When I was in the fourth grade, I became aware of the fact that there was a void in my life that only God could fill. My pastor led me to Christ in his office. I made Jesus the Lord of my life. During my junior high school years, I understood God had a specific purpose for me, but I did not know what that was yet.
While I was figuring it out, I joined the junior high school choir at our church. Our choir leader made youth choir a place we all wanted to be. Not only was I in choir, but I was also in the brass ensemble that played almost every Sunday. I was also a part of the youth hand bell choir, youth vocal ensemble, and the church orchestra. These activities were as important to me as my school activities and ultimately led me in the direction that God had in mind for my life.
During a choir tour, I surrendered to vocational church music ministry. My choir leader encouraged me in that decision and became a life-long mentor to me. I shared what God had done in my heart with my home church and received much support from my church family. My school friends, however, didn’t understand the vocation I had chosen or my allowing God to have control of my life.
As I grew and matured, I began to hone my musical and leadership skills by going on more choir tours, helping with the children’s choirs, helping lead tenor sectionals, leading worship on youth Sunday, directing our youth choir at times, and serving in various other ways. I attended college at Oklahoma Baptist University. While a student, I began serving part-time in local churches, where the music style was very traditional. After obtaining my Master’s Degree in Church Music, I began to serve as full-time music minister.
All of the experiences I had while in school prepared me for the positions I have held since graduating. They taught me to remain open-minded, flexible, and teachable. I am currently the minister of worship in my church. I work with all ages, children through senior adults, and my responsibilities stretch me daily. The music style is much more contemporary than anywhere else I have served, and I employ a lot of drama into our worship services, something I’ve not done much of before. Although it is sometimes difficult for me to do myself, I am encouraging our members to think outside the box in relation to corporate worship. Through challenges old and new, I have tried to remember the advice of my mentor and to “love the people” wherever I have served. The ability to do so has served my ministry well. I’ve discovered if I love the Father, it is easier to love the “flock”. I have also learned that education doesn’t end when a person finishes school, but some of the most valuable training for vocational ministry happens in the field.