This week we hear from Jayson Oldham, also know as "Jays," or "the smiley worship guy." He is the newest member of our team and we have absolutely been blessed by his presence here on staff. Jayson can always be found with a coffee in hand and any number of instruments in tow. In the one year since he started at SDBC, we have seen an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, a banjo, an accordion, a xylophone, a cello, a jingle johnny, and a tambourine all cross our stage in a worship set due to the resourcefulness and talents of Jayson. If you spend even two minutes with him, you will soon learn how caring, passionate, and team-oriented he is. So, I would recommend spending those two minutes getting to know him.
What is your role at SDBC and how long have you worked here?
I am the Worship Arts Director here at the church. I work alongside the pastors and staff to creatively and collectively serve the church and encourage an ever-growing heart for worship. I have very much enjoyed learning and growing in my role since I started here in December 2019.
What is something about you that people in the church might be surprised to discover?
Good question! My life is pretty much an open book, however, I think it might surprise many people that back in my teenage years (the 80s) I had longer and blonder hair than most women at the time! I can remember the looks I got when I started going to church back then: some of horror and some of delight!
What are some of the things you love most about being part of the SDBC community/family?
I always love seeing and hearing how Jesus has transformed the lives of the people of this church family. I have barely scratched the surface of getting to hear these stories (in light of the times we are in) but I have been super encouraged by the staff and families I have had the privilege to dig a little deeper with.
How has your role shifted and changed since the start of COVID-19?
There have been a few major shifts, while at the same time, the heart behind the role has remained the same. For the first few months, I fumbled through learning how to lead a church and worship alongside the church, without seeing (or hearing) the church. Even though grabbing a guitar and singing to Jesus has been both a personal discipline and a joyful pattern in my life, it has still been an adjustment moving to cameras and digital connections. Things certainly got a lot more technical with audio recording and production and learning some ropes in those areas. Now that we have settled into a groove of in-person and online gatherings (thanks to an AMAZING group of volunteers), it's continuing to think about how to inspire, encourage, and foster a heart for Jesus and the worship of his name, and how to best raise up a new generation of creative servants who will grow in their gifts and be willing to offer Jesus their talents.
What are some of the challenges and triumphs you have encountered in your life and work since the beginning of COVID 19?
Well, I don't want to compartmentalize too much here, but I try to keep things pretty simple and prioritized in life, even though I think A LOT about it!
1. My walk with Jesus: COVID-19 has certainly been cause for both deeper faith questioning and deeper faith following. God has met me with his love and goodness throughout the past nine months, and has protected me from fear and the stress of isolation.
2. My life as husband and father: these unique times have both strengthened and challenged family life. Yes, we have each other, but sometimes close quarters with those you love most and feel most comfortable with lead to a big old mess of emotion, frustration, and annoyance. Thankfully, we haven't given up on each other, and nor will we!
3. My calling and role as one who points the church in joyful hope, to the highest of all human endeavours, giving glory to God: thankfully, though extremely challenging, the Holy Spirit has reminded me daily that this is his job and has been from the beginning. I do not bear the weight of spiritual transformation, in myself or in others. I need to keep trusting God in this, and join him in obedience and love, humbly learning along the way. Hopefully, by grace, I will continue to lead by example.
How can we pray for you in this season of life?
I would always welcome prayer! I have had some health issues and a recent surgery that I would love full recovery from. I am thankful that even during COVID-19 this has moved along fairly quickly.
Regarding my family, Juli and I are well into the process of adoption. It's truly a wonderful story of how we feel God has been using us and blessing us, as we have fostered this little guy for more than three years now, and things are moving towards permanency. Please pray for strength and guidance.
I would also love all of us to be mindfully praying for one another. As we may very well be physically disconnected, the reality of the spiritual battle is still very much evident, and our SDBC family needs to rise up and pray together, that we would not shrink back, but be more full in our faith and persevere! (Hebrews 10:39).
Click here to email encouragement to Jayson.