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.
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!
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.
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.
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!