Sara has been my personal mentor, leader, and friend for the past few years and I can NOT express enough how grateful I am for her. Seriously, there are not enough words. She is an incredibly gifted woman of God who has pushed and encouraged me in countless ways, especially in writing (you can thank her for the blog!). She has served me in the good and bad, loving me unconditionally -with her actions and her words she has always pointed me to Christ. She is truly a gift from the Lord, I have no idea where I would be without her. As Development Director for Care Net Pregnancy Center and a Worship Leader at Redeemer Church of Utica, NY- Sara is full of wisdom and experience. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did :)
1. What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work and ministry?
Playing the guitar, spending time with my husband, being in nature, and kayaking. Definitely kayaking.
2. What are some artists you are currently listening to?
For All Seasons, Passion, and Chris & Bethany Solyntjes. I love finding new worship bands and artists and try to listen to a variety.
3. What's your story/testimony?
I had been suicidal and depressed for a long time and at such a young age, but God met me powerfully at a youth summer camp when I was 13 years old. I surrendered my heart to Him in a very powerful worship service. It was a "Paul" experience so to speak, and my life was turned around after that night.
4. What's one thing that the Lord has taught you about himself over the years?
That He truly is everything I could ever want, need, or imagine. That He can be trusted. Always. Even, and most especially, in the bad times. I'm learning, and continue to learn, that He really does work all things together for our ultimate good if we choose to lean on Him and trust Him completely.
5. What is your favorite book in the Bible and why?
Matthew. There's nothing quite like reading and reminding my heart of the gospel story, and reading the words of Jesus Christ Himself. All of scripture is beautiful of course, and all of it ultimately points to Christ, which is why I think it is so powerful to me. These are the very words of my Savior, they can still give me chills when I read them.
6. What are some ways that you challenge yourself to grow as a Christian as well as in your gifts?
I love learning about God. Whether it be taking a class at the Redeemer School of Ministry when I am able, or reading books on theology. Tim Keller, C.S. Lewis, James K.A. Smith, and Kevin DeYoung are some of my favorites. Currently re-reading "Bible Doctrine" by Wayne Grudem and "Desiring the Kingdom" by James K. A. Smith. Having a strong understanding of what we believe is fundamental to leading worship and writing songs that are rich in truth and able to bless the Church.
I also like to read both practical and theological books specifically about worship and songwriting, currently reading "Worship Matters" by Bob Kauflin. This has a blend of both. Highly recommend.
7. What advice would you give to someone looking to serve on their church's worship team?
1. Steward your heart well. Prov. 4:23. Stay connected to God and connected to community. Healthy hearts make healthy leaders.
2. Steward your gifts well. Psalm 33:3, Mat 25:14-29. God gave them to you and they are ultimately for His glory and to be used to bless His people. Take that responsibility seriously. Practice. This will make room for you and in turn you will be able to lead worship freely and without distraction.
3. Stay humble. Prov 18:12, Phil 2:3, 1 Peter 5:5. The church is not our platform, it is not the place to scratch a creative itch or learn how to express your unique self as an artist. Get a side hustle for that. The church is the bride of Christ and it is our job to lay down our lives to serve her. Do whatever is asked and with a good attitude. Your serving is ultimately for God, He sees, and He will reward. It is God who promotes. Learn to be content with wherever God places you. Phil 4:12, 1 Tim 6:6.