Meet Amanda Part 2
If you didn’t get to read last week’s WCCC Weekly, please pick up a copy :). By that I mean, check your email from last week or pick up a copy at Connection Central. Last week, we began by introducing our Worship Director, Amanda Shouse. Amanda shared about her family, background, and testimony. I hope you enjoyed hearing her story on a more personal level. In today’s installment, Amanda shares about her calling into ministry, her role as Worship Director, and her heart and perspective on worship. Be blessed and may the Lord continue to guide us as a family church.
Please describe how the Lord led you into worship/music, and how you discerned your calling into ministry.
Hindsight is always 20/20, right? Well looking back, I can see how the Lord was directing my steps and leading me into full-time ministry. He placed me in so many places and situations that were teaching and training me, but I didn’t see it then. All along the way, the Lord has placed people in my path who have encouraged me, and at our previous church, two leaders boldly called out this gift in me. These were all seeds planted and lights illuminating my path along the way. Even in the sharing of my testimony, which I had done several times in the past, I vowed to use my voice for His glory and purposes, but any time I spoke those words, I had no idea He would call me to lead His people in worship. God created me to be a musical image-bearer, and I believe He did so very intentionally. Also, I have several years of experience homeschooling my kids, and I was homeschooling Dedan just last year, but I just had this sense that the Lord was going to ask me to close that chapter, and He was giving me so much peace about it. Simultaneously, I had become so hungry to learn and grow in my training, and God was confirming my steps by growing my confidence. He helped me see the blessing and freedom in my own surrender and expression of worship, and the congregation I stood in front of previously began to respond and engage with His Spirit in new and deeper ways. Let me be very clear- it was not me! But in partnering with Holy Spirit, He gave me the gift of witnessing this shift. It was like God was saying, “See, daughter? Do you see how your obedience blesses others?” What an incredibly humbling reminder!
What are your general responsibilities as Worship Director?
My general responsibilities as Worship Director are to oversee the entire worship service experience, creating an environment that is worshipful and welcoming. I also help shepherd and disciple the worship and A/V teams, as well as our wonderful WCCC congregation.
Can you describe how the Lord shaped you as a worshipper and developed your heart for worship?
I, like many, used to think “worship” was just the musical part of the church service. The music I listen to on the radio is “worship music.” I was a part of the “worship team,” and when I sing to him, I’m worshiping. In our culture at least, worship has a very musical context (which I obviously relate to). BUT, the Lord revealed to me that worship isn’t something I do, but is instead a posture of orienting my heart towards Him, and He gently and lovingly convicted me through His word to reframe my thinking. Worship can be expressed in many ways. I can worship Him as I brush my son’s teeth, wash the dishes, take out the trash, and meet with a friend over coffee. I worship Him with my whole life. That being said, my first inclination (or maybe my favorite) tends to be to express my worship to God through song.
What would you like to share with us about worship?
Worship isn’t for us or about us. I distinctly remember standing in the back of the second service at our previous church, watching a room full of brothers and sisters sing songs to our holy and very worthy God with arms folded, hands in pockets, some distracted and some faces donned apathetic expressions. I’m sure they didn’t care for the song, the style of the music, or maybe even how the vocalist was singing. And I was enraged. My response should have been more loving, absolutely, but as I reflected and worked that out with the Lord, I think what was behind it was heartbreak and sadness.
Because once I had truly encountered the Lord’s presence, once my mind (even in my human limitations) began to grasp His holiness, once I began to look back and see the Lord’s hand in my life and how truly faithful and present He is… I simply couldn’t offer up half-hearted praise anymore. Worship should be something we can’t help but express simply because of who God is. Worship changes our perspective because it invites Holy Spirit in and puts Jesus on the throne instead of our circumstances. True worship can shift the atmosphere in any room. Worship is warfare, and when praise is our posture, victory will be our portion, all for the glory of God!
As we close, is there anything you would like to say to the church?
Thank you for welcoming us, loving us and supporting us. What a gift and blessing you are to me and my family! I know it takes time for us to get to know one another and for trust to be established, but I thank you for trusting me as you have, from the bottom of my heart. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you and partner with you in doing Kingdom work together. And finally, to the generations that have gone before me and have been faithful and loyal to WCCC, please know that your openness to not only me, but to the Spirit’s movement, and your tangible hunger for the Lord and His presence, has been of great encouragement to me! WCCC is such a special place, and I am so grateful to God for bringing me to this church family!
All for His glory,