I don’t usually watch the final credits of a movie. The exception is when a performance has been so amazing, I want to learn the performers’ names so I can truly appreciate the excellence of their performances.
This is my last blog as Director of LifeWay Worship. I want to submit to you that the Leadership Team at LifeWay Worship (myself excluded) delivered an amazing performance over the time I’ve been here. If I deserve any credit, it’s for putting this team together and staying out of their way. I have said for years that I was the most expendable member of this team. Now I get to prove that to be true. You wouldn’t have even noticed my exit if I hadn’t announced it.
Roll the credits.
Brian Brown, now Acting Director, has been Senior Manager of Operations. He is one of the sharpest people I know, was promoted three times during my watch, and is ready to lead during this time. He’s a great singer, pastor’s kid, and my erstwhile co-host of our podcast.
Craig Adams, Creative Director. He has more talent in his pinky than I do in my body. He is the secret sauce behind every great piece of music we have produced. Even better music resources are ahead for LifeWay Worship because of him.
Ricky King, Director of Church Supplies. He is one of the brightest business minds at LifeWay and has built the supplies area of our work into a juggernaut that serves churches. I have learned so much from him.
Chasity Phillips, Marketing Manager. She tells the LifeWay Worship story as well as anyone ever has. She is a baseball mom, our head cheerleader, and is the best at writing on a white board.
Vicki Dvoracek, Product Development Specialist. The best way to describe her role is as “Air Traffic Controller.” She follows the process of creating each product from beginning to end. Imagine a busy airport without a tower – that’s what LifeWay Worship would be without her.
Annaclaire Tadlock, Administrative Assistant. I have known AC for most of her life and years ago could have never imagined her as my assistant. Simply put, she made my life make sense. By protecting my commitments, communicating on my behalf, listening to my rants, and praying for my sanity, she kept everything moving and nothing had to stop when I was unavailable. She is a new mom and will be out maternity leave for the next several weeks. I am so proud of her.
I should mention others but won’t for fear I’ll leave out a very deserving person or two. Listen to our podcast this week and I will try to mention even more. The rest of LifeWay Worship should be listed here too. I am so proud of this team.
There is one person that gets a special mention here – Renee Hardwick. Only she knows all the reasons she will always be one of my best friends. We have been foxhole buddies for 15 years. We have stories that neither of us will ever tell. We won’t even tell them to each other. We’ll just sit and grin. We always said we would go out together. She beat me by two months.
I’m a big believer in collaborative leadership and teamwork. I never wanted this work to be the size of my brain because I knew if everyone brought their best, it would be much better than if it was just me. The best part about this style is that nothing ever rests totally on one person and the work goes right on when one leaves. That is what will happen at LifeWay Worship now.
The downside is you develop such strong bonds with your team that saying goodbye is almost like cutting off your limbs. My heart is trying to jump out of my chest as I write this now. It hurts so much to leave, but it is worth every bit of this hurt to have the friendships we’ve built and see the results from our work together.
If something we did hurt your church over the last 15 years, it was probably my idea that I wouldn’t budge on. But if something helped, it was because of this team, their predecessors and teammates, and God’s favor. I love them all so much.
Give God the glory.
It’s time to go.
Cue the lights and head for the exit.