Warren Community Fellowship welcomed a new associate pastor at the beginning of this month. Tom Adams joined the church as an associate pastor leading the worship arts ministry.
"The big picture for me is desiring to see people come into God's presence through the creative arts," Adams said. "Music, video, drama, productions ... All of those forms of the creative arts help people get a better picture of who God is, what He's done for us, and again, sharing Jesus and his love and that he wants to have a relationship with us."
The worship arts ministry is one of a handful of ministries within the non-denominational church. The church also has ministries for men, women, children, teens, young adults and young families.
Adams previously served in similar roles in churches in California, Washington, Wisconsin and Colorado before moving to Oregon this summer with his wife, Valerie, and three sons.
Having spent recent years in short-term roles, Adams said he and his family wanted "to sink some roots and just be here."
"We're obviously still brand new, but I think there's a sense of stability that took place pretty much from when we got into town," Adams said.
Throughout the hiring process, Pastor Cary Wacker kept the congregation updated on Adams, offering prayers for the family's travels and the future, and even organizing volunteers to help the family unpack and settle in after they arrived.
Adams jumped right into services upon arrival. In recent weeks, Adams has led songs during services, singing and playing piano.
Adams' position in merging creative arts and worship is one that has been formed throughout his life.
"I've been involved in music all my life," said Adams. "I always knew I wanted to do music, so I initially went to school with the intention of that. Ministry wasn't even on my mind at that time, it was just being a professional musician."
Adams grew up in the church and was still involved in the church when attending college for music in California.
"While I was still in college, I got a part-time job in a church as an accompanist and a choir director, and that really kind of began sparking the idea of directing choirs and doing music in the church," Adams said. "Experiencing the church music, the desire of leading people in worship and using creative arts as a tool to preach the gospel — that appealed to me."
In Adams' personal philosophy of worship ministry, the key is prioritizing God above all else.
"We work hard at being artists, we work hard at learning a skill or craft, and as important as that craft is, it's important that we stay focused, that we're here to worship God first," Adams said.
Adams also wants the ministry to be multigenerational, always open to new artists, and cohesive with the other ministries.
"We're going to participate with all the ministries of the church for the sum whole of the church ... to support the overall mission and vision that the church has and not just be an island unto ourselves," he explained. "We're going to be growing as worshippers, as artists, and we're going to be growing in our relationship with God, with Jesus, with ourselves spiritually, and we're going to be growing in community."
Next Thursday, Aug. 29, Warren Community Fellowship will host a meeting for anyone interested in participating in worship arts.
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