5.4.17 Update

Hello!

So I’ve decided to start doing regular updates on what is going on here in Wichita Falls!

Josh Francis
(West Virginia/Green Bay Packers/Singer-Songwriter)

The past two months, we had a friend named Josh Francis live with us. Josh is an incredible person, as well as a professional football player. We met last year when I was working at DesignWorks Group, and he was playing for the Wichita Falls Nighthawks. Josh and I quickly hit if off, having common interests in music and a common bond in Jesus. In the short month that we knew each other, a lot of crazy things happened! (Including him getting engaged and married all in four days!) Addison and I quickly thought of Josh as our brother, but then he was called to the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL!

So this year, he had left Calgary, and came back to Wichita Falls for another short stint with the Nighthawks. During that time he taught me so much, and we spent a lot of good quality time together. However, he just went home again to spend some time with his wife and daughter before his next venture! Josh is a phenomenal person and we’re going to miss him!

The Atlanta, Georgia Medical Adventure

As some of you may know, Addison has had chronic back, neck and shoulder pain for the past few years of her life. The pain first started during her senior year of college at Texas A&M University, and has continued until now. After years of doctors appointments, physical therapy sessions, MRIs, and other tests and experiments, no one has been able to figure what is causing this pain or how to stop it.

A couple weeks ago we traveled to the Atlanta to spend a week with Jerome Lubbe at Thrive Neuro Health. Jerome is an incredible smart doctor and has a degree in Chiropractic specializing in neurology. As we spent the week and 15 appointments with Jerome, he was able to find the source of the pain, and give us a plan as to stop it completely! We have already seen much success and growth and are excited to see the pain completely go away in the future! Praise the Lord!!

Another huge praise report – as you can imagine, a week with a neurologist is no cheap expense. And as me being a support raising worship pastor/musician, and Addison being the Executive Director at a non-profit, we don’t have traditional health insurance. We use a Christian health-sharing  service called Samaritan Ministries. Long story short, we weren’t sure if this week’s worth of appointments would be covered, and it is going to be COMPLETELY covered. Praise the Lord!

Onelife Community Church

I recently had my one year anniversary as the worship pastor at Onelife! It has been a really great year, full of learning. Our team has grown in number, skill and devotion to the Lord & His Church! We are monthly gathering as a team at an event we call Onelife Worship Collective, where we share a meal, sing and pray together. It is a really sweet time getting to know each other more and fellowship with the people we serve alongside.

Addison and I are also leading a Missional Family together at Onelife. We love gathering with this group of people every week, and sharing life together. Walking through scripture together, praying, worshipping, and following the Lord to reach our city for the Gospel – together as a family. The past couple months we’ve been putting on monthly shows to reach artists & songwriters in our city, as well as creating a space to hangout with other people in our city and create relationships! It has been an incredible thing that the Lord has absolutely blessed. It has been really amazing to watch everybody use their individual gifts to help put these shows on, and serve the Lord in their own unique way. I believe that’s what the Lord wants us to do. Not necessarily just do the same missions that everybody else does, but to use the unique gifts and talents that He has given us to serve and build His Kingdom, and reach those around us for the Gospel.

Onelife is also in the process of trying to find a building we can call our own. For the last three years or so, we’ve been meeting at The Wichita Theatre, and officing in a building connected to it. This has been really great, however, with a growing church, comes a growing children’s area. That being said, we are starting to outgrow our space. We took a leap and left our office space trusting that the Lord is going to provide us a new space and the means to purchase this space! We are hopefully waiting on the Lord and pursuing what He has for us. Please join us in praying that we would be intently looking and listening for where the Lord is moving us! Pray that we would be faithful to follow His lead. If you want to help give to make this possible, visit onelifecc.org/give!

This season at Onelife has been a growing one. People growing individually, ministries within the church growing, learning, changing and becoming more organized, as well as the church growing and changing. One thing that we have been doing is just setting up the baptistry on random weeks, even if we don’t have anyone scheduled to get baptized. Our lead pastor, Ronnie, felt like the Lord was calling us to do this out of faith and expectation that He would indeed move and change people’s hearts at our Sunday morning gatherings. And He has! We have had 23 people come to faith in Jesus and be baptized this year! Praise the Lord! You can see videos of theses baptisms on our Facebook page!

Financial Support

Lastly, I wanted to thank all of you who have supported Addison and I both prayerfully and financially. We are still hoping to raise about $1,000 more per month. However, even though we have been seemingly making less than we ever have, the Lord keeps on providing for us over and over and over and over. He makes a way for us time and time again, and we are so grateful to Him. However, as Onelife continues to grow and change, I will hopefully be able to move into a paid staff position!

Addison and I are confident that this is where the Lord wants us in this season, and we have loved seeing how He moves, and are hopeful that He will continue to do so!

Prayer Requests

  • Continued growth in our marriage
  • Wisdom in leading at our church and in our Missional Family
  • Favor in our relationships in the city to see the Gospel spread
  • Financial provision
  • Complete healing in Addison’s back

 

Let me know how Addison and I can be praying for you!

A New Season

The past year has been an incredible one. And now we feel the Lord calling us to more. We are asking people to partner with us and join our journey!

We need to raise $2,000/month in order to be able to live and for me to take on the full time roll of Worship Pastor at Onelife Community Church!

We are so excited for this journey, and know that the Lord is going to be faithful to provide!

Monthly & One Time Gifts click here —-> Pushpay

And then select “WF Mission Leadership” in the dropbox.

Learn more about Onelife Community Church

Here’s a little bit of an update on our story!

Conference, and the End of a Season –

Last month, we had our second Austin Stone Worship Conference. It was an unbelievable gathering of pastors and worship leaders from all over the country.

I honestly don’t know where to begin when thinking about conference. It was so good. The Lord is so good. He is so gracious to use people like us to serve and equip His Church. The Lord used His servants to point back to Himself – and that was our only goal.

All of the main session audio and video is available here! Check it out if you have time. It is some of the most convicting and encouraging content I’ve heard. Might I recommend Jesse Reeves’ session.

End of a Season

For the last year I have been a Worship Resident at The Austin Stone Community Church. I don’t think that I could fairly put into words what this time has meant to my life. The way this city, this church, and this team has impacted me is something I will never forget. This season has been the most influential on my life, by far.

For those that don’t know – I felt the Lord calling me back to Wichita Falls back in February. It was not my plan to leave Austin or Austin Stone Worship this soon, but the Lord made it clear that it was His plan. So since then, I’ve been preparing for this move and this life change. I know that the Lord has ordained all of the places I will live (Acts 17), that He has a plan for my life (Jeremiah 29), that He will make all things work together for my good and His glory (Romans 8), and that He will provide all of my needs according to His will (Philippians 4).

Leaving Austin and my family at Austin Stone Worship will no doubt be the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. However, I also trust the Lord more than I ever have, and trust His call on my life to do ministry in Wichita Falls, with my soon-to-be wife.

With that being said, for those of you who have been supporting me – this is the last month! I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to do this work over the past year. Your generous giving has allowed me to work alongside the Lord and this team to serve and equip the local church here in Austin, and the Church around the world. This season has shaped me and molded me into a better worship leader, pastor, shepherd, friend, musician, friend, brother, fiancé, and a better man. I type this with tears in my eyes reflecting on the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in my life.

I will finish the month out here at The Austin Stone, and then I will be moving back to Wichita Falls and getting married on January 1st!

Thank you SO much for giving to me.

Thank you so much for praying for me.

Thank you so much for loving me.

As always, if there’s anything I can do for you, be praying for, or if you just want to talk and catch up or ask me questions, feel free to call/text/email me at anytime.

940-636-6105

darionrroberts@gmail.com

 

10.29.15

So it’s been a month since my last post, and a lot has happened.

As some of you may know, we released a new record on October 16! This Glorious Grace was a huge project that involved a community of songwriters, musicians, filmmakers, storytellers, and worshippers from The Austin Stone Community Church who all came together in May of 2015 to record a live album.

We had been meeting for a while once a month as a Worship Collective. Worship Collective is anyone and everyone who helps facilitate worship at any of our five campuses. Whether that be leading at a main campus, or running sound in the kids ministry, worship collective is for that person. We wanted to take time to serve the people that serve our flock tirelessly and with total faithfulness each week. This monthly gathering has been one of the sweetest times we have, and we wanted to capture that for this new record.

Our worship pastor, Aaron Ivey, came to us residents with a vision. A vision of an incredible chandelier, with the idea that on their own, the individual bulbs really aren’t that impressive.  Sure, they put off a little light, but they are easily covered, easily put out. However, if there is an army of lights, that’s something you can’t hide. Something you can’t cover up. Something that will absolutely illuminate darkness. So Aaron wanted us to build a chandelier that would hang over the band as they record the album, representing the team that God has assembled here. We had no idea how we would do it, but we knew that it would be done. Here are some photos from the process of building.

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All of that to be said, the new record has been a major blessing to our church, and seems to be blessing and equipping the Church as a whole as well. One of the privileges I have as being the Worship Resources Resident, is that I have access to and help run all of the social media platforms for Austin Stone Worship. I say this is a privilege because I see most or all of the response we receive about the new album. It has been absolutely beautiful to see how these songs have blessed the body of Christ.

If you’re interested in watching these films or listening to the album, you can do so here!

www.thisgloriousgrace.com

or on iTunes HERE.

The week after we released the album, our supervisors were gracious to allow all of the residents go on a two-and-a-half day retreat. We were blessed by a member of our church that let us stay at his families’ ranch house. The time we spent together was incredible! We started each day having breakfast together, and then praying, worshipping, and sharing stories of God’s faithfulness with each other. It was a time that definitely united us as a team and as brothers and sisters.

Each afternoon we spent time broken up into smaller groups to write songs. We believe that as artists/songwriters/worship leaders, we are to be faithful with the gifts that God has given us. That being said, we set apart specific time during the day to practice that rhythm, to exercise that muscle. By the end of the two-and-a-half days, there were some phenomenal songs written by my incredibly talented brothers and sister. It was an extremely encouraging and restful time of reminding each other the truths of the Gospel.

This is a photo of my friend Taylor Delange during one of our songwriting sessions out in the wild. IMG_5579

In the last month the Lord has also blessed me with the opportunity to travel and lead worship for outside events. In the past month I’ve lead at Grace Bible Church in College Station, Forest Glen Retreat Center outside of Huntsville, and Camp Buckner in the beautiful hill country. It is always a blessing to be able to lead others in worship and connect with other brothers and sisters.

Forest Glen Retreat Center IMG_5562

Worship with ACF Students at Camp BucknerFullSizeRender

As I’m nearing the end of my residency here at The Austin Stone, things are getting more real. If I’m honest, I’m pretty terrified about transitioning out of the place that I call my home, from the people I call family. The Lord has blesses me with more than I could have ever hoped or imagined with this Austin Stone Worship community. Sharing life with these people has been without a doubt the most beautiful seasons of my life.

A friend shared this with me there other day. You may read it and think, “well duh, you should have known/thought about that already.” But for some reason, I really hadn’t. I feel like when I think about being sent out to a place for the sake of the Gospel, I try to find examples of people in Scripture to relate to. A Paul, a John the Baptist, a Phillip. But so often I overlook the person of Jesus. Jesus left the most comfortable situation, with the perfect community in God the Father, to come to the world for people that desperately needed Him. That needed a way to the Father. That’s my calling. That is our calling. It’s selfish of us to think we are meant to stay in comfort. God is calling us out.

With that being said, please continue to pray for my transition as it is QUICKLY approaching! Please pray for Addison and her job and her family.

I love you guys!

9.25.2015

The past week has been an extremely busy one.

If you didn’t know, we released the first single “Center My Life” from our upcoming record “This Glorious Grace”!

This has taken lots of time and work, but we are so stoked to have finally started the release process! Here is the live video for the first single, “Center My Life”!

Along with the live videos, we have made tons of other resources to come out with the songs! Each song has a video the explains the story behind the song featuring the writers of the song. These videos are some of my favorite parts of this whole album project. The videos show the heart behind the songs, the theology, and what was happening in these songs and how they came to life. Here is the story behind the song “Center My Life” featuring two of my good friends, Brett Land & Aaron Ivey.

We also have resources for worship pastors and band members for each song as well! This has been my primary focus for the past month or two. For each song on “This Glorious Grace”, we filmed and produced a video of how to play the parts for each instrument used in the song. For example, on “Center My Life”, we made videos on how to play the drums, bass, bass synth, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and keys parts! So needless to say, this has been a huge project for me. Five or six instruments per song, multiplied by eleven songs is between 55 and 66 tutorial videos!

Though this seems like a tedious task, it is one that we know is fruitful. And I know this from personal experience. Four or five years ago, I was using the tutorial videos made by Austin Stone Worship to learn how to play the songs so that I could lead them for my local church. It is an absolute honor to now be the guy making these videos to send out all around the world! Here is one from “Center My Life” featuring my good friend Dietrich Schmidt.

In the past week I have also had the opportunity to lead worship a couple different places. This past Sunday I lead worship for Grace Bible Church Southwood in College Station, Texas. It was a great Sunday being able to encourage the body of Christ, and remind each other the truths of the Gospel! I lead:

Love Shines – Austin Stone Worship

The Lord Our God – Passion

Forever – Kari Jobe

Nothing But the Blood – Hymn

You Are God and You Are Good – Austin Stone Worship

Then on Wednesday I had the privilege of leading for our Austin Stone Worship staff meeting that we call Worship Huddle. Each week we gather as a team and share breakfast, worship and pray together. It was an absolute blessing and honor to get to lead worship for my brothers and sisters on this team, who I look up to as leaders in my life. These men and women have poured into me and I loved getting to encourage and lead them towards Jesus.

Thursday night, we had our monthly Worship Collective. The Worship Collective is a monthly gathering for anyone that helps facilitate corporate worship at the five campuses of The Austin Stone. We have a vibrant and collaborative team of worship leaders, musicians, production teams, visual artists, songwriters and storytellers that are leading our church every single week in adult worship, kids worship, and students worship. And most of them are volunteer! The Worship Collective is the time where we get to serve and pour into our team.

This week we served our team a buffet from a local taco truck and had a word from our Worship Pastor Aaron Ivey. Then we all broke up into our individual campuses (North, South, West, Downtown AM, Downtown PM and St. John) and had a time of worship & prayer. It was a beautiful time and the Lord has absolutely blessed us with an incredible team. Here is a photo from right before all of the team got to dinner taken by my roommate and fellow Worship Resident, Kenny Klinglesmith.

Pre-Collective

I am super thankful that God has allowed me season in the Austin area, and specifically for my time at The Austin Stone Community Church. I’m able to be poured into, sit under incredible teaching, and given the opportunity to taken ownership of things, alongside a team, that are greater than any of us by ourselves.

The Lord does not need us to do His work. He is almighty and surely powerful enough to accomplish whatever He pleases on His own. (Ex: creating the Earth, holding all things together, etc.) But, He has chosen us to walk alongside him and do His work with Him. It is the greatest honor we could have. However, we must depend on His spirit to do the work through us. Without it, we have no chance.

I encourage you this week to seek Jesus more so than you have in the weeks past. To embrace the gifts that He has given you, and join in the work He has laid out for you!

1 Corinthians 12 tells us “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” He has given us every spiritual blessing necessary in Christ. We are to be a people empowered and lead by the Holy Spirit. God the Spirit brings all things promised by God the Father, through the purchase made by God the Son. The Spirit inspires the Word of God, enables us to understand, believe and follow His word, guarantees our salvation, and gives us gifts for ministry.

The Church needs your gifts! They are from The Lord.

9.17.15

I’ve recently realized that it is incredibly hard to try and put what I’m experiencing, learning and doing all in to this blog post. I wish all of you could sit under the incredible teaching, and be apart of the family that I am blessed to call home here in Austin.

With that being said, here is my attempt at summing up the last couple weeks.

Our new record, “This Glorious Grace”, is coming out in less than a month! That being said, we’re releasing singles starting next week up until the release of the whole record! Along with the actual songs (that have already been finished), we have resource videos for worship leaders and band members that show how to play the parts on every song. These videos have been my responsibility. There are eleven songs on the record, and five instruments in the band (drums, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys). Therefore, we had 55 videos to film and edit to go along with the album! (And actually a couple more added due to things like bass synth etc.) And that is just our side of it! The Story Team is releasing a beautiful live video for each song, as well as stories behind why each song was written featuring the writer of the song. So there is A LOT of content coming out with this record! And we are stoked. These videos have been my primary work-load for the last few weeks. But I’m near the end!Matt Graham

This is a photo of Matt Graham, who is the bass player for the Aaron Ivey band, as well as my roommate. This photo was taken while we were filming the bass resource videos.

Dietrich

This is a photo of my desktop while I was working on the piano resource videos! The guy in the photo is Dietrich Schmidt, who is the piano/keys player for the Aaron Ivey band, and also my roommate! Dietrich will also be a groomsman in my wedding!


At the beginning of this month, we had five new residents start with us in Austin Stone Worship. This has been a really fun and exciting time helping the new guys learn the basics of being on our team and seeing them start to take ownership and begin to make relationships. With the new set of residents has come some new responsibilities as well. Residents are now learning things in the production world as apart of the residency. This includes setting up and tearing down the stage, lights and audio at the high school where our downtown campus meets. As well as running production aspects of services when we aren’t playing or leading ourselves. IMG_5303

We transform this empty gym into a room that is filled with people worshiping Jesus through song, fellowship and the reading of His word. 

This is a short video I shot on my phone from the 7:00pm service at our downtown campus from 9/13/2015. It’s pretty awesome what God can do with people willing to serve and worship in a high school gym. IMG_5269

This past Sunday I got the opportunity to help produce the 6:00pm service at our St. John campus. This is a photo of my friend Taylor Delange and I having a little fun on the job before the service started.


For the past month, our church has gone through a series called The Art of Neighboring. The Austin Stone normally isn’t a church that has sermons based on topics or themes for a random series. We are a church that teaches directly from the Word of God. So most of the time, if you visit a campus of The Austin Stone, you will find that we are working through a book of the bible. However, this past month we have partnered with churches from all over to study what God’s Word says about loving your neighbor. It has been an absolutely incredible series, and has opened my eyes to the people around me. It has helped me to realize that God has placed us exactly where we are so that we can participate in His story and watch Him move in absolute power. And that it is impossible for us to say that we have a love for God, but not show love for others around us. That compassion is not just a feeling but it is doing – and fulfilling a need. It is a feeling, a brokenheartedness, that is backed up with actions. True compassion for others always requires sacrifice.

God has proven Himself faithful through what He has been teaching me and my roommates through this series. In our neighborhood, we have been praying that God would let us meet the people that live around us, and invite them into our home or into our backyard. That we would have opportunities to hang out with them and to love on them, and ultimately share the love of Jesus with them.

So last week, we had been praying that God would give us the opportunity to invite two of our neighbors that we had met over to have dinner with us. We were having a group of people over, and through it would be a great opportunity to have our neighbors over as well. The days leading up to the dinner, we never once saw our neighbors. We were constantly on the lookout for any sign of them, and got absolutely nothing. But then, as we were cooking dinner, one of the girls that lives next door comes and knocks on our door! It was as if God was telling us, “I’m in control, we’ll do this in my own time.” It was beautiful. She didn’t end up coming to dinner, but we were able to sit out on the front porch and talk with her for about 20 minutes. Then a few nights later, her and her sister came back over and knocked again! This time we were able to sit outside and have nearly an hour long conversation with them! Our relationship with them is definitely growing, and now feels way more like a friendship than an awkward neighborly acquaintance. We are praying that God would continue to move and work through us and that we would see salvation for them!

We have also been able to have really great conversations with two people who work at a local sandwich shop a couple minutes from our house. It is just really apparent that the people of our city are desperate for something more, they just don’t yet know what that is. Pray for us that we would be faithful to share Jesus with them!

Here is the last sermon in our Art of Neighboring series from our head pastor Matt Carter. 


Prayer Points

  • Pray for our new record “This Glorious Grace” and that God would use it far more abundantly than we could ever hope or imagine to take the Gospel to new places and to encourage believers to love and follow Jesus more.
  • Pray for our neighborhood and community that we would be able to see Jesus save many more for His glory!
  • Pray for Addison and I as I get closer to my transition back to Wichita Falls. Addison recently got a new job and is settling in. She will soon move into the apartment that we will eventually be in together.
  • Pray that God would help me to remember that His plan and will is perfect and that I can trust Him. That He has ordained where I’m going to live. Leaving my friends, family and church here in Austin is definitely not going to be an easy thing, but I know that Jesus is better.
  • Pray for our Austin Stone Worship Conference that is coming up November 10-12! Pray that God would use us to help equip and train worship pastors and other church leaders so that they could shepherd and pastor their local churches well!

 

 

 

Back At It

Like I mentioned in my last post, we are hitting the ground running. The new semester is here, and the work load definitely shows that.

This week I have been editing drum videos for the resources that will go along with our new record that will soon be released! (The record is called This Glorious Grace and will be released Oct. 13th!) With each record that we release at The Austin Stone, we also provide resource videos to help worship leaders and musicians around the world learn to play and lead the songs for their local church. (You can see examples of this here.) We do everything from live videos of the song being lead, videos of the writer of the song explaining the story behind the heart of the song and what scripture it is based from, and also videos on how to play that song on drums, guitar, bass, piano etc. These resources helped me as a worship leader and guitar player when I was first starting out, and so it’s humbling to be able to be the guy that now sends those out to help equip others.

We also had something this week called Open Worship Huddle. Once a month we invite worship leaders from the area to join us for a morning of hanging out, worship, prayer and teaching. It is an extremely encouraging time to gather as people doing the same thing, fighting the same fight, and encourage each other with the Gospel.

Open Huddle

The Pastor of Worship at The Austin Stone, Aaron Ivey, spoke this week on communicating vision and leading a team. It was an extremely encouraging time to be reminded that we ourselves are not responsible for vision, that God provides that, and that we are just responsible to communicate that to the people He has given us to lead. And that character is a crucial part of being a person with a platform, and always outweighs competency. That we must love Jesus above everything else and the Holy Spirit of God will give the power to do the things that He wants to do in your tribe.

Thursday night we had our first Worship Collective of the fall. The Worship Collective is a monthly gathering for anyone that helps facilitate corporate worship at the five campuses of The Austin Stone. We have a vibrant and collaborative team of worship leaders, musicians, production teams, visual artists, songwriters and storytellers that are leading our church every single week in adult worship, kids worship, and students worship. And most of them are volunteer! The Worship Collective is the time where we get to serve and pour into our team. We eat amazing food, then worship through singing, praying, and receiving communion together. We do this because we think it is necessary to have a culture of togetherness in our team, and that includes the volunteers who serve tirelessly. So we take this time to serve them.

Like always, you can keep up with what we are doing at Austin Stone Worship on our website or through our social media.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram


This last weekend, I got to drive home to Wichita Falls (for about 36 hours) and spend some time with Addison and our families for her birthday! We also found out that Addison received the position of Executive Director at The Arc of Wichita County! This is a huge blessing from God, and we are totally blown away. Also, my brother took a couple of engagement photos for us. IMG_2520IMG_2540IMG_2536IMG_2523IMG_2539


Prayer

Please pray for me in these areas:

  • I’ve been reading a lot in the book of Acts, and trying to decipher what it is we are actually called to do and to be as the church. Pray that God would speak to me through His Spirit.
  • I’ve also been reading a book called “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller and have been convicted about my lack of prayer, and how much I actually live in self-will instead of in prayer, allowing God to mold me into the image of His son.
  • Continue to pray for my transition to Wichita Falls in a few months, and that I would find a job!