a new chapter

“It is good to have an end to journey toward;  but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”  ― Ernest Hemingway

“The wind blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up. Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God.” ― John 3:8

The past decade of my life has been a brilliant mosaic of technology, creativity and spirituality. Most of that time has been spent helping to create ministry-based presentation software, and working part-time or full-time for my local church, Rolling Hills Community Church. The former has given me a love for product development and live event production (a strange combination, I know, but if you know me, you get it). And the latter has given me a love for serving God’s people in the local church through visual multimedia and interactive art installations.

At the end of the day, I’m a user experience guy. Whether it’s digital space on a computer screen or physical space in a church or warehouse, I’m energized by creating aesthetically-pleasing, intuitive and memorable interactions between people and an environment.

Last year, I transitioned into full-time work with the local church. It has been an incredible season of dreaming about how to engage our people in weekly worship, growing a team of creative and technical volunteers for an ever-growing production environment, and curating some beautiful interactive experiences. As part of my weekly responsibilities over the past 8 years, I’ve found myself in a state of perpetual analysis, critique and production. I’m always looking for tighter transitions, perfect production, errors in execution and glitches in gear.

Not that I don’t also experience moments of transcendent worship, and deep reflection, - I relish and crave those moments - but at the end of the day, part of me feels like I haven’t been to church in a very long time (I know that sounds strange). And another part of me knows that I haven’t been to church with my family in a very long time. And those parts of me come into conflict with other parts of me that realize I need margin, space for reflection, the ability to unplug and time to engage in spiritual formation with my family. In short, I need a sabbatical.

Some of this sounds selfish, or silly or par-for-the-course in ministry, and I should probably write another post to wrestle with those thoughts as well as some of the other, really exciting parts of this process, but that would be a longer digression from the (already-lengthy) focus of this post which is to say that...

...as of May 1, I’ll be stepping down from my position as Worship Arts Programming Director at Rolling Hills, and starting as a Senior Business Analyst with MorphoTrust, a security technology company in Franklin, TN. I’ll be working with their Universal Enrollment Systems division, which has most recently been responsible for the software/hardware that powers TSA’s new PreCheck enrollment.

I look forward to jumping back into the software and technology world, which is something I’ve always seen as a part of my long-term career path. I’m also excited about taking some time to breathe, add margin, attend church with my family, and figure out what it looks like to engage my #visualworship and event production passions in this new chapter. I’ll also continue for a time as a consultant to the Worship Arts world at RHCC, helping to ensure a smooth transition and their continued success.

Throughout this last season of life, my ministry/employment with the local church has been extremely rewarding. Along the way, I’ve collaborated with some pretty incredible teams of people, and I’ve had the privelege of leading and/or experiencing some pretty remarkable events.  Our church has loved our family well, and for that we are grateful beyond words. The opportunities I’ve been awarded have been invaluable, and I look forward to collaborating with these friends long into the future. 

One of those incredible people is my musical counterpart in leading worship, Chad Jarnagin - a brilliant musician, contemplative soul and dear friend - who is also taking a leap of faith and jumping out to launch his brainchild, LUMINOUS, as a full-time venture. You should read more about it here.

I’ll be finishing up my full-time tenure at RHCC this week, and then heading off to Scottsdale, AZ for a family vacation, making for a very relaxing transition between roles. And we’ll see some dear friends while we’re there, which is an amazing bonus!

If you have any questions, comments, thoughts or derision, I’d love to catch up over a cup of coffee or a pint.