I was 21 years old with a lot of dreams in my heart. On the inside, I always felt that I was making steps towards those dreams. But on the outside, I had one year of college under my belt, I was working 30 hours a week, and not really doing a lot with my life. I wasn’t going to school like all my friends. I wasn’t making a lot of money. In the world, I was on a path that would be considered unsuccessful.
But at a young age, I started to build a strong relationship with a voice in my head. This voice was not of this world. This voice encompassed everything that was humble, loving, passionate, bold, confident, and very successful. This voice was the most important relationship in my life. And I knew that if I kept listening to this voice, I would see the dreams of my heart come to pass. This voice was the Holy Spirit.
The more I started talking to Holy Spirit, the more I realized He was the opposite of everything I thought He was. Holy Spirit cares more about what is unseen than seen. He doesn’t really care how much money you make, how big of a stage you lead worship on, how big your college degree is. Holy Spirit cares about the posture of your heart. He cares about your yes. When I look back at my life, and I’m sure when you look back at yours, it has been a long journey of saying either yes or no. God wants to see how far your yes will go.
When I was 21 years old, an opportunity came up to be the Worship Director for a brand new campus at my church. At the time, I was leading worship at our Urbana Campus about once every three weeks. The Urbana Campus was about 2,000 people. Now, as a young guy leading worship for that many people, the world would probably say that this is the best place for me to be leading worship. When I was asked to be the Worship Director for this new campus, the first thought that came in my head was “This would be a step backwards. This campus is going to be too small. You’re never going to see your dreams come to pass.” I was listening to the voice of the enemy. I immediately said no. I didn’t want to take a step backwards.
A couple weeks later, I was in a meeting with Leah Wenger, the Pastor of this new campus. We were meeting about something totally different, but in the middle of the meeting, I heard Holy Spirit say “Say yes.” When I heard that, I knew it was for the worship director position. So I started crying and gave my yes to it. When I said yes, it started a chain reaction of all kinds of things. I was growing like never before in leadership, responsibility, confidence, and overall spiritually and musicality. I was mining gold. I realized after a couple months that this was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. On the outside it looked like I was taking steps backwards, but on the inside, God was preparing me for something much bigger. After saying yes, I started noticing a lot of doors starting to open up. I was asked to sing on an album for a couple songs, and I started getting full time worship position offers from random churches around the country. I had five offers within three months! It was crazy. And the craziest thing of it all was that I felt like Holy Spirit was saying no to all of the offers. Might I add, the Worship Director position I accepted at this new campus was still not full time. But these churches were offering FULL TIME! I had never had a full time job before and I wanted so badly to be “successful.”
Through this whole process, I realized a big thing God was instilling in me. Humility. Humility is everything that Jesus was on earth. In my opinion, humility is the greatest trait you can have. There were two years in my life where I was working in a print room when I just wanted to be a full time worship leader. God was teaching me humility. Bob Hazlett, a traveling speaker, said that he can’t go into a bathroom and leave it if there are paper towels all over the floor. He picks them up and puts them in the trash. And now I can’t leave the paper towels!! 🙂 Humility. I was mining gold. Remember, God cares more about the unseen then the seen.
Not much longer after I was offered all of these other worship positions, I got an offer that I never would have expected. The Urbana Campus that I had led worship at since I was 14 years old was offering me a full time Worship Pastor position. I honestly couldn’t believe it. But as shocked as I was, at the same time, I wasn’t. Because If there is anything that i’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that we live in an upside down Kingdom. A step backwards in the world is often a step forward in the Kingdom. God is looking for hearts that will say yes. Hearts that will do whatever He is calling them to. Hearts that are humble. We are always wanting to get to our dreams right away and bypass the process and all the in between. There is gold in the process.
I want to challenge you today to be faithful with the little. To find the gold in your process. To not worry about being seen, but to mine the gold in the unseen.