It seems like just the other day I first picked up my mom’s Alvarez acoustic guitar and learned my first chords.  I started off learning guitar by playing the popular worship songs I’d heard at camp, youth group, or on the radio.  As soon as I could I learned to play songs by Relient K, such as Sadie Hawkins and Hello McFly.  I won’t go too far to say that I became any good at playing those songs, but nevertheless I still strummed and sang my heart out.

These solo jam sessions of my youth have quickly become farther and farther in the past.  It’s crazy to think that I’ve been playing guitar for a decade.  Yup, 10 years ago was when I first started teaching myself guitar, and it’s become one of my favorite hobbies and passions in my life.

In the last 10 years I’ve led worship for thousands of people, written over 150 songs, and released my first album over 3 years ago.  As impressive as those numbers may sound, they aren’t the point.  Even if my album had sold 100,000 copies (I don’t think it even broke 100), that isn’t what I would consider successful.  It’s not that my goals are so high that I’m not content or impressed – in fact, quite the opposite.  My music isn’t the end goal for me.  Success, to me, isn’t measured in numbers or dollars.  My heart just isn’t in it for that.  What matters to me is where my music takes the listener – not me.

As I have observed this world, culture, and people that I come into contact with I see a broken, hopeless society running away from the reason their here.  God gave us all a purpose, and I’m thankful for His willingness to use me.

Tonight I have the privilege of leading 150+ high school students and staff in worship at one of my favorite places in the world.  I am blessed to help point the way to God and His love through song and prayer in a setting where so many lives have been changed.  Each student will walk away with a better understanding of the Gospel and how it affects their lives.  Not everyone will renew their walk with the Lord, and not all of them will surrender their life to Christ.  I think that’s ok.  This is a step along a journey, and that’s success.

As fun as touring, releasing a dozen albums, and opening for big bands could be – I like where I am.  I like what I do and seeing God move at camp, churches, and other various venues I’m called to lead worship at.  While releasing new songs is on the horizon, for now I’m content with being a 50+ hours a week employee and grad student taking it one day at a time.  And to be honest, I’ll take the small stage and the small crowds any day.