My name is Brenton. I'm a worship leader guy. But not really on purpose. I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. Somehow won a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford. Got a degree in Philosophy and Politics. And then a diploma in Theology. But the real action wasn't happening on my resume. The real action was what God was doing in me in little school halls, and after hours lecture theaters. Stirring my heart in worship, stirring my heart to see Him and seek Him. A pursuit that overruled my desires to make my resume look good, or use my opportunities 'appropriately'. Not a battle the Lord won easily… and one He still fights with me almost daily :)
Again, with very little engagement or ready willingness on my behalf, I found myself writing and leading on Vineyard UK worship records - records that have somehow travelled far further than I will ever travel across this world. Records that have put my scribbled prayers and heartfelt notes to the Lord in the hands and mouths of people I will probably never meet. This staggers me most weeks.
After 10 years of trying my very best to feel comfortable living in England, I eventually gave up. Health problems and a persistent feeling of being out of place lead me back to the mountains and the ocean and the sunshine again. This time in California. The health problems persist but my heart is as at home here as it ever was in Cape Town - even if I will always feel the life of Africa in my veins. I live near the sea with my wife Jude, and our two little girls Bella and Lulu. I pay very close attention to weather conditions and swell patterns, and most days you can find me in the Pacific Ocean paddling for just one more wave. Most of my lyrics and melodies are shaped out there in the space between land and sky.
Almost all the physical qualities that landed me in positions of leadership and responsibility in God's church have faded. I no longer have more energy than anyone in the room. I am almost certainly not the guy taking more notes than anyone else during a sermon. I don't lead multiple small group and other meetings during the week. I'm seldom leading or even in attendance at regular prayer meetings. In short, I'm one of those people who would have genuinely troubled me when I was on pastoral staff. My body has disqualified me from a lot of the activity I regarded as the most important signs of a 'committed christian'. But - and this is important - what is stronger than ever before in me is a crystal clear awareness of my dependance on my God. I am nothing without Him. And what my heart offers Him is more important than any list of boxes I used to use to assess my faith. Man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart. But beyond that, it is what He has chosen to do in me and through me that will stand. That and nothing else. His work in me is more important than any work I do for Him. And I am so very grateful to God for allowing me to walk along side a community of friends and family who love and honor Him so strongly and let me share with them occasionally what He is doing in me. At least one Sunday a month you will find me smiling and singing at Calvary Community church in Thousand Oaks, CA.
If you're still reading this, I am surprised and grateful for your interest. Perhaps a church near you will invite me and my band to spend a night or a morning singing our prayers to the Lord with you. But the likelihood is small. If not my prayer and thought for you, and for me and my house, is that God in His mercy, would continue to draw us nearer to Him. And that our hearts would burn with a passion for His kingdom that would over rule our pride and fear, our cultural limitations and social preoccupations and would usher in the light and the life and the love of God's presence and kingdom wherever we are. May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon You.