Hear from the Director of Worship Arts, Graham Schardt, as he shares about the new positions and hires in the worship and production areas at The Ridge: Audio Engineer, Production Director, and Worship Leader.
I wanted to fill you in on our process and vision as we are in the process of filling three positions in the worship and production areas at The Ridge.
Currently, we are operating with interim people in all three positions. In the area of Audio Engineering, Bryce Schutt, a college student at Wartburg College, has joined us for the summer to cover the audio tech needs. In production, two of our volunteer team leaders, Aaron Siskow and Brett Burkhart, are going above and beyond to direct service visuals & production on Sundays, while Jill Hugen, Administrative Production Coordinator, continues to manage all the moving parts week in and week out!
With our growing needs in worship putting added pressure on our already very busy volunteer worship leaders, Kevin Jansma agreed to contribute extra hours over the next few months as an Interim Worship Leader while we search for a full-time worship leader, which is a new position we’re creating. Julie Wiemann is also meeting regularly with our summer worship interns, Tori Rivera and Lexi Borcherding, to bring fresh and young life to our worship environments. I’m so thankful for these and many other individuals who stepped up to fill recent gaps and lead us in some new directions.
“The atmosphere is changing now…”, lyrics of the song Here As In Heaven, seem to capture these times well. And what I want to clarify is that the adventure we’re on is due to some exciting new vision and direction, as opposed to out of trouble or hardship. What a blessing. God is moving in our midst and we are seeking His guidance as we respond. What do I mean by that? Perhaps I can answer this and other questions below.
Why these positions?
The Audio Engineer and Production Director have become vital roles in our process of service planning, weekend prep, and implementation of quality and compelling service content. When both of these roles opened up in recent months, we knew it was critical for us to move quickly in getting them filled. We’re praying God will bring the right leaders to these tech/arts positions.
The Worship Leader Position
For the first time in our church’s nearly 20 year history, we are pursuing a full time worship leader. We have been so blessed to have volunteer leaders who can lead and rotate on Sunday mornings, most of them doing so on top of 40-hr/wk jobs and even travel schedules! However, over the last 2-3 years, the demands we’ve placed on their time, skills, and expertise have increased incrementally. While we will continue to involve our volunteer leaders, it seemed evident we needed to find someone who can dedicate more time and focus to growing our music teams and bringing vibrant worship to more of our ministry spaces. It is our desire to see the quality of our music to continue to improve and be more consistent. We also envision worship becoming a more regular part in other ministry areas as we’re able to expand and provide that.
What’s Graham going to do?
In reviewing these positions and solidifying our goals, it became clear to us that better music, quality production, and inspiring services don’t just happen. They require staff leadership, creative direction, and compelling content. Whether it’s the Sunday morning, evening, or another service/event you experience at The Ridge, we want to magnify God, echo the gospel of Jesus, and facilitate transformation in any and all service settings. So, leading this effort will become my new focus in the months ahead as the Service Program Director.
So to bring this full circle, the first order of business is to get these positions filled…. well, and keep weekend services going without too many bumps! 😉
In closing, I’d like to ask you for your support and prayer in this process. Will you join us in praying for God to bring the right leaders to these positions? Will you commit to attending a service regularly to come to offer God your praise? Not with a critical eye… not with a consumeristic expectation… but simply with a desire to meet and offer God your heart.
I’m looking forward to worshiping with all of you in the months ahead!