This week I finally began my residency at the Austin Stone Community Church as a worship resident! I'm so excited to be here, this whole week has involved a ton of training, orientation and hard work, but has also been fun getting to meet everyone, mainly the members of the worship ministry and pastors of the Austin Stone.
I'll be working closely each week with my supervisor Chris Collins who serves as the Director of Worship. I absolutely love Chris's heart to lead and pastor the people in the church and specifically within Austin Stone Worship. I've never met anyone like him who has the ability to be administrative, super creative and put people in the right places, while being extremely caring and pastoral at the same time. This dude is a machine! One of the worship leaders said it best when he said I "needed a USB port to Chris's brain." It's truly an honor to work with and sit under his leadership.
Chris's duties on a weekly basis include putting the various worship leaders, production teams and other people in place so things across all 5 campuses run smoothly. I'll be able to take ownership of many of the tasks Chris does weekly as well as lead out on production meetings and worship service planning. We also have the new Worship Album "This Glorious Grace" being released in mid-October as well as the Austin Stone Worship Conference November 10-12 so I'm excited to be a part of planning and facilitating details with that.
Not to mention, I'll still be leading worship from time to time for our weekly worship huddles, resident chapel and various weekend dates at churches around Austin, College Station, Houston and DFW. This season is definitely different from what I'm used to as far as leading in worship every single week, but for this moment in time I'm enjoying the growth that's happened in me as a pastor and leader offstage.
On Tuesday, during our Resident Orientation, we heard from the Downtown Campus Pastor Tyler David. His words were convicting as he shared and tried to point us to the goal of our residency.
"God wants to use this residency to remove whatever idols are in your life to show you Jesus is all you need. The highest honor you will ever receive is not as a pastor or leader but as a son or daughter of Jesus."
At the time his words were like a huge punch in the gut, cutting me to the core. My prayer all week has been for the Lord to break me of any idols and to remind me that no earthly fame, position, or platform is worth comparing to the glory of our Lord Jesus. While I know my growth here as a pastor and worship leader will be immense, I pray within this growth will be a deep hunger for more of Jesus... and to make His name known. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement for me and my family over the last couple of months in our transition to Austin and this residency. We couldn't have done this without you!