It is a happy Friday. I am taking this slow afternoon to sip on some espresso and revisit the blog. I have been pretty silent on here for the last few months. I think the process that I have been in has either had me too busy to write on this platform, or in some ways, too afraid. Either way, much of the deep work that was being done inside me was best kept offline. But, as as I face an exciting new chapter in life, I would really like to begin using the blog as an adventure log of sorts, as the future is as uncertain as ever. For the first time in my life, in this way, I am jumping into an unknown adventure I feel like the Lord has called me to.
As some of you may have seen, I am officially stepping down from my position as a worship director at Classic City Church and am transitioning into full time music. I will be pursuing my artistry as Andrew Blooms, as well as a career as a music producer that integrates faith, family and discipleship into my approach to creating records. As I reflect on this change, I realize that this is my dream come true. I remember laying on my bedroom floor at sixteen, wishing and hoping that one day I could write songs and be a musicians - and here I am, nine years later, taking a plunge into that vision. There are a few factors at play that made it the perfect time to do this, and because I believe in the power of vulnerability and truth, I wanted to share a little more in depth about some of the dynamics at play in hopes that it could help all of us process together situations that you might be trying to navigate in your own life. I am going to share my thoughts about the true purpose of the church, church leadership, how money should never be a reason to do or not do anything, and the revelation of family, community and worship and how these things relate to making music. This avenue is serving as my way of thinking out loud, and who knows how much of it is spot it. Take what you will!
I have been the worship director at Classic City Church for the last three years. This job has taught me more about myself and God than any other job I've had. I learned how to dig in, I learned to fight, I learned to show up when I wasn't feeling it, and I learned how to trust God. I learned how to lead a team and I felt like it was such a special opportunity to create a culture amongst a team of worshippers. It became a team of humble worshippers with no superstars and no divas. It was truly a team effort each and every Sunday. I was literally blown away over the years at the quality of people that came to use their gifts on the team. But over the years, as I led one or two services each week, I began to grow tired. My worship became so tied with work that it became difficult to receive during times of corporate worship. Responsibilities and checklists were always in the back of my mind, as it was my job to create the worship environment. Put simply, I missed being a part of the church. I had a moment sometime in March where I realized I had led worship on a weekly capacity for nearly 10 years, with no breaks. And after a while it becomes your identity and all you feel like you can bring to a community. Part of the reason I chose to step down was I felt like some of my spiritual life was suffering and being sacrificed for the sake of preserving an identity as the worship leader or musician. So, as I began to consider my position on the stage, I began to perceive that a "reset" was to take place - to deconstruct how I was approaching church and faith and strip my walk with Jesus back down to its core. After all, worship is simply an expression of a personal love for God. So, I am excited to come under my church, to be a volunteer, to pray for people, to sing with the congregation and to arrive at church at a Godly hour.
As each year passes, money gains more power. Its voice gets louder. Some friends are making a bunch, others not... but it feels like the world relentlessly imposes its expectations on life, even if un-welcomed. The pressure grows with each year. But, I want my life to be an adventure. I want my life to be marked by trust, fearlessness, and faithfulness to the things of God. And with quitting a job came the obvious question of "how will you live?" But as I have wrestled through this fear I continue to come back to this one saying I am choosing to live by now: "Money should never be why I choose to do or not do something." This is a truly radical thought. I paused after typing that and rested my finger on the backspace button because I had to make sure I believed it. But, I am exploring this philosophy. Maybe it works all backwards. What if, if you pursued what you truly were passionate about, money would follow? What if, by being obedient to the God dream deep inside, it would create a space, through faith, where God would provide everything I need? These are questions I am asking myself! I have no answer! But beneath my worry about how I will make money, is a deep calling to "keep going. faithfully, keep digging, and I will provide all you need."
This next year is the year of putting all my cards on the table. I am interested in songwriting, a community of song-writers, house church, worship as a way of life, and truly living as Godly community with the people around me in Athens. If you've made it this far, we're true internet friends. I'm currently in the process of pursuing a housing rental that would be a community space to put my studio and host gatherings for worship and songwriting to happen. I'm in the last stages of being approved to do this... It's a much much longer story than I'd like to put here... but I really believe this is God's leadership in my life for this next year. I would like to share more, but a few things need to fall into place first.
My next steps are my first tour, being announced next week. I can't wait to share this with you! Thanks for reading!