Worship Interview – Encouraging Confidence and Calling – Vernon Rainwater, Northland Church
We all have heroes. I’m not talking about the kind that wear capes and are able to leap tall buildings in a single bound; but, real-life heroes. Even in ministry, it’s important to have people that we look up to….people who inspire us to be better and more effective leaders. I can gratefully say that God has placed some amazing spiritual heroes in my life who live out Proverbs 27:17 with me, As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. I am very grateful to call Vernon Rainwater a friend and someone who has inspired me to be a better Christian, disciple, worship leader, servant and friend.
Vernon loves his family, coffee, music and church. Since 1990 he has been a pastor at Northland Church in Orlando, FL serving in the areas of Worship and Service. Vernon serves as the liturgist for Northland and also leads a missions program that links with 35 ministries around the world. Twenty years ago Vernon created the True North Foundation, which emphasizes the return of the church to be the primary patron of the arts. Vernon holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Social Work, as well as a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies. He and Connie have been married 39 years and love their growing family.
Vernon serves an incredible church. Through multi-campus worship, house churches and a thriving online worship community, Northland welcomes more than 12,000 worshippers each week. We are thrilled to welcome Vernon as a Featured Speaker at this year’s Engage Conference.
I recently had the chance to ask Vernon some questions about ministry….
Q: At what age did you get involved in music/ministry?
A: I can honestly say that I was 6 years old. I asked our music minister at my church if I could lead in a hymn – and he agreed. That song was “Onward Christian Soldiers”. There were gaps from that point forward in the ministry part of music, but I engaged it as part of my life when I was around 30 – that was 29 years ago.
Q: When did you realize it was going to be more than a hobby for you?
A: I pursued music in a serious way from the time I was 14. I played in bands professionally (got my first pay check for music at 15) until I was 19 (when I became a soldier) and then resumed it 3 years later in a national radio program and touring. I was 29 when I led worship for the first time.
Q: How would you describe the team that you serve with at Northland?
A: Everyone on our team is a better musician than I am – which causes me to work really hard. But our team’s greatest asset is that we see Jesus as our audience and the congregation as our focus.
Q: We are thrilled that you will be speaking at Engage this year. What do you hope to impart to the conference attendees?
A: I am honored to be a guest with other great worship leaders. I expect to learn more than I teach. But to the question, I hope to encourage confidence and calling to every participant.
Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing worship leaders and volunteers in the Church today?
A: Forgetting our goal and comparing oneself to other leaders.
Q: If you could say 1 thing to every person involved in worship ministry on a staff or volunteer level, what would it be?
A: I love this statement: Romano Guardini, a twentieth-century German theologian, once observed, worship “has one thing in common with the play of the child and the life of art – it has no purpose, but it is full of profound meaning. It is not work, but play…. From this is derived its sublime mingling of profound earnestness and divine joyfulness.” Serving as a congregation’s worship leader and planner is like entering a playground. There are all sorts of joyful discoveries awaiting you.
For a detailed list of Engage sessions, or for registration info, visit us on the web: www.EngageConf.com
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