Time to take stock of the previous year and think about what goals and aspirations the following year brings. There have certainly been a lot of challenges and difficulties in the last year, but I find myself thankful to God for His continued faithfulness. As always, I am grateful for all the opportunities and all the people I meet along my adventures in faith and art. Here’s a summary of 2011, by the numbers…
Number of Worship Services: 107. That sounds like a lot of worship services, and maybe it is. I did a rough estimate of the number of services I’ve probably led in the past 21 years of full-time ministry and I came up with about 4,000. That’s a lot of time leading God’s people in worship. Which is to say, I have the best job in the world.
Number of Gigs: 50. I guess I’ve been pretty busy playing out, but few really memorable gigs, except for a few ML3 concerts for various non-profits like the Twin Lakes Food Bank. The most difficult thing is that my long-time drummer and friend, Steve Liberti, has moved to Germany with his family to be full-time missionaries for Proclaim! International. This set me back a bit, though I’m happy to say that I have a new drummer in Chad Jackson, a young and inventive percussionist who I know you’ll love.
Number of Speaking engagements: 9. The highlight of my year speaking-wise was visiting my friends at Moody Publishers in Chicago, the publishers of my book, Imagine That. There, I was given the opportunity to speak at Moody Bible Institute for their 125th Anniversary Founders Week. Nothing like a Chicago blizzard to make you appreciate what you have. I also spoke at the Worship Conference at William Jessup University, the CCD Expo in Sacramento, a few national radio programs, and the Oak Hills’ Intersections: Faith and the Arts Conference. Slam it here if you’d like to hear me speaking on the Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio.
Number of Missions Trips: 0. With the economy the way it is, and with a lot going on at home, I felt it best not to pursue any missions opportunities in 2011. However, I am extremely excited to begin a new ministry to the Philippines next month. I’ll be teaching at the Bicol Center for Christian Leadership in Legazpi City, sponsored by the North American Baptist Conference. Read more about this opportunity here.
Number of Funerals: 8. No better way to put it—the year 2011 sucked. We said goodbye to a good number of very dear friends in this last year, all of whom died before their time. Much, much grief experienced in 2011.
Number of CDs Produced: 2. In 2012, I had the privilege and joy of producing an album for my dear friend, Cate Morris, a Christian recording artist and worship leader out of Alaska. Her new album, RED SKY, is available on iTunes and cdbaby.com, and the songs are amazing. Read more about it here. I was also able to produce a compilation album of songs from my last three albums, entitled SO FAR. Read about it here, and see or email me if you’d like to purchase a copy.
Number of Blog Entries: 33. Culture, beauty, metaphors, and the mechanics of art. Book endorsements, artist profiles, and upcoming events. Stories about bad haircuts, Christina Aguilera, and a Little Drummer Boy. After four years of blogging, the number of hits to my website increased about 50% this last year, which was pretty startling. I’m very grateful to all of you, my readers, for the privilege that you give me of giving me your valuable time to read my blogs.
2012 and Beyond. I’m not sure what 2012 will bring, but I do have some projects in the works. I’m working on another book right now and in the process of seeking a publisher. I’m preparing for what I suspect will be the first of many missions trips to the Philippines. I think I’d like to record a new album of material this year. And as always, I always have my hand in a number of artistic things.
Of course, the Mayans could be right, in which case we’ll all be singing in heaven. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing.