A KSM update.....
Hard to believe, but more than one full month has already flown by in 2023. Shaunda and I find ourselves right in between two exciting, yet vastly different adventures, and I finally have the opportunity to much to share so much with you!
Thanks to some great, albeit very quiet, supporters, we just returned from a week’s vacation. This couple has provided a vacation experience every year now for several years running. This time it was a week long cruise to mainland Mexico, Cozumel, Honduras and more importantly the buffet (and the restaurants and the burger stand and the pizza spot, and the soft serve and… well, you get the picture). And now without unpacking anything except to recycle dirty clothes we head out tomorrow for our first conference of 2023, this one in Palm Springs, CA.
This conference is a bit different, and a first of it’s kind for us; a couples conference. First of all, any of you that have been around Shaunda and me know that the very thought of us helping lead a couples conference is quite funny in itself. As you might have already guessed though, this one is a bit different and well suited to our ministry. Every couple at this pre-valentines day couples weekend has also lost a child.
After this weekend we launch into 2023 in earnest. I have several Sundays yet to fill including an extra Christmas Sunday this year. I’ll begin that process in March. We already have several Sundays on the calendar as well as four more conferences. One of those is another marriage conference, this one a bit more on the normal side. As I think of this great Pastor and his wife, I’m guessing it will not be very “normal” at all, but a lot of fun for sure! We also have two sound and video system installs on the calendar as well as more than a handful of larger recording and video projects. WHEW… And I haven’t even gotten to the big news yet!
As many of you know, Prairie Valley Church has been a huge blessing to us, and a place we truly can call home. After a couple years as their part-time Worship Leader, it was finally time to step down. No worries though, Joe Knight is still their worship leader… this one of the “Jr” variety. Joe Jr. began his tenure as Worship Leader on January 1. What? Me proud? Never… With that vacancy of time in my life, God has chosen to show me the next step in the Journey. Just like it has always been, only one step at a time.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I took my first paid position as a Music Director when I was 15 years old. It was a huge, high paying job at a small church in Stow Ohio… $25 a week as I recall. And now I find myself starting a brand new task almost exactly 50 years later.
I have accepted another part time position, this one as an Associate to the Director of Missions for the Hunt Baptist Association. In addition to doing whatever that Director of Missions says (I did spend most of those 50 years as a second man you know) I will be serving more than 80 churches in the technical, media and musical areas. I have also been challenged with a monumental endeavor.
One of the greatest needs in so many churches today is in the area of developing the public worship service. We have already launched a beta program with one of our churches (who has a patient and willing Pastor). This partnership includes media, music and ministry components. The lessons learned in this first rattle out of the box (sorry about that, couldn’t resist) along with 50 years of more trial and error than I care to admit to is slotted to become book #5. This one has a working title of “KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE A Philosophical and Practical Guide to leading Worship in the local Church”.
In addition to the enormous “research” I’ve undertaken through my career, we are also launching a 10 part podcast of the same title. This podcast will include 8 in depth interviews with Pastors, Worship Leaders and Church members in an effort to discover a myriad of different views on worship. These will eventually be edited and posted as training videos of sorts. This work is intended to cover the philosophical side of Worship (Why do we worship? What really is worship?) and the practical side (How do you plan a worship service? What is the Nashville Number system? Using beds, pads and bumpers etc.). We’re also planning an accompanying workbook and a full training series of classes for prospective and current Worship Leaders.
As you can now see, this could easily become the busiest year of my life. I find myself again humbled by a large number of Pastors and a great Director of Missions willing to believe in me and take on a project of this magnitude. And in a big way, it feels good to know that God still has a plan for my life. He still loves me and wants me! Wow! Humbling to say the least. Please remember all this when I ask for your prayers as Shaunda and I travel and minister.
Those that know my Journey best know that one of the really tough things for me about losing Matt was the fact that we made music together side by side for so many years. Many of you have also heard me tell how our incredible “God of Restoration” allowed me that privilege one more time as Joe Jr joined my band at Prairie Valley. Those good folks will never know how many times I was overwhelmed with tears of joy at what were seemingly inopportune moments (to everyone but me). I guess its good that the cinema in my mind was never readily visible to all those around.
You may be thinking that I’ll miss making music with my son. Actually, I may be around a bit more this year and I should have many more opportunities to make music with my son. He won’t be in my band this time. I’ll be in his.
Hmmm…. maybe I am proud… just a little. How great is our God!