Below is a transcript from my interview with John Martin. Please leave a comment below to help us welcome him!
Dwayne: Hi everyone. Welcome to the Worship Q&A podcast. I’m Dwayne Moore and every week we try to answer questions that worship leaders are asking. This week we don’t really have a question John, but we do have a celebration moment. I have my friend John Martin here sitting in on this podcast. This is actually his first official day to work on our staff here at NLW International. Very excited John to have you here man.
John: Excited to be here.
Dwayne: Yeah, I can tell you look excited. I think he’s already seen all the work that he has to do and I think he’s already … It’s already settling in on him. This is a big job, it’s an important job. So, we’re going to hear from him in just a few minutes in telling us why he wanted to be a part of this ministry. And also some things he has in mind that he’s hoping to bring to us to help us. Well, help worship leaders and help churches.
Before we get into that John, I just want to mention the importance of some things coming up that we think … We’re really excited about. We have a new coaching phase coming up in a couple months. We have three coaching phases. We are in the influence phase right now. That will go through into March and then we’ll start a new coaching phase. We’ll start one in May. And that one in May will be focusing on the impact we can make with our groups. So, I want to encourage you. John would love to talk to you and just help you know more about that. And so we’ll tell you more about that later but just want to put a bug in your ear to start with today, beginning of our podcast about thinking about joining our coaching community. We have a lot of fun and they’re very interactive. Every week’s … Never know what’s going to come up. We’re going to talk about and pray over and encourage each other about. But we try to take different topics and make it really practical from week to week. We also make it very customized. We actually help you develop growth plans for you and for your group that’s very personalized. Check that out and hopefully be a part of that.
But for now let’s jump back into this with John. We’ve been friends a long, long time. But we’ve also shared, I think, a common desire to disciple. John’s been a pastor for many years, so he’s got a pastor’s heart. And when we saw the opportunity came available for us to work together in this ministry, wow, we jumped on that. So, wherever you want to start from, John. Tell us about yourself.
John: Well, first of all it is great to be here. I am excited about what God is doing and what God has done. You know, I remember … Wow, I think it was 12 years ago or so that you were at a church doing a revival for me that I was pastoring. You know, you told me, “Hey, I got this idea.” And we spent a little bit of time talking about it and praying over it and working out some mission vision statement type stuff. And I think that I bought in that day. You know, I pastored for over 20 years at various sized churches, different styles of worship. I wish that I’d had this type of material. The coaching session just talking about, I wish that that had been available for the worship leaders that I’ve worked with throughout the years, even back then. It’s just so valuable. The relationship between a pastor and a worship leader is so vital, so important. And they’ve gotta be on the same page. You know, we never want any tension or anything within a staff. You know, the pastor and the youth leader or the pastor and the children’s minister, the pastor and the janitor may not always see eye to eye on everything and it doesn’t impact the congregation. But if the pastor and the worship leader are not on that same page then that’s something that’s going to be evident for everyone to see.
Dwayne: I’m glad you mentioned the relationship from the pastor and the worship leader. That’s one of the things, frankly John, I don’t know if I told you this, but I’m really excited about you being a part of this part of our staff because you bring that dynamic that we haven’t had. You know, I’ve never been a pastor. I’ve never been a lead pastor. And so it’s hard for me to help people in that role or to relate to pastors that we got a lot of pastors that come to us for help, for advice, for encouragement. We have a lot of worship leaders that want to know better how to work and communicate better with their pastors. So, you can help us know how to do that. And I think that’s going to be a really great asset to us that you do that.
John: Yeah, I’m real excited about the possibilities of that. But you know, even move beyond the idea of pastor and worship pastor. The impact that the materials that we offer. The impact that can have on the church as a whole. Anyone at any level, you know, Dwayne I’m a firm believer that … And I don’t mean this to sound cliche, but I’m a firm believer that worship is more than music.
John: You know it’s not about what we do on Sunday morning, it’s about how that we live our life. And just helping people to understand that worship is a lifestyle. It’s not something we do … It’s not a life event. But it’s a lifestyle. I feel that if the church as a whole could catch sight of that and just grasp that truth, man the impact that we’d make for the kingdom in this world is just phenomenal what it could do.
Dwayne: You were actually one of the first people that I tried this material out on and when I was writing the Pure Praise book for my own team. I don’t know, maybe I called you up and said, “Hey, I got this thing I’m writing.” You were always nice to me, never said what you probably really thought back then. You probably thought, “He’s writing a book. He’s gotta be crazy.” But you know, you supported me I that. But you also took time to read it. And then you ended up taking some of your people through it. Maybe just take a moment and … Because I remember you had a pretty phenomenal experience with some of the materials even years ago with your own congregation, didn’t you?
John: We did. I have … Ever since you came out with Pure Praise I’ve encouraged each church that I’ve served at for the worship leader to carry the praise team, the choir all those folks through that is phenomenal. But you know, one of the things that a lot of people may not know about. You know, you developed a church-wide campaign that takes some of those same principles, same truths. And I had the joy, the privilege of being able to pilot that in one of my congregations. And I’ll never forget, we ended the whole thing with this emphasis on just that lifestyle of worship. What that looks like. I had a deacon that had been a deacon for several years within the church, very dependable, very strong individual that came up to me and told me. He said, “You know, preacher.” He said, “I want you to understand one thing that I’ve come to realize and see out of all this is that if I’m not leading people to Jesus. If I’m not fishing,” I’ll never forget he said, “If I’m not fishing, I’m not following.”
John: He said, “If I’m not actively trying to lead people to Christ.” He said, “I can’t say that I truly worship him.” And just the impact that that made and I’ll never forget, from that day forward that guy, he was at every outreach opportunity that we gave.
Dwayne: Wow, that’s a great story.
John: And really impacted by that. And that’s the truth that comes from understanding the importance of lifestyle worship.
Dwayne: And that’s one of the reasons over the years when we’ve talked, I’ve been praying. My wife and I would pray often, “Lord, if you would just ever give us the opportunity, we would jump on it to have John to be a part of our staff and a part of this ministry.” Because, you worked a full-time job up until just a couple weeks ago where you didn’t have the time to focus on this ministry. But now, now you do. So why don’t you take a minute and walk us through, you know, where you just came from to where you are now and what you’re hoping for in the next few months being a part of this.
John: Well, you know one of the things that I’m excited about, believe that God has brought me to this point for is just to help you get the foundation laid. I truly believe and I’ve always believed, Dwayne, that God had something big in store for NLW. I truly believe that he’s going to use NLW International to impact this world for his kingdom. And just getting some of those tasks done that lays the foundation for not just what we’re doing today, but for what we’re going to be doing two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now.
John: Helping to just bring all that together and hopefully as time progresses, being able to be more hand-on with even the different things that we’re doing ministerially. Maybe opening up some doors to minister to pastors who are struggling with the concept of worship or are needing some help in their own ministry in teaching about worship and teaching lifestyle worship.
Dwayne: I think also in helping us develop even more church-wide materials. I know one of the things we hear a lot of worship leaders say is, we feel like we have a grasp on standing up there and singing and playing, but we don’t know how to communicate that and pull our people into real experiencing, truly experiencing worship. We have developed and we continue to develop materials that can help churches experience, and really understand and then experience true worship.
We haven’t announced your role, but your role is more in the operational area, Chief Operational Officer, Director to Operations, that kind of thing. But, man you just bring so much to the table. So we’re going to try our best to keep you focused on the area that I’m the weakest and that’s administration. I definitely need help on that but, there’s no way we got you around without also glean from your knowledge or wisdom and your experience. And so anyway, I just wanted to introduce you to our guys and folks that are listening by podcast and just real excited, man. That God would give us this opportunity to work with you. And we pray for a long time to come.
John: We are excited. My wife, Dee and I were just so excited about what God is going to do. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Dwayne: Amen. John, if they want to schedule us for an event. If they want to know more about our coaching program, they can call our office or they can send an email to us. But, you might very well be one of the guys that reaches out to them. So, you may be talking to John in the future and certainly if you’d like to talk to John, I know he would-
John: Absolutely. I’m always available. Anything that I can do to help, you know, always feel free. You can reach me at JMartin@NLWInternational.com. You know, I’ll be glad to help you in any way that I can. Dwayne has a great heart and Dwayne wants to go out and help anyone and everyone that reaches out. I’m the guy that can help make sure that we’re able to do that. So, you know, feel free to reach out to me with anything. Anything at all that I can discuss or help you in any way, we want to do. We do have some great materials. And I love talking about what impact you can see. You know, Dwayne talked about the coaching networks coming up and it is the impact phase. And guys, I’m telling you, having seen it and experienced it, and as a pastor I don’t know a pastor that would not want his worship leader to be a part of something like that. Because, it does indeed make an impact that truly reaches beyond the praise team.
Dwayne: Right, that’s our prayer. Well, hey guys thank you for joining us today for this podcast. John, welcome man and again thanks so much for being a part of this today and joining us. We are going to let you get back to work and hey guys we’ll look forward to seeing you next week. Don’t forget to send in your questions if you have one to our office, office@NLWInternational.com. And we’ll see you back next week. Thanks so much.