Occasionally, God will allow our paths to cross with someone who is extremely humble, talented, and has an amazing heart for God and the church. For nearly two years, our church has been blessed to have Trent Berry as our worship leader. When Trent started with The Grove, he didn’t really have a band to work with, but since then, he has built a full worship team consisting of various instrumentalists and vocalists. He’s built this team from within our church and has led them well. The chemistry and heart of our worship team is healthy and strong. Beyond the visible impact he has made on both our worship and tech teams, God has used him to be a blessing and continual source of joy to so many people within our church.

It was announced this past Sunday that after months of seeking God’s direction, Trent has felt led to join the Marines. Therefore, Trent will soon be transitioning out of his role as worship leader of The Grove. Trent confidently believes this is God’s next step for him both in life and his faith journey, so our response as a church should be full support of him and his decision. While we will miss Trent, we can affirm that God has His hand on Trent’s life, so we know the future is bright for him.

The Grove would not be in the position to continue moving forward as we are if Trent had not worked as hard as he has over the last 20 months. Trent has been a blessing and gift to us, and I hope you will acknowledge that with me.

With any transition, many questions will arise, so I want to answer some of the obvious questions you may have as we pray for and seek the next person who will lead our worship team. I encourage you to read these answers carefully, pray for our leadership as we seek God’s next leader, and encourage Trent as much as possible while he is still with us. Prior to his final Sunday with us, we will have a time of commissioning and celebrating to give thanks for his time of leadership with The Grove.

Is Trent being forced to move on from The Grove?

Absolutely not. In no way whatsoever has Trent been asked or encouraged to seek other opportunities. This is purely something God has birthed within Trent. With that being said, we equally believe God is currently preparing and calling someone to help us as a church take our next steps of faith with Jesus!

What is the timeline for Trent’s transition?

Trent is currently planning to leave in November, but that timeline could be pushed back slightly depending on his exact next steps with the Marines. Nevertheless, Trent will continue to lead us in worship at least through the month of October.

When will we begin looking for our next worship leader?

I began the search for our next worship leader a few weeks ago and have already begun meeting with people, so the search is underway. Ideally, we’d like to have someone in place prior to Trent’s transition to the Marines so they could co-lead together for a short time, but God has a perfect plan as to how everything needs to happen. We will trust God with the details and timing knowing that if He has a plan for Trent, then He also has a plan for The Grove as well.

Who will make the decision about our new worship leader?

I will be leading the search, but our ministry leadership team, which is Craig Cantrell, Christie Brown, and Eric Smith, will also play a part in the final decision. According to our by-laws, our church does not vote on staffing decisions other than the hiring of a lead pastor. However, you will have a chance to worship with and meet a potential worship leader prior to the hire becoming official.

What changes can we expect?

We will continue moving forward in our current style of music, so in regards to style and song selection, there will not be significant changes. At the same time, every worship leader has their own uniqueness and sound, so things will not be exactly the same, but generally speaking, our song selection and style will continue as they currently are with us introducing new songs at various times throughout the year.

Since Trent has built our worship team with people from within The Grove, we will continue to lean on their gifts and abilities as long as they are willing to serve. We are truly blessed to have the people we have from within our church who use their instrumental and vocal gifts for the glory of Jesus and the building up of our church.

What are we looking for in the next worship leader?

Above everything else, we are looking for a relational, servant leader… Someone who is willing to disciple others, invest in people, and be an active part of our church. Trent did this really, really well! These qualities are non-negotiable for us in this search. In connection with this, our next worship leader will also be able to lead and further develop our team from within our church. From a musical perspective, we will value someone who is confident and skilled with their vocals, able to play guitar, and at least familiar with various instruments. At the same time, they must be able to lead our church in worship with a humble yet engaging persona.

Can people give input regarding the next worship leader?
Your feedback and questions are always welcome, but as has been stated in the previous answers above, we have a clear idea of what we are looking for in regards to character, music styles, abilities, etc. Our church structure empowers and trusts our leadership to make a wise, Spirit-led decision on behalf of our church both present and future.

What if someone isn’t hired when Trent has to leave?

We believe God has a perfect timing for all things. Sometimes His timing is not our timing, so the following principle will guide us as we seek our next worship leader… It’s better to hire the right person at a slower pace than to hire the wrong person at a faster pace…  However, this doesn’t mean we will avoid making a quick hire; it just means we must make the right hire! While the worship leader is an important position we need to fill, God’s presence and work in our church reaches way beyond any one individual. We are confident God has a plan in place, and in His due time, He will reveal that plan and person to us. Should the time come for Trent to leave and a long-term replacement is not in place, then a short-term/interim plan will be established well before his transition from The Grove.