I had a wonderful weekend with old and new friends in Chicago. Here’s a few quick responses:
-Despite the fact that our usual guys couldn’t be there, it was a great to play along side of Thomas Egler (drums) and James Carter (bass). They were also great guys to get to know and swap ideas and stories about being musicians in the church and as professionals. If you were at CCDA in past few years you have probably seen Thomas play with his band “Foster.” He was also part of the house band at Urbana this past year.
-It was also great to hang out with Mary Higgins, Nikki Ellis and David McReynolds who were our vocal team. They are all part of my dad’s music ministry and part of a fresh new sound coming out of Chattanooga, the Distribution.
-I had some great times of conversation with my dad, James Ward. We talked about ideas for ministries, books we are going to write, and ways to promote and distribute our music as independent artists. My dad is my best friend, and so I always enjoy time with him. This past weekend we had a lot of free time, so that was really nice.
-The Simply Youth Ministry Conference was an excellent event to be a part of. I really dug their core values and philosophy (which is not always the case when being hired to lead worship.) It made doing our job a lot easier to feel like we were part of a team that valued us and that we had respect for as well.
-It was really cool to catch up with Duffy and Maggie Robbins and here about how their daughters are doing. Duffy is always fun to be around, and he’s a very supportive and encouraging friend to our family. Being around Duff makes you feel like anything is possible.
-For myself, I feel like this experience was well timed. I was encouraged by the excellence with which we were able to perform. As a musician who exclusively works with volunteers, it was affirming to be part of a band that was able to execute the songs we play in church at their fullest potential. It gave me a feeling of confidence in the gifts that God has equipped me with and a sense of excitement to get back into the trenches at home.