What have you learned in your time serving at CPC?
I would say there are some micro learnings that have come along—more tactical in nature. I think I’ve become a better musician. I have learned a lot about what it means to practice the craft of musicianship. But I think more at a macro level, especially over the course of the last year, big learnings have been what it really means to lead worship: moving away from a performance-based mentality to more of a mission-based mentality, serving the congregation and helping them express what they are feeling in their relationship with God through worship. Being present with people as they worship has taken me deeper in my faith; I have received far more in serving our congregation than I feel like I give.
What are some surprising encounters or realizations you’ve had while serving on the contemporary worship team?
Well, I love to speak in stories. The first story, the most recent one is when you, Ben, gave me a book by the Blackaby brothers, titled Moving People on to God’s Agenda. I didn’t expect to learn and discuss leadership outside the walls of worship or church as a part of playing music. The book was an incredible catalyst for me in terms of how to bring my faith into my job, how to show up for the people I lead every day with God first, and to do it in a way that was really respectful of whatever background people have. Unexpected item number two has been the development of really meaningful relationships. About four years ago I had a fairly rough job transition. One of the ways we manage through transitions is leaning on God and our relationships. Outside of my family, I only had a few close friends that I could share what was going on. I feel very fortunate for the people that God put in my life at that time. Fast forward to today and now I look around at our weekly rehearsals, and it feels like a form of family. We pray together, we share tough things, we’re close to one another. I really feel like God has expanded the people around me for both of our sake—we need each other.
How has serving has impacted or changed you?
I would say it’s feeling the Holy Spirit moving powerfully on Sundays, especially on the days when I don’t serve. To be able to recognize the beauty of participating in worship and to feel the voices of our congregation lift up together to praise God—that has really changed me from a person who rarely sang to someone who looks forward to those moments when I get to sing. And when I am leading, it’s a gift to be able to see the congregation worship—I wish others could see how God is moving. I see it when a mom and a daughter hold each other and sing together or when someone feels safe enough to express joy, cry, or raise up their hands to receive Him. Those moments have really impacted me.
How would you encourage or challenge others in our congregation to serve?
When I first started serving on the worship team, I would not have called myself a musician by any standard. I was somebody who grabbed the bass from time to time, played it, but didn’t really know what to do with it. And God used it as an invitation. He was inviting me into a relationship with Him and realizing that it needed to start someplace, He used the bass.
God knows why and how He intends on using you. I think the only thing you have to bring is a willingness to listen and a willingness to adhere to what it is He may want from you. And I think any of us are capable of that. You know, we’re capable of prayer, listening to God’s word, and hearing that inkling that might be in the back of our heads say “you should do that”. And even something that may start off feeling like you’re doing it for yourself, you come to realize that as you are following God’s direction for you more and more, it really starts to transition into wanting to do it more for Him.
All of us probably feel it at some point, as we’re sitting in church, the thought crosses our mind, “I should maybe give some time as a greeter, maybe I should give some time as an usher. Or maybe I should give some time helping out with kids, or give, or go on a mission trip.”
I really think you don’t need to have anything more than just a willingness to listen. And then trust that wherever that’s bringing you is where you’re supposed to be. We’re all capable of following God’s direction.
We’re all very capable of getting out maps and finding our way to a destination, but we so much prefer punching it into a GPS and being told where to go. We all prefer a guide. God, I think wants to work in our lives that way as it pertains to serving. I think He’s talking to us and saying, take a right turn here. And then once we do, He’s going to give us the next set of directions. So hopefully that encourages people to take a step forward and serve and be a part of our community and the vibrancy that is really showing right now.
How have you seen Jesus in the midst of your serving?
My journey to faith has been more recent. Over the course of the last four years my faith has kind of caught on like a rocket ship. I no longer need the validation that can come from play- ing music or being in front of the congregation. What I see is all the beauty of God working through our congregation and how He’s showing up every single week. And then I get to bring that to work, Monday through Friday to others, nurturing and caring for people around me…it’s an opportunity and an invitation from God to love people.
I feel like what we’re doing in the walls of our church, moving more towards the Gospel and moving more towards the Word of God, removes a lot of unnecessary distractions and refines everything back to the focus on what God has done for us, what Jesus did for us, and what the Holy Spirit can do for us.
Interview by Ben Lodahl,
CPC’s Director of Contemporary Worship