“How did we get here?…”

…that’s the question I kept asking myself last Friday night as I stood atop the Trump Terrace, overlooking the Windy City. 

Recently, 10,000 Fathers has developed a unique partnership with Northern Seminary which is based just outside of Chicago. After undergoing the 18-month journey that 10,000 Fathers has to offer, students now have the ability to further their education with a Masters in Worship through Northern. 

Last week, I was given the opportunity, along with other leaders and students, to be a part of the pilot class. In complete honesty, I was a little nervous about what to expect. I’ve been out of the classroom for quite some time now and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the return of cold chalkboards, long lectures, and busy-work. 

But as I walked into our first class on Tuesday evening, it felt more like a family reunion than the first day of school. I was immediately greeted by worship school students I hadn’t seen for (what has felt like) ages. The Northern Faculty welcomed us all with warmth and hospitality. The classrooms were open freely for discussion as we studied Church History together. It soon became clear I wasn’t alone in this endeavor; I had a community to journey with towards the Masters Degree. 

I couldn’t help but feel like something monumental was taking place. At times, I would look around the classroom and laugh. A group of musicians who actually care about furthering their education!? This was a different breed of musician than any I had ever seen… Especially in the Church. 

In a day and age where so many worship leaders in the modern Church have been satisfied with leading songs and not people, here was a group that was sacrificing time and resources to go further in their character and craft.

On Friday evening, when class concluded, we made our way to the heart of Chicago. We walked the busy city streets (Lollapalooza was in town), ate at the Eataly, and eventually found ourselves overlooking the entire city from the Trump Terrace. As we stood, breathing in the beauty of the Windy City, studying its architecture, noticing its symmetry, I couldn’t help but reflect and ask the question: “How did we get here?” When Aaron started the worship school in his basement years ago, he had a heart to disciple worship leaders, but I don’t think he ever dreamed it would have taken us to Northern Seminary to work towards a Masters in Worship.  

The only explanation I have is that God must care. He must care about a new generation of worship leaders taking their place in the Church; worship leaders who aren’t satisfied with just leading songs, but leading people.

He must care about worship leaders understanding the Church’s history - so they know how to lead their congregations into the future.

He must care about worship leaders understanding theology - the theology they’re teaching on a weekly basis through the songs they lead. God must care.

Otherwise, I have no idea how we got here.