Baby KateMy name is Kate. I was born 24 years ago in the Midwest, and was raised by amazing Godly parents. I grew up loving God and was very active with my youth group and my church community. Unfortunately, when I was 14, I walked away from the Lord. I’d lost my faith in the unseen, and the ways of the world had a hold on my heart. It was a long five-year journey of calling myself an Agnostic Atheist. Agnostic Atheists believe it is impossible to know whether a higher power exists (agnosticism), but they do not believe in any deities (atheism).

 

Unknown-2When I was 19, certain life events led me to a pivotal moment. In this moment, I had a choice to make: I could continue down the road I was on, or I could surrender to God and follow His lead in my life. After a session of pouring out my heart to my good friend (now husband) Andrew, he sat down at the piano in my living room at my parents’ house and began to play the song “Freedom Reigns,” worshiping spontaneously as he processed our discussion. I heard the lyrics for the first time that day and chose freedom in Christ over “freedom” in the world. That day, August 31st 2010, was the first day I began to walk in freedom in the Lord. I left many things behind that day, and opened the door to a much more beautiful existence.

 

[Please note, “freedom” in the world disguises itself as true freedom but the end result is bondage and the complete opposite of freedom entirely. The above is my salvation testimony in a tiny nutshell. If you haven’t heard my full salvation testimony, please talk to me about it!]

 

12572962_10153904162789490_8804455187233702231_n(1)As I grew in my faith, I began exploring worship music. I had attended Epic Church occasionally while still an Agnostic Atheist, as my parents required weekly church attendance as long as I lived under their roof. Now I was attending Epic as a believer. I began playing piano and bass guitar on worship team and loved it! Somewhere in 2012, I developed an interest in singing. I’m not sure where the interest came from, but I started working on singing harmony and melody. In early 2013, Andrew was away for a weekend and no one was available to cover for him in leading worship. I told Andrew I was pretty confident that I could fill in! After some thought and consideration, he decided to let me try. Despite my nerves and inexperience, I felt like a fish in water the first time I led worship. I had no vocal training and no worship training other than watching Andrew lead, but it felt like the most natural thing in the world. I believe I was supernaturally equipped by God for what He wanted me to do. Andrew heard the positive feedback from that service, and knew something new and exciting was happening. I continued leading worship on occasion at Epic, and as I did, my gifting continued to flourish. I kept discovering new things about the ability the Lord had given me and how He wanted me to use it.

In 2015, Andrew was beginning to work on The Twist, a café inside the Epic Center, and was preparing to transition out of his role as head worship leader at Epic. God confirmed in multiple ways that I would be stepping into Andrew’s role and leading the worship ministry. For someone with no training, this was quite intimidating, but I knew it would be through God’s power, not mine. In the fall of 2015, I officially took the title of Worship Ministry Director at Epic Church and have since been dedicating many volunteer hours to ensuring that our worship team is growing and thriving, constantly improving, and bringing excellence to the worship experience at Epic.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 2.01.18 PMGod has provided so much along this journey. He’s equipped and blessed me as I pour time and energy into the giftings He has put in my life, and the calling He has placed on me. Back in early 2014, I began feeling a tug on my heart to look into a two-week worship school run by Bethel Church in Redding, California called WorshipU. I never thought I’d end up going, as I didn’t really see a need for it with what was, at that time, a minor role in worship leading at Epic. In 2015, I saw there truly was a purpose behind that urge to look into the school. In November, I applied and was subsequently accepted into the program! This new venture is simultaneously SO exciting and also absolutely terrifying. I’m going to be living in a house with 10 women I’ve never met; away from my home, my church family, my husband, and yes, my cat, for two weeks. It’s definitely way out of my comfort zone but I’m trusting that through my obedience, God will provide.

 

I am so excited to bring the knowledge and skills taught at WorshipU back to Epic Church and finally have some professional training in worship leading. I will be learning from the professionals at Bethel Church, many of whom have written or co-written a few of the songs we sing on Sunday mornings at Epic. It’s crazy to think that I’ll be able to grow under their leadership, and really soak up the knowledge they’ve gained over their years of serving in worship ministry. I know that this new experience will help our team get to the next level and it will enable me to be the best leader I can be for Epic Worship. Furthermore, as a more fully equipped worship leader, my desire is to enhance the worship experience for each person who attends an Epic Church service. The Bible reveals to us that God loves music, and I desire to honor and bless Him by bringing excellence in worship before the throne. The prophetic words that have been spoken over me regarding my trip have been so wildly encouraging and have left me in awe and great expectancy for what God is going to do in me while I’m in California. I cannot wait to come home with my new knowledge and bring new things to Epic Worship, all for His glory and honor!!

 

919196_4807076582689_258265494_oFor years now, I’ve seen a trend in my life of longing for freedom. From my teenage years of searching, to when I got my first tattoo at 18 (which reads, “I am flawed if I’m not free” and means even more to me now as a believer than it did when I got it), to when I finally let God have my burdens as I heard “Freedom Reigns” and surrendered to Him, to now. In taking the volunteer position of Worship Ministry Director for Epic Church, the Lord has put a burden on my heart to see freedom in worship in our church. I believe that when we experience freedom in worship, we see hearts turned toward the Father in praise. Through that action of surrender, we see broken marriages mended, families grow closer together, chains of addiction broken, the bondage of pain removed, and we see revival spread – but this all begins by turning our gaze toward heaven and worshiping the Father. He is so worthy of it! His presence and His power transforms the atmosphere, it renews our lives; and we in turn have the honor of carrying His presence into the world around us, after being changed by His power and love.

 

If you have any questions or want to know more about Bethel’s WorshipU On Campus experience, please let me know! I will be gone from July 10-24 and appreciate your prayers and support leading up to, and during my absence. I am so thankful to be part of the Epic community and thank you for your love and support over the years!

 

WorshipU_light_sqYou can find more information about WorshipU On Campus on their website. Special Project Update: 64% of the total $2,335 needed for Kate’s trip has been raised! You can be a part of supporting Kate in following God’s call by donating to her training here or you can use giving envelope and mark it “Kate Salib”.