A lot has happened, but I’m back!

Thank you for your continued support everyone. I apologize for not posting for a while. Life has just taken so many turns that I’ve been away from blogging my passion. I hope to get back to it.

What’s been going in

It has been since November that I posted my last blog. Rather, that was a response to the post I made about pleasing God or pleasing people. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot to try to please God!

Promotion

I stepped into the role of Worship Leader of the church when our previous worship leader developed some health issues that caused her to be away from the church more than she would like. I stepped into this role right before Christmas. I had to put together a cantata–and some of that involved writing, arranging, or recording tracks for the big day. I love doing all that stuff, but with the time crunch, it was tough to do much else. Due to this increased responsibility, I had to step back from my insurance sales. God comes first. Unfortunately, that meant a little loss in income–but I had to step up for the church.

I fell in love with the Christmas season. I felt like worship was reaching a new level as I poured myself into the music of the church. I got an office here now, and that allows me to really dive into work a lot more fully. Since I now have a base of operations, I can really pluck out chords, make chord sheets for the band, plan out and organize hymns and praise songs for the traditional service, and work on some technology projects. That’s right! Technology projects. It all started when a board member decided we needed a church app.

The App

Our church is on the map in the mobile marketplaces now with our official app. In this app, we can announce events, share prayer requests, stream our online sermons, provide online giving, and even do push notifications. I devoted a lot of time into getting this up and running. It was fun! I enjoyed finding the appropriate platform and running with it. This has enabled the church to grow digitally in other areas: online bulletins, a mobile map for visitors, and weekly word (sharing of the main scripture used the past Sunday).

As you may have guessed, getting everything set up has also taken me away from blogging, but I have learned some more things to blog about! If your church is looking for an app, I’ll be glad to share with you what I found. Just email me at raph@newtoworship.com.

Lessons

The amount of music that I’m teaching has picked up dramatically. I’ve gotten more piano, guitar, and woodwind students than I thought I would. I love it all! But, as I work office hours, lead worship, work on the app, design things for our website, and all the other stuff, adding the lessons really makes for lots of full days. I enjoy seeing the lightbulbs going off and seeing the twinkle in they eyes of my students as concepts just click. I’m able to bring teach worship songs as well as secular songs to students of all ages. This has been good for the church and students alike–we have had students of the academy come in and do a complete church service! It was amazing seeing these kids worship. While only some of them were my students, there were students from all over this part of the state represented. We’re truly making Christian Music Education happen.

And the Big News

I was telling you all this to let you know of something that I’m really looking forward to. This office was the office of the Associate Pastor. When I came into the office, I kept telling everyone that they needed to change the name on the door so that people didn’t get the wrong impression. I was “just” the worship leader.

One week, there were a few instances where people entered the church randomly just seeking prayer. One had some family issues and knew he needed to change himself–but didn’t have the strength to do it. He wanted God to change him. The other had some issues at home as well–but it seemed more external. I talked with them both, prayed gladly, and told them my door was always open. Each time I talked to these men, I looked at the sign on my office door. I was glad to be there to pray and help encourage, but I was just the worship leader.

The first man was quick to point out that I wasn’t “just” a worship leader. There’s no “just” or “only” in it. As I was talking to the senior pastor about all this, he let me know what he had been considering. After I told him that people are starting to think that I was the associate pastor, he said, “Well, you know…you do already have your degree.”

I knew I was in trouble! Well, to make a long story short, he wanted to bring me before the board and the congregation to propose that I become the next associate pastor. I’m going back to school (#iwuaccepted) the day after Easter to get coursework required to become ordained!

Now we’re caught up!

Besides things with my wife’s Norwex goals, taxes, weddings, funerals, and all that, that’s my life all caught up. God has been so God in paving the way for this life. I may not understand all the plans He has, but I trust them. I may feel a bit like Moses in Egypt, but I also know the end result of his story.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

I hope that you all continue to pray for my journey as it continues. God is good all the time. I pray that He uses me every day.

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2 thoughts on “A lot has happened, but I’m back!

  1. Wow. As always this is amazing. I vacant wait to share in your journey.. I love you and support you as always.

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