I guess it's time to give the update about my attempts of finding work. When I moved down here, I knew that is what I needed to do, despite having no clear direction about what I would do for work when I got here. I knew that I finding work that I would really enjoy to do (such as being a worship pastor) would be hard to come by. Honestly, there just aren't many churches that fit my style of worship. Most churches still prefer the Billboard Top 100 from 1770, and even some more have updated to the 1980's now. My preference, as a musician, worshiper, and worship leader, is cutting-edge and modern. I wouldn't use Shakespearean English in my conversation just because it is "more elegant" or "more poetic." I would use the language that allows me to fully express myself to someone else. That is what most conveys my heart. The same exists in worship. I want to worship in a way that fully allows me to express my heart for God. For me, that is usually not found in centuries old language and diction that I sometimes have no clue what is being said (and is typically in the third person, not even addressed from us to God).
I'm way off topic here. I don't mean to get into any of that. I just mean to say that although I find appreciation for the centuries of songs that have allowed people to sing praises about God, I need something that expresses my own praises to God. Now back to my employment...
Knowing that I possibly wouldn't find work in a church around here, I started applying all sorts of places. I applied for tons of bank teller positions, coffee shops, and more. I was getting rejection after rejection. Apparently a college education means less than I thought. I was getting rather discouraged and worried that my savings would soon be gone.
Finally, in the first couple days of the new year, I received a call from Austin Porter, who is the student pastor at Hope Creek Church in Seneca, SC. We graduated together from SWU. He called to let me know that Thad Wood, the worship pastor at HCC, has announced that he will be leaving after being there for 5 years. (Thad graduated from SWU in 2005.) Austin had heard that I was moving back down to the area, and he and Thad put in my name as a candidate to replace Thad. Austin was calling to set up a lunch with him and the lead pastor, Travis Holmes. So, after meeting with them for lunch and at the office a couple times, I went to check out their Sunday morning service. They are completely portable and meet in Seneca High School's auditorium. They have to arrive at 7 am to unload and set up everything, including the sound system, children's areas, etc. So I went to see that whole process as well as the service. After seeing that whole process, the meetings with the staff, a couple lunches with Austin, and lots of prayer and thought, I have felt good about this move and think this is the next step in following God's path for me.
This coming Sunday, I will be leading worship alongside with Thad to give the church leadership a chance to hear me lead worship. As long as all are still peaceful and affirmed in the decision, I will be on staff as a full-time worship pastor soon after that.
Please pray for me as I prepare and lead this Sunday. Pray that God would be there and be glorified through the worship. Pray that each person involved in the decision will be guided by the Spirit to make the right decision. Pray that we will continue to seek God in each step. Pray for the transition for the church and for me as well. This will be my first "real job" as a worship pastor on staff. I'm totally excited but horribly overwhelmed with the thought of it.
In other news, I am going down to Alabama the weekend of Jan. 25-27 to do a worship workshop with a church outside Birmingham. Ashley Joiner (with whom I graduated from SWU) is in charge of worship there. Also, on February 23, I will be leading worship for a regional event called "Pure Focus." It's an all-day youth event promoting sexual purity. My housemate, Jon Brady, is the brains behind the whole thing. So far, youth groups from all over upstate SC and some from NC will be coming. It should be sweet!
That's life. Please pray for me as I look towards the future and what God has for me.