Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, for he said, "Till now the Lord has helped us." - 1 Samuel 7:12
About a year ago we announced to everyone that we would be moving to Austin to pursue a Worship Residency Position at the Austin Stone. At the time I had been in full time ministry for about 9 years and was honestly at a point where I needed the Lord to re-confirm that calling in my life again. I was anxious about the days and details ahead, but I knew without a doubt that God was calling me and my family to move. Little did I know just how amazing this new journey would be for our family.
Just as Samuel told the nation of Israel to be reminded of how the Lord has helped them, it's been so important for me to remind myself just how faithful the Lord has been over the past year.
For this blog post I wanted to share all the Lord has done over this past year and is continuing to do in the life of our family.
- I've been able to grow tremendously as a pastor. This development for me has been crucial to the calling the Lord has placed on my life in order to effectively serve in ministry both now and in the years to come.
- Within the residency at the Austin Stone I was given opportunities to lead out in ministry by playing huge roles in the development of weekly Sunday services as well as our Worship Leader Online program called "Foundations." In addition I was able to coordinate a large group of volunteers who served the 500+ worship leaders in attendance at the Austin Stone Worship Conference last November.
- I've been blessed to lead at several churches around Texas throughout the year. Leading at these churches has given me the opportunity to not only continue growing in leadership, but also to build relationships with pastors that I pray will last a lifetime.
- Jessica and I have both grown in our love for God and His Word by going through the weekly Theology class that the Austin Stone offers. This class has stretched us and shaped us, but has most importantly given us a bigger view of the amazing God we serve.
- In addition to being developed I've also had opportunities to develop others. I've kind of assumed the role of "dad" within the residency of Austin Stone Worship. I love the opportunities I've had to offer feedback and advice about not only worship leading, but ways to prepare for marriage, how to do your taxes (yes, seriously), how to budget and how to avoid "dad back problems." This aspect of my residency wasn't something I expected coming in, but I love that I get to help pastor these future leaders every day!
- And last but certainly not least God has truly given us a love for the city of Austin. And I'm not just talking about the beautiful weather, or the great food, or the great music... but a genuine love for the people in it. Over the last year God has given us a huge heart to pray that the Gospel would transform this city. Just like any city, Austin is a broken place, with broken people but our prayer is that He would do a work here that only He can do.
As we reflect on His goodness we're also looking forward to the second year of the residency. As we launch into another season of raising financial support I wanted to ask if you would be willing to pray and consider supporting our ministry for the next 12 months.
Thus far we have raised about 58% of our support goal needed for 2016-2017. Right now we have about $2,300 left to raise per month in order to reach our support goal. We are blessed to have a solid core of people who are signed on to continue giving through this next year and we would love to have you join our team!
For more information about our ministry, including specific support needs, feel free to check out our Partner page. There's also a link below to take you directly to our support page where you can sign up to give monthly or even a one time gift.
With your help we would be able to continue the work the Lord has called us to at the Austin Stone and specifically in the city of Austin. We're so grateful to have you on this journey with us, both in support and prayer!
(Jarryd, Jessica, Liv & Landry)