Saturday, December 26, 2009

Joe's First Weekend

Jeff May's final weekend as NPC's Worship & Creative Arts Director was last weekend. Joe Freeman is the new big dog in that area. And, I'm pretty stoked for him. Even when I harass him for dressing like the "metrosexual worship leader."

Metrosexual worship leader: Tatoos, skinny tie, scarf & guitar. Courtesy Wes Molebash.

If you go to NPC, you'd think that Jeff's old job & Joe's new job is to be the Worship Leader. And it is...but it's also not. I'd say dealing with the music of the worship services each week probably takes less than 5% of the amount of hours that Joe will put into the job.

The WCA dept handles basically everything that anyone sees, hears, reads or watches as it pertains to the church. All video projects go through it, all marketing, all web based projects, all media, every aspect of the worship services (design, implementation, talent, and tech), along with many other things. That's Joe's new world.

And leading worship 5 times a weekend.

Now if you don't know about Jeff May, you should. Because he's the man. Jeff has worked in and created programs for some huge and influential churches over the years. He is serious business. He's an intimidating act to follow. NPC would never look like what it does today if Jeff hadn't been here to mold it and create sustainable systems.

Jeff has been mentoring Joe for quite a while for this transition, and this is the week it finally happens. Granted, Joe has had the reigns for the most part for a good month or so, but Jeff is no longer around for backup. The safety net is gone. And I know that Joe's fully prepared for it.

He already was 4 months ago.

I was tagging/labelling some old posts today and I came across one from August where I was quickly jotting down things that happened over the weekend. One of them was this blurb about Joe:

Joe did a fantastic job leading worship this weekend in Jeff's absence. He really took control of some small situations and stopped them from becoming larger problems. Very cool headed and intelligent leadership displayed today, it was very inspirational.
This was before Joe was hired as Jeff's eventual replacement. He was already doing the job he wasn't hired for, because that's the kind of person he is. That's the quality of his character, and that's the responsible leadership that the WCA dept is going to have. He's a natural at it. Sure, you'll see stylistic differences in worship and design, and I'd hope he allows his personality to come through in those channels!

What's my point? My point is that Joe is completely prepared for the new huge responsibilities he has...but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be encouraged as if he isn't.

So if you know him, let him know that he's doing a good job. Tell him how awesome the X-mas series was, or how good worship was this past weekend, or how much you liked some element or special. Let him know he's appreciated, and that we're not just crying in a corner listening to Dashboard Confessional by candlelight now that Jeff has left...unless you are...then you may need some help.

And pray for him.

Pray that God uses Joe to reach people. That Joe is given the strength and the clarity to serve excellently in his new role. That he'll be given everything that he needs to do what God has called him to. That he'll be supported and propped up by those around him (that's us) instead of torn down and discouraged. That he'll make God proud by the responsible use of his gifts, and that he'll be used to powerfully change the lives of people whom NPC touches.

Because he will.