The opportunity was before me and the direction from the Lord was clear. Through an unusual set of circumstances, God was leading me to go to seminary. The only question was, could I trust Him enough to follow His leading?
I was scared to death. I had worked hard and successfully navigated an undergraduate degree in music. But the truth was, much about the discipline of music was intimidating to me. I knew people that had struggled with graduate music degrees who were much better musicians than me. I had the fear deep down that seminary work would eat me alive.
Besides, we were serving a full-time church that we loved with a pastor that was especially encouraging to us. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?
But God was calling.
So, one day we loaded up the truck and we moved to Baton Rouge to serve a church there and start seminary at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. By the grace of God, two and a half years later I graduated with my Master of Church Music degree and have been a proud NOBTS alum ever since. I bet my story has been repeated thousands of times over the history of the “School of Providence and Prayer.”
Last year, NOBTS came calling and asked if I would join fellow alum Chris Machen and his wife Diane to write a musical marking the centennial celebration of the school. The theme of the celebration was, “Answering the Call.” “Perfect,” I thought.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary celebrates 100 years of answering the call of God to train men and women of God to go into the world with the Gospel by singing a musical co-written by two of the many trained and sent out by the school. This anthem is one song from the musical called “Our Faithful God” that we wrote to honor our school and encourage others to be faithful in carrying out the mission.
This journey has been amazing. The call came “ringing ‘ore the restless waves” many years ago and is still ringing today. We are sent and the world needs the Gospel.
Send the light.
Purchase this anthem and more at LifeWay.com/Worship.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book (checkout his latest book: Worship Essentials). In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family (and his two new grand-babies). Visit MikeHarland.com to keep up with all that Mike has going on.