About two months ago, I was spending some time with God in the Bible. He was once again affirming a call to serve Him through music. (You can read more about how I got to this point here if you missed it.) Immediately after that time, I felt a Holy Spirit nudge to look up a worship leader I had seen lead worship four or five years ago, Aaron Keyes. He had made an impression on me because of his humble and authentic posture while leading, along with his obvious love of God’s word. When I got to his webpage, I discovered that he leads a worship school. I had looked up various worship schools prior to this, while trying to figure out how to pursue this seemingly elusive calling. All of the schools I had looked up either weren’t a fit for me (because they had a different way of thinking about leading worship than I do) or I simply couldn’t do them. (Being a 34 year old wife and mother, makes it pretty impossible to go live at a school for an extended amount of time.) However, I saw that this school is very different. This school, 10,000 Fathers, requires four 6 month tracks. Each track begins with a week of live teaching in Atlanta, and is then followed by six months of distance education and coaching. Another great thing about this school is that it marries several other passions that I have in addition to music. Previous to discovering 10,000 Fathers, I couldn’t understand how they all fit together in God’s plan for me. The first is a heart to teach, specifically God’s word. You can probably tell, but I love understanding how God’s word applies to my life and yours, and then sharing it’s life-giving truth. The second is a passion for developing people. When I was on staff at our local church, God taught me what it looked like to identify someone with a gifting that the church body needed, and then walk with them as they learned how to step into their role. It was one of the most rewarding things I ever did. Amazingly, this school focuses on all three: music, teaching & discipleship. Crazy, right? Their goal is not to just train excellent musicians, but to train worship leaders who can lead music, teach through it, and disciple others to do the same.
As amazing as the school sounded, I realized that I would only get into this school if it was God’s will for me. This became very clear when I saw the application requested a link to your personal album or EP. I am not yet able to proficiently play an instrument, much less an album. Haha! However, I decided to place my confidence in His will…not my abilities.
At least until I got my acceptance letter…
I was SO beyond excited when I read it. I kept telling my husband that this couldn’t be real. Of course, it was real, and it really sank in when I read the due dates for the tuition. There’s nothing like money to shock you back into reality. After having a mini freak out session, I scolded myself for so quickly forgetting that the God of the universe loves me with a never-failing love and has always provided for me and my family. In Matthew 14:30-33, Peter had a freak out session too. He was in the midst of walking on water when he realized what he doing, and how he couldn’t do what he was doing. Sound familiar?
Peter almost didn’t make it…but a shift in his gaze and focus, along with Jesus’ strong hand allowed him to continue taking steps toward Jesus. Steps of faith aren’t steps of faith if there isn’t churning water beneath us, threatening to swallow us. Steps of faith aren’t steps of faith if the steps always make sense to our human minds. This worship school…is a step of faith. I am under-qualified and under-funded. Yet my God has called me to take a step. Can you relate?
This is where we need friends who love us and love God. In Exodus 17:10-13, Moses had a simple, yet impossible task. Some foreigners had decided to wage war against his people. God told him that as long as Moses held his arms up, his people, the Israelites would win the battle. When he dropped his arms they began losing. Even He-man (any 80’s children out there?) would find it impossible to hold his arms up all day. That’s where community comes in. God could have given Moses super human strength to hold his own arms up, but He didn’t. Instead he gave him two friends to help him complete the task.
“So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
Would you consider holding my arms up? How could I or those around you hold your arms up? While there is a way to contribute financially if you feel led to do so, the thing I desire most is your prayers. To have your prayers surrounding and sustaining me and my family as we take this step, would be such a precious gift. And…if you would trust me with it, I would feel honored to return the kindness and pray for you and the steps you are being led to take.
To pray alongside me & my family: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send out brief, regular emails, giving you specific ways you can pray for us, along with updates about my journey.
To give a financial gift: You can mail a check to the school itself with my name in the memo line. (10,000 Fathers, 1977 Miramar Way, Snellville GA 30078)
I leave you with the very popular, “Oceans.” This song captures the scary yet beautiful process that following God can be. Let’s both decide to keep our eyes above the waters and rest in His embrace.