when he was a child...never. In his room, in the shower, in the car, feeding the cows, driving the tractor...always singing...and usually at the top of his lungs! How terribly annoying that must have been, but how amazing is our God that he took that terribly annoying trait and used it for the good of his church. Brian says, “Music is a gift from God, and to create music for the Lord for a living is a privilege and an honor.”
Brian married his wife, Stacey, in June of 2006, and they have two boys, Oliver and Tyson. They now live in Jackson, WI, just north of Milwaukee.
Brian was a Staff Minister at St. Marcus in Milwaukee until June of 2009, when Koine became a full-time ministry of its own. Brian graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee back in 2000, and also received certification for Staff Ministry from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN in 2003.
Benjamin Carl Paul Lawrenz (Benj) was born 7.7.1975 to John and Phoebe Lawrenz. He began playing music already at a young age encouraged by his mother who had trained to be a concert pianist. He picked up the alto saxophone during his grade school years in Saginaw MI, which morphed into a first chair (and only chair) position for tenor sax in the Michigan Lutheran Seminary Pep Band. It was around this time that he discovered the guitar.
While his father was a mission pastor in Gainesville, FL an optimistic member gave Pastor Lawrenz a guitar in hopes that he would learn it. Optimism didn’t translate into music however. The guitar was unstrung, packed away, transported, and laid to rest in a back closet in the Lawrenz house until young Benj found it. After scouring a few books, and tuning it to the piano Benj fell in love and has not put the instrument down since.
In high school he performed a few events with fellow classmates in a group called Indian Circle. It wasn’t until College that Benj teamed up with more ambitous musicians Phil Retberg, Andy Schwartz, Art Faught, Jason Ewert, and Peter Reese to form Good Mustard. Good Mustard began as cover band and slowly morphed into something more serious as members drifted away and Lawrenz began writing his own material. After acquiring drummer Robert Buss, the power trio of Bob Buss, Peter Reese, and Benj Lawrenz was set. They primarily played in Milwaukee with a few tours to the US Northwest while living out of their van. Interspersed in this time was a one-year stint at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.
Settling down in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, Benj, Bob and Pete became 3 of the founding 5 members of Koiné. Together with Brian Davison and Seth Bauer Koiné grew from a weekend project to a more demanding endeavor. As the volume of requests increased, members unable to keep up drifted away and a new cast was assembled. First came drummer Seth Kock, then Bassist Matt Scott.
Today, Benj lives in the Brewers Hill Neighborhood in Milwaukee’s North side. He is married with 4 children. When not playing in Koiné, Benj can be seen restoring an 1860’s Victorian Duplex that he acquired while learning carpentry during the Good Mustard era.
A gifted pianist, Seth grew up in Aurora, CO and then in Hustisford, WI, where he honed his skills playing contemporary piano. He has recorded four solo albums, but has kept Koiné as his primary focus for years. Seth and his wife, Colleen, reside in Brookfield, WI with their three children; Emaline, Will, and Clara. Bauer is a graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, and is an avid golfer when not performing.
Seth considers it a privilege to be able to travel the country to serve our Church and its congregations by playing music. It’s made an even greater privilege that the music is the music of the church played through the lens of his many influences. These influences include the historical music of our Church as well as the great artists of the modern age.
His musical philosophy incorporates the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the art form to push the musical piece to it’s fullest potential. His main interests are developing and honing new skills and helping others do the same. When not performing he is an active participant in the running community and consumes sports, music, and books of all kinds.
Seth is a 2005 graduate of Martin Luther College and previously served as a teacher and athletic director at St Paul’s Lutheran School in East Troy, WI. He lives with his wife Jess and daughter Aubrie in Milwaukee, WI.
Growing up in Libertyville, IL, Matt Scott cut his musical teeth playing alt-rock in and around the Chicago music scene. While studying film/video at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, he met his wife Brooke. Through her support and encouragement, Matt became a member of St. Marcus which eventually led to his becoming a member of Koiné. In the summer of 2010, Matt left his television career behind as he became the final member of Koiné to join full time.
Matt and Brooke have two daughters Anona, born in 2010, and Juniper, born in 2012.
Jason Jaspersen’s family tree has branches in politics, concrete, finance, world missions, sake, business, bonsai, athletics, craftsmanship, and painting and has roots in Scandinavia, Germany, Japan, and middle America. Jason’s eclectic approach to creativity may be linked to this scattered vocational and ethnic heritage. Or maybe that has nothing to do with it...
Jason renews his creative energies by cycling between oil painting, traditional printmaking, Japanese sumi ink painting, comic book style ink drawings, various sculpture techniques, sand animation, and digital motion graphics. This means plaster dust gets in the printing press, sculptures get animated, sand gets in the paint, inky fingerprints on the mouse, and sometimes a computer is on the easel. Despite crossing into diverse materials and methods, his portfolio has a consistent strain towards Christian themes. He wrestles invisible qualities of the Christian faith into stimulating visuals for renewed contemplation. Jason’s paintings, sculptures, and prints can be found around the United States in private and public settings.
Jason taught art full-time, directed plays, ran student publications, and organized collaborative art projects for sacred concerts at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School 2001-2018. The same day Brian Davison called to ask Jason to join Koiné Worship Media as a full-time artist, Bethany Lutheran College offered him adjunct professorship in sculpture. God was nudging and Jason stepped into both ministries.
Jason video calls daily with the Milwaukee members of Koiné Worship Media from his art studio in New Ulm, MN. Occasionally his assistant, @tudythestudiocat, contributes to discussions. Jason and his wife Jennifer have 2 children, Maida and Teddy.
Jason has an AA from Bethany Lutheran College (1997), a BFA in Studio Art from Mankato State University (2000), and expects to complete a Master’s Degree in Experiential Education in 2019.
Brian received a B.A. in Educational Studies through Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2000, and from there went on to Martin Luther College to receive a Staff Ministry Certification in 2003. He was called to St. Marcus Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI as a Staff Minister of Youth, Family, and Music. It was here that Koiné Music Ministry was founded, and by 2008, evolved into a full-time independent ministry. Brian has 15 years of experience in music and worship planning, and has worked with over 500 churches and schools throughout his years with Koiné.
Brian firmly believes that the new direction of Koiné Music Ministries is a vital one for the future of the church.
“The internet and technology we have today allow us to help churches, schools, ministries, and even parents and their children, in a way that we have never been able to in the past. People all over the world have been asking for permission to use the resources we create on a regular basis, but many of them don’t have the funds to pay for them. Now we are able to make a global impact with our ministry, and we have removed the burdens of cost and inconvenience. I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use this ministry moving forward.”
Brian lives in Jackson, WI with his wife, Stacey, and their two sons, Oliver and Tyson.
Benj Lawrenz is one of the 5 founding members of Koine. He graduated from Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, MI (High School), attended Northwestern College for its final year in Watertown, WI, graduated from Martin Luther College (Pastoral Studies) in New Ulm, MN, served a 1 year appointment as dorm supervisor at St Croix Lutheran High School in St Paul MN and attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI.
Over the years he has filled any number of roles in Koiné but primarily he served as the group’s creative spark and principal songwriter. In the new iteration of Koiné, he will continue to create and write but will amplify his roles as studio producer, animator, media project manager, concert production manager and financial bookkeeper. The only thing Benj perceives as not increasing is his role as the road gear repairman.
Benj currently resides in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and 4 children.
The hearts and hands of David the king opens the hearts and voices to sing, “Hallelujah, my Savior and Lord! Here are the sounds of the earth I’ve explored.” So give me hands like the king who wrote poems and a heart that chases the Lord with melodies electric I call to you. Voice of the cymbal ring out God’s love!
Vibrating strings chord heaven above! Rhythms now pound, “God’s grace here abounds!” And when the Pharisee seeks to protest to creation’s sounds I will attest with hands like the king sweet music I bring to Jesus.
– Lyrics from Koiné song “The Hearts and Hands of David the King” by Benj Lawrenz
Wendy brings more than 20 years of nonprofit and private-sector experience to the Koiné board. As a communications and development consultant, Wendy has helped dozens of organizations effectively tell their stories so they can meet their business objectives.
Wendy specializes in strategic planning, integrated marketing, brand building, reputation management and fundraising. Wendy’s work has earned awards from several professional organizations, including a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America — the PR industry’s highest honor. During her career, Wendy has worked with clients such as Harley-Davidson, McDonald’s, BMO Harris Bank, Briggs & Stratton, FAST – Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics, The Drexel Fund and Wisconsin Lutheran High School.
In addition to joining the Koiné board of directors, Wendy serves on the executive committee for the Time of Grace board. Wendy is a founder of Crossroads Church in Chicago, Ill., and she previously served on boards for Wheat Ridge Ministries, Lighthouse Youth Center and the Christian Women’s Leadership Circle.
Wendy graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduate school, Wendy volunteered for one year as a teacher at a mission school in Plzen, Czech Republic. Wendy enjoys traveling and has visited more than 20 countries.
“Worshipping with Koiné is a meaningful and deeply moving experience, and Christians around the world will benefit from having access to their music and digital resources. I feel privileged to support the mission of these modern-day disciples by serving on their board.”
Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Johnson has served in multiple levels of education over the past 25 years and has dedicated his career to improving education across various communities. He served as a high school teacher and coach in Nebraska, an administrator of an elementary school in Florida, and he was the guidance director and registrar of Shoreland Lutheran High School in Somers, WI and prior to joining WLC, he was the administrator of Arizona Lutheran Academy – a Christian, private high school in Phoenix, AZ.
“I believe it is imperative that God’s Word be shared with as many people as possible because we live in a broken and hurting world. Music is an important part of sharing the gospel message.”
– Married to Debbie (45yrs. in Sept ’18)
Daughters Kelly and Jamie Beth (husband Jay Anderson)
2- Grand children- Amelia Grace- 6 and Benjamin James- 3
– Graduated UW- Milwaukee ’74, Criminal Justice
Worked 26 years in Industrial Sales and Management in Welding, metals, and machine tools for 16 of those years.
Executive Director and President of Time of Grace Ministry from 2002 – 2013.
Blessed to help launch ToG and worked under God’s guidance to see it grow from MKE to 105 nation-wide stations, 5 satellite networks, and the Internet launch. And, learned what Christian Outreach really is.
Our Savior commissioned us all to “Go and Tell!”
Why? Jesus asked us to, and with grateful hearts and love we go.
Where? Throughout the whole world!
How? In any way that will reach, touch, and Spiritually fulfill the lost hearts of all people with the knowledge, peace, and love of their Savior!
And… Koiné Music Ministries is one of the best and most effective means to begin, enhance, and fulfill all of those initiatives.
Luke did graduate work in philosophy and taught philosophy and history courses at Wisconsin Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran College before becoming a pastor in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He serves as pastor at St. Paul in Ottawa, ON, and leads the university ministry, Illumine, that serves students from University of Ottawa and Carleton University. He regularly speaks internationally on Christian apologetics, millennials and generation z, and pop culture.
Luke has always believed Koiné’s ministry directly addresses one of the greatest needs for Christians today: promoting music, the arts, and artistic excellence in the church and Christian worship. “Not only is Koiné excellent at this, but their character as leaders in the arts within their church body is second to none.”
Jake received a BA in pastoral studies from Martin Luther College. He spent wonderful 6 years as the Major Gifts Development Officer for Time of Grace Ministries watching that ministry grow and people be fed around the world by God’s Word through media. He was then blessed to oversee the highest level contributions for the midwest region for Compassion International, the largest church-based child sponsorship organization in the world. Compassion is empowering the local church in the most impoverished places on the planet to release children from spiritual, emotional, and physical poverty. After nearly a decade of helping passionate and generous Christians expand the Kingdom of God, it was time to stop traveling and be home in Slinger, WI with his wife, Greta, and his three young children. He now helps functional and integrative doctors find nutraceutical and nutritional solutions to the health problems the vast majority of the populace are currently fighting; a calling of which he is almost as passionate about as introducing others to our Jesus!
“I grew up in a traditional Lutheran church. One aspect of this upbringing that played a major role in my relationship with God was the depth of meaning found in the Lutheran Hymns. The recent digital explosion birthed so much variety of music and other media that the relevance of our traditional music has largely faded and no longer resonates with those who haven’t grown up in the Lutheran Church. Koiné Music Ministries has found a way to once again engage the upcoming generations with that deeply spiritual and meaningful music of days gone by. It’s on my heart to help them carry out their mission to empower as many churches and groups of Christians that will come around the resources they are providing to worship and see ever more hearts engaged in God’s word as they begin or continue their walk with our Jesus!”
Sky High Marketing has been in business since 1997 working to help companies’ brands with a specific focus on branded merchandise.
In Josh’s free time he enjoys sports and spending time with his wife and three children. Josh has been involved with Koiné for many years and has an extreme love for Koiné and its ministry.
“I believe in the mission of Koiné Ministries because of the non-traditional way that it brings the Word to people. Koiné Ministries uses music in a very unique and creative way that allows for outreach to be done by anyone very easily.”
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As a Koiné Worship Media partner, you’ll have access to hundreds of media files for use in worship planning, Christian education, and more!View Sample Media →
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