February 02, 2022 · Comments Off on ABOUT DONALD
Who are you?
I am a follower of Christ. Husband to Kelly, father to two little ones...who aren't so little anymore.
I currently serve as the Director of Communications, Arts, Music, and Liturgy at Doxa Church in Redmond, WA and have been leading worship since 2001 in the local church. I've coached worship leaders since 2010, and written several published works, particularly in the area of worship structures, creating worship culture, and leadership development. I was a founding pastor at Living Stones Churches in Reno, NV where I served for 14 years. My family and I came to the Eastside of Seattle to help replant Doxa Church under Jeff Vanderstelt in early 2015.
Lastly, I have various hobbies including fly fishing, freshwater aquariums, trading sports cards, and grilling on the Big Green Egg. I also have an unrelenting weakness for food trucks and tacos.
What's your story?
I was born in Reno, NV and then shortly after moved to the Bay Area outside San Francisco, CA. Growing up primarily in a single-parent home wasn’t easy, but my Mom worked hard to make sure we never felt the pinch. I struggled to find my niche and crowd until I started running cross country and track in high school. A team mate shared and showed the radical love of Christ to me in a variety of ways, and that led to me trusting Jesus with my life at a CMA Christian camp in Occidental, CA. I jumped into serving in the local church, helping with youth worship and then college ministry. I worked in the Silicon Valley for some Dot.com startups, interned for the government on the Human Genome Project, and worked on contracts for Chevron and Microsoft. I returned to Reno in 2001 to finish my Bachelors and helped plant a church called Living Stones. I married in 2005, had a couple of kids, and served in the local church there until moving to the Seattle area in 2015.
What have you done in music?
Truth is, I'm a mediocre musician. I'm competent on keys and guitar, but I'm no virtuoso. I made a conscious decision a long time ago to avoid some of the things required to “make it” (heavy touring, endless self-promotion), to instead do the things I felt would help me stay healthy and faithful. Giving myself to the local church for me is about chasing faithfulness over platform.
I’ve had a role in the local church my entire adult life. This means that many of the traditional paths traveled by musicians have been unavailable. In the end, my favorite times making music have been when I've been able to surround myself with others far more talented than me.
On occasion, I have been able to experience some great moments in music ministry. The top of that list is always the connection to a local church and leading them in song.
Outside of the local church, I've enjoyed a couple of special seasons in music. Radio play is reserved for big bands on big labels but my first radio single “At the Cross” broke most of those rules with play on over 40+ reporting AC stations across the county. I’ve shared the stage with bands like Barlow Girl, Building 429, Future of Forestry, and the Afters. I’ve toured and played some of the biggest Christian festivals. All that though pales in comparison to the opportunity to help worship leaders, arts leaders, and churches through my songs and coaching. This means a lot to me.
Itinerant ministry has taken me to every state in the contiguous U.S. and abroad to Europe, Mexico, South Africa, and Japan. I've recorded six studio albums, the most recent of which, “Hopefully Broken” is available on iTunes.
Why do you do coaching?
Simply put, I am deeply passionate about equipping worship leaders and volunteers to make much of Jesus, by using music and the arts in the church in a way that’s theologically informed, practical, and contextual. My calling is to equip artists to tell the Gospel story.
I love coaching leaders. Not because I can do it better than anyone else, but my years of experience and exposure to denominations and tribes in church-world have helped me be an effective mentor and trainer to others. I’ve experienced the joy of having something God stirs in me be helpful to others. Something recognizable in the words I have written have rattled around in their chest.
After all these years, I still believe artists are essential in the local church. They help capture a small glimpse of things the way they ought to be and will be again.
If Jesus is the purpose of worship ministry (which He is), then faithfulness is utmost in what we strive for. I love building up leaders that care about faithfulness. I’ve come alongside dozens of leaders over the years to help them lead worship more effectively, build a plan, and walk in faithfulness in light of their unique gifting. Read more on my coaching here.