Sunday Nights at Good Shepherd are a place of formation and transformation I return to. When I was in middle school, and not yet old enough to help out by playing music, I was given the responsibility of watching the soundboard during The Deep.
The skills I learned behind that board not only allowed me to get work doing sound in college, but allowed me to help support a camping ministry in Minnesota for a number of years.
Once I entered high school, I began helping with music. In that ministry, I was guided by Greg Bartels and Alan Halverson, who shared not only how music can be effective in leading worship, but how to technically accomplish that.
Outside of Good Shepherd, I have been able to use those skills in different congregations, leading a worship team and planning service music.
After serving as a Good Shepherd summer pastoral intern, I have been given the opportunity to preach there on occasion. These opportunities to develop a sermon and share it with the congregation have been fundamental in my formation and were life-giving.
Over the years, I listened to many sermons preached at Good Shepherd from the pastors who each have their own style. This helped me not only hear the Good News, but to develop a style that is derivative, yet my own.
Growing up at Good Shepherd provided me with so many experiences and relationships that, in looking back, were not only instructive and inspiring, but directed me to my life’s call. While I am now in seminary, there is always a longing to return to the place that has done so much for me.