Well, it's official: On March 1st I'll be starting my new gig as a Worship Ministry Intern at Hillcrest Church in Sioux Falls. I'm very excited and can't wait to get started. And, on an almost totally unrelated note, I'll also be reducing hours at my--eh hem--real job. Oh darn.
Now for the gooey part... Or, as the narrative voice in my head would say, "Little did he know..."
Up until a few months ago, I never thought I'd ever be in a paid position at a church. In fact, I'd always had a bit of a personal bias against it. And I really don't know why. I've never thought it wrong, or thought myself incapable (Ok, maybe a little), but I guess I just ruled it out very early on. The reason? Well, let's backtrack a little.
I started playing drums when I was 13. It was my first real musical venture--Marching band sucked (I played the sax, which I loved, but school band was basically a sport, not music), I had taken just enough piano lessons to "graduate" myself to drums, and it was time to do what I wanted. (Becuase every 13-yr-old knows what they want, right? Right.)
A year later, I thought I was pretty good. So I started a ska band with some classmates (naturally). A year later, that lead to another band called Empty Tomb--more of a "real" band. Over a couple years, we did some traveling, recorded two albums, all while making the all-too-typical transition from Greenday-punk to Thursday-screamo to Norma Jean-hardcore. And it was glorious.
Oh, I forgot to mention that during this time, from the very week I first picked up drumsticks, I had been playing in my church services. A little pre-mature? Perhaps. But everybody in the congregation--perhaps to their own dismay--told me how awesome I sounded after every service. So I continued, because... Everybody doesn't lie, right? Right. And even if they were (which I knew they weren't) it didn't matter, because church service aren't what I really cared about. The band--songwriting, touring, arguing, dreaming--was what really mattered to me.
And then the band ended. And I was left with church. Ewe. But to my credit, I tried to make the most of it. And I couldn't deny that it felt right, or at least that's what I was telling myself to justify not having a "real" band. So, without really telling anybody I focused on that for the next couple of years through the end of high school, and even started playing a little guitar and doing the dreaded "worship leader thing" every now and then. The joy-factor kinda came and went, but it kept me busy until something else came along.
Then in the spring of 2007 that something (seemed to have) came along. I made the cut as the drummer for a local singer/songwriter with a huge new album on the horizon, the promise of tons of touring, and the means to make it all happen. I had never been so encouraged in all my life--I was finally doing it. My big break had come. I'll save the details for later, but suffice it to say that after a year-and-a-half of mere foreplay (pardon the metaphor), it ended. And it was not pretty, both outwardly and inwardly.
So now The Story is at November of 2008. I'm 22, fresh off a tour with the aforementioned band, opening for a huge-name artist. It was FINALLY picking up, but I had no choice but to leave it all behind, and I didn't udnerstand why. I felt like I was back where I was at 17. But as usual, the key part of this story is "Little did he know...".
That's where the oppurtunity with the internship comes in. Little did I know that after all this, I'd end up doing the one thing I had written off years ago. Well, I guess "end up" is the wrong way to put it, because this obviously isn't the end of anything, but you get the point. God has an absolutely retarded way of conducting business. Or maybe I'm just spiritually blind... As I'm proofreading this, I'm realizing that I totally forgot to mention that in April of 2008 He sent me to Zambia to help lead worship at a conference there. And before that, the worship pastor at Hillcrest was mentoring me without me realizing (or perhaps, acknowledging) it. And before that, I had been recording music in my parents' basement that I later used for worship events. And before that, I remember the only thing keeping me going in life as a teenager was the foresight of my next gig, almost all of which were church worship events.
By the way, I apologize. This is WAY too long. So in conclusion... Ah, screw it. I'm sick of fabricating conclusions.
12.3.17 First Baptist Church in Madison, SD
3 days ago