confessions of a worship leader . . . changing

I wrote this email to my wife from backstage at a CIY spring break conference. Blogs can be so boring and fake. There was realness to this that compelled me to post it.

I've been processing some things lately. I know we've talked about it here and there. Its starting to take shape for me this week. I’ve stood on this little piece of ground in such a defensive manner over the past two years. As I look back now I see myself as a child throwing a tantrum. I know you have even heard me say, "I am a worship leader", in such a threatening tone. It should be translated as, "I'll take my ball and go home!". What has been so funny looking back at countless conversations with Jayson (Jayson French is the Conference Department Director at CIY) about this is that he's told me in a confused expression, “I'm not trying to get you out of worship leading". I see now that I was responding out of fear of loosing an identity other than Christ. I was saying that to the Spirit who was calling me to just trust.

Part of this discussion stems from me feeling a bit pulled to speak on the Believe Conference. It looks like I am going to speak at Believe next year a few times (2 tops) and have Jordan Howerton (currently interning with Foundation Red right now) lead worship at those two events. I’m kinda looking to that to be a launch for the next tour where I would do a larger portion of the speaking. It’s not something I want to give up, but I think if I offer it to God when he gives it back it will be fresh and deep.

Honestly, I'm scared. Change is scary. Most people think that keeping the status quo is safer. Risk is actually safer than just doing only what I do now until the wheels fall off. I need to do this over the next two years. It will be a slow growth process.

It might be more of a sabbatical than anything. I am more comfortable calling it that than saying I am not going to be a worship leader anymore. Marko’s podcast actually got me thinking about the freedom in saying “no” and giving your well a chance to deepen naturally through the process of Sabbath. I will always be a worship leader because I am a worshipper in community of Believers. For 6 years it has been a snowball of preparing for tours while on tours. My margins for creativity have been caving in slowly.

Perhaps that alone is the telling part in this whole journey. In the realization of my true context (insert a theology of living in the community of other believers as being synonymous with things we say like "being a Christian", or "knowing Jesus"). I am free to be the worship leader God has always been calling me to be.

This is a special week for me because it's a culmination of a few things: I get to sit back stage and just enjoy the singing that is being led so skillfully by Steve Fee!
The long time producer of my band, Jon Hill, is moving on to the next chapter in his ministry away from Foundation Red. I get to watch him from the front row this week take that leap.
Also an old FR bass player's parents are here and I've been encouraged by their testimony surrounding Tony's experience in FR.
God uses funny things to speak to us at times.

5 years ago I would have been anxiously gleaning every nuance I could snag for my own personal repertoire as a worship leader. That in itself is fine, but my foundation would not have the peace I feel now in my identity. There is a common denominator within the artistic community of insecurity. God desires to restore all things that the fall of man broke. He heals our brokenness. As artists, our art starts to reflect this continual renewing process. For me right now it an exploring process.

You of all people know that I never sought out a ministry to jr high students. I was called to this and God has shown up to give an added blessing of joy in my calling. God slowly shows himself to us. I was not ready to make room artistically to explore other things the Spirit was calling me to. God works to align our identity with him and not with what we do.

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