Introducing the Worship Leader Team!

If you’ve hung around the community for any length of time, you’ve likely learned that RISE is different. We're unconventional. We like it that way. We’re not okay with the status quo and we’re constantly reevaluating our functioning based on our core values and the movement of the Holy Spirit. As it relates to the direction of worship and the worship leader position at RISE, this is also the case. Last Sunday at worship, we announced the following plan ...

First, we'll share what’s going on and then anticipate some of your questions. If we've left any out, please, please, please let us know! Contact Amanda (ajmgarber@gmail.com) or Brent (david.brent.levy@gmail.com) if you have questions.

The Worship Leader Search Party, with the support and approval of Amanda and the RISE Core Team, has decided to create a Worship Leader Team to oversee the musical aspects of worship at RISE. Our hope is that this team will serve, in many ways, as a single unit working together to help our community connect with God, with each other, with the community and the world in worship.

The Worship Leader Team will comprise a maximum of 4 people, but will begin with 3. This team will also be overseen by a Worship Leader Team Coach who will serve as liaison between the pastor and team.

Okay ... so who’s on the Worship Leader Team?
Great question. The Worship Leader Team will initially consist of Phil Quagliariello, Paul Rowley and Maggie Nave. A fourth member of the team will be identified later by the team, coach and pastor. Each Worship Leader (Phil, Paul, or Maggie) will lead worship for 6 consecutive weeks. At the end of the first cycle, we'll reevaluate the rotation and we invite your feedback throughout, too!

From left to right: Paul Rowley, Maggie Nave, Phil QuagliarielloWhen does the rotation start?
The rotation will begin on July 1, 2012. Brent's last Sunday leading music will be June 24, but he'll be around until July 15. Phil will lead the first six weeks, then Paul, then Maggie.

This is nuts! How did it happen?
Simply put: The Holy Spirit got involved. And when that happens, you never know what to expect. Basically, the Worship Leader Search Party asked itself some tough questions during the selection process and realized it had boxed itself in to a certain way of thinking and certain way of doing things. The team started to wonder what it would mean to think outside the box in terms of what worship leadership looks like in the context of RISE. For instance … Does there only have to be one worship leader? With leadership development as one of RISE's pillars (for lack of a better word), what does worship leadership look like when only one person gets the opportunity to lead? How does that serve to develop leaders? How does worship leadership at RISE fit into God’s dream? What could this teach the community, the band, and the worship leaders themselves about what it means to worship? 
And so we arrived at this decision with a lot of discernment, a lot of discussion and a lot of prayer.

Do we know for sure it’s going to work?
Nope, but we hope it does. Launching RISE was an enormous risk … Risktaking is in our DNA ... and that’s exactly what we’re doing here. (See Core Value #6.)

So who’s the Worship Leader Team Coach?
Excellent question. Brent will serve as Coach until he leaves Harrisonburg and will remotely serve until August(ish). A super cool guy named Justin will phase in throughout the summer as Coach (as Brent phases out) and Justin will serve part-time throughout the fall. Beginning in 2013, he'll enter the role in a full-time capacity.

What does this all mean?
In terms of functioning, most things will remain the same. Core values, beliefs and tenets of the RISE band are not changing. The philosophy of worship at RISE isn’t changing either. We are incredibly excited about this next chapter in the story of RISE and firmly believe that this is the direction we're called to go. And frankly, it fits us. We hope you'll join us in offering your support, patience, grace and flexibility in this transition. We are so excited for this new season and, again, please let us know if you have any questions!