5 years ago, only Harvey and I were on staff and I tried to take care of anything that wasn’t preaching. It was messy.
When I think about where God has brought us now, I get a bit foggy eyed at the sheer amount of people pouring out their lives for something bigger, and mostly just grateful God has kept the wheels on this thing. It’s been a twisting road thus far, and certainly not a script that I am smart or brave enough to have written.
We’ve been receiving a lot of questions recently about all of the changes in the worship ministry of Living Stones. Some of those questions have come in from those curious and caring. Others have wielded them as weapons.
One thing I have gleaned from those wiser and more experienced is that effective ministry is built on an unchanging Gospel through constantly changing means. So the “why” we do ministry and the “who we do it for” is constant, while the “when”, “where”, and some of the “how” is always in a state of flux. Things like Jesus and the Scriptures stay in a closed hand while things like music style, ministry structure, and systems are in an open hand.
This past year, it became clear that in order to grow we were going to need to revamp some of the systems in the open hand. My role was shifting from leading a team every weekend at services, to overseeing six bands and developing band leaders. As the needs of the ministry grew, I knew we were going to eventually tear down what he had previously built in order to grow, progress, and serve the community.
Many have noticed that the faces on stage every weekend have changed, including my band ‘Zimmerman’. Actually, all 6 bands have been reworked and more changes are planned for the rest of the year. The “why” of ministry hasn’t changed; to worship Christ with our lives and to help the LS community articulate things of the faith in song. But as the ministry continues to grow, the needs and requirements of what I oversee have grown too.
New objectives have arisen, such as:
-providing a consistent worship experience for all of the services
-limiting new material presented to the community so they can learn and engage with current songs
-balancing out the bands in terms of maturity and talent
-setting a consistent schedule so that the community feesl more connected to their worship leaders
-providing opportunities for new musicians to prove faithfulness in using their gifts for the Kingdom
These objectives could change at any time, but for now this is a sampling of what we are striving for.
‘Zimmerman’ is changing too. Aaron is moving his family to Las Vegas and will be missed. He’s a good friend and has been a servant to the community for many years. Brennen is now singing with Ricky Turner’s band, ‘Outlet’ to help take that band to the next level and will be singing at Living Stones a lot more often really soon. What has been known as ‘Zimmerman’ in the past will look different in the future, with some musicians playing with me at Living Stones, and others playing outside events when they arise. I have been revitalized by some songwriting and recording these past few months with several different artists in the LS community.
I can honestly say that I have never been this excited or at peace about the worship ministry of LS. Things are still messy and I’m trying to learn as much as I can while applying the Gospel to how we grow and develop. I am desperately trying to make sure the right things stay unchanging, and the rest is held in a very open hand.