Meet Gatlin Saip
Almost a year ago, I was praying for our church, asking God how to unify our congregation in a special way. It was revealed to me that it was time to combine our two separate worship services into one. We needed to worship together as a community of believers. After thinking and praying about this for a period of time, I asked God how we would accomplish this. I had some sleepless nights and anxious days until I understood that it would take the right person to make this happen. I did not know who this person would be. I felt overwhelmed with what to do, and totally inadequate with how to do it. I addressed this with our elders, who had also been praying, and they agreed it was time to unite our services behind the right person.
During multiple conversations with different men, God led me to speak with Gatlin Saip, someone I did not know personally. We met over coffee and I shared our vision for what we wanted to do in moving to only one service. As we talked, Gatlin shared a bit of his life journey. He and his wife Mackenzie had been married at SDBC, and he was a school teacher at South Delta Secondary, working 3/4 time. He shared that he had been approached a few times before to consider leading worship in other churches, yet he had declined those opportunities. Gatlin was intrigued, however, by our vision and what God had been doing in his and Mackenzie’s lives for some time. Gatlin agreed that he and Mackenzie would consider and pray over what we wanted to do, and whether it was a fit for him. I would pray over this. I left this first meeting certain God had led me to the right person. For me, it was God continuing to lead me through answers to my prayers.
Over the course of several months, we continued to pray along with our elders. It became clear to Gatlin that he was being called into this ministry. We agreed on a process by which a final decision would be made. He had the challenge of leaving his current church that he had been a part of since childhood. That was a very significant issue for all of us. He wanted to leave well and we agreed this was important. In order for him to leave well, it required SDBC to hold his name in strict confidence, giving Gatlin the time to tell people around him and in his church what he and Mackenzie were going to do. It also required us to wait until God moved in such a way that Gatlin’s church gave him and Mackenzie a wonderful blessing and their best wishes as they left. Only after this, could we start our process of properly vetting Gatlin with a support team led by Pastor Paul. Their assignment was to verify what I believed God was doing in Gatlin’s life and in our church life. On July 31st, that team gave me a unanimous endorsement of Gatlin, agreeing he was indeed the right person to lead us into a one service format.
As many of you have discovered by now, Gatlin, in the words of his friends and mentors, is a "young man with an old soul." We have seen him lead both our traditional and modern services. He is a gifted musician, singer, and, I think, a gifted leader. Over the next month, Gatlin will begin to assume more of the leadership of our worship arts ministry. Doug Harris will continue leading the traditional service, and Mary Uher will continue to lead the modern service. On Sunday, September 10th, we will no longer hold these two services. We will meet at 10:00 in the auditorium for one 60-70 minute service, with Gatlin leading our combined worship team made up of those already serving in worship, as well as some new people.
This is indeed a God story of answered prayer and fulfilling vision. Gatlin was officially hired on August 8th. Please welcome Gatlin Saip as our new Director of Worship Arts.