Worship Leader. That term has defined me for awhile, but it’s going to change.
Even though 2012 was busy in ministry (I hit Marriott Platinum in a few months), I had this feeling it would be the last year that leading worship would be my primary contribution to the people of Earth (I’ll still lead worship as needs arise). Even while my friends and I were working on the well-received New Collective EP, I confided that this recording would probably be my last, at least for a long time. Other than prior commitments, I turned down further invitations.
In October 2012, I was surprisingly asked to consider moving to Atlanta, GA to serve under the ministry of a personal mentor. Though my role would be administrative, I was open to it. Since I felt this was my last year leading worship I thought this might be why. Iris and I visited Atlanta, and after a few weeks we made the decision to move.
Then after further consideration, my mentor felt this might not be what God wanted but was rather a test for all of us. As much as he wanted us there and we wanted to be there (I started watching Atlanta Hawks games and put our house on the market), we both felt it wasn’t to be. The “fruit” from this experience was tremendous: Iris and I discussed things we never would have, we got closer to our Atlanta family, and were unknowingly being prepared for what was next. My mentor told me, “Mike—whenever people pass tests like this, God brings promotion.”
He was very right.
A new church?
Atlanta closed on a Thursday night. Friday afternoon (yes, just a few hours later), I planned to text my friend about a home church now that we weren’t moving. I made a Starbucks run planning to text him and BAM—there’s he was, sitting at Starbucks with his senior pastor. They just happened to be praying for a pastor when I came in. They also just happened to have a paper outlining their core values, which just happened to be all the same ones I share. Also, a friend of mine from youth group just happened to serve this church, so the pastor wasn’t a complete cold contact. Finally, it just so happened this was only time the pastor had been to this Starbucks in over a decade of living in this area.
You can’t make this stuff up.
So, for the past few weeks Iris and I have been attending their services and are in process of joining their staff for a preliminary period where I will pastor one of their congregations. Iris and I are in complete agreement about serving there and excited to build the church from a ground-level. “Starbucks” is now synonymous for “the place God blows our minds.”
There’s still more.
My own MBA.
For the past few months I’ve been planning to pursue an MBA. In a few years I wanted to be able to do higher-level consulting to help churches and other organizations get their message across. When my former employer in NJ (prior to our 4 years in Connecticut) found out we were not moving to Atlanta, she offered me a marketing consultation contract that most MBA’s would kill for. I’ll be functioning as CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) for their company. This will help alleviate financial stress from the church, give me further experience in an area I want to grow in, and allow me to take Iris to Chipotle instead of Taco Bell. Trust me, she’s thrilled.
It’s been a wild ride these past few months. I’ll continue to write songs and lead worship once in awhile, but I’ll be spending most of my time helping my church and company get better in other ways. It’s a unique situation to be in, but I think I’ll have some great lessons and insights to share.
Thanks for reading, and hope we stay in touch!