Where are you from and what’s your family like?
I am originally from Los Angeles and come from a family of six, but somehow I am the only one with red hair.
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
It's always too hard to choose just one – Still Feel Like Your Man by John Mayer and Chained To The Rhythm by Katy Perry.
Early bird or night owl?
Totally a night owl.
Where are you traveling next?
I’m going to Bali this summer for a background vocal job!
Describe your journey to Saddleback.
My journey to Saddleback Worship began over a decade ago. I was studying songwriting, recording, and singing at a local performing arts high school; interning at a recording studio near LA; and on top of it all, working on my technique and performance by taking weekly piano lessons and studying music theory – I lived and breathed music. But when the music teacher who had invested so much in me left the academy during my senior year, I had to rethink my next steps. Where was I supposed to go from here? During time spent in prayer and reflection, it became clear that God wanted me to get involved at the church my family had been attending for several years: Saddleback. I immediately became involved with the student choir and later joined the adult vocal worship ministry. The worship pastor and vocal director at that time played a significant role in my growth as a worship leader and taught me the heart of worship.
What is your job title?
I am the vocal director at our Los Angeles campus. I was incredibly honored to be asked to join Saddleback Worship in this capacity, but I was equally terrified and excited about this new position. With the support of our worship pastor, John Cassetto, and the Saddleback Lake Forest team, I walked into my role completely encouraged and confident in my calling. I knew without a doubt that God shaped and prepared me for this.
What does your day-to-day work look like?
Each week looks a little different for me – that’s what I love about it! Not only am I vocal directing and helping lead worship at our LA campus each Sunday, I’m occasionally at our Lake Forest campus as well, giving vocal direction for weekend services and special events. I love that this role gives me the chance to connect with team members from so many of our campuses. For our LA team, I create the weekend set lists, roster vocal team members, prepare vocal arrangements, charts, and isolations, and walk new team members through our onboarding process. My goal is to always provide clear and organized materials that our vocalists can easily follow, helping them know exactly what to prepare so they can come to vocal rehearsal confident in their parts and free to simply worship and lead during services.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that I get to work with vocalists who are at different skill levels and help them sound the best they can together in a team environment. I have always been drawn to vocal excellence, so getting into the technicalities, encouraging them to tell their testimony in their singing and creating a sweet blend amongst different tones and harmonies makes it all so exciting for me.
I also love simply connecting with my team members and talking about life together. The relationships that come out of this ministry are so valuable to me.
What is God teaching you through this role?
With a job so music-oriented and organizationally-focused, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the small details. In the midst of it all, God is gently reminding me that it’s much more than the music. He is reminding me to shepherd the people He has entrusted me with; to be more intentional with my time; to listen closely and ask the important (and sometimes really hard) questions. He is teaching me to be present, to love on and graciously lead my team just as Jesus would.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KAYLA HARKERWorship Team Copy Writer
Kayla works with the Saddleback Worship Team to create and assemble content to help provide resources for other churches and tell the Saddleback Worship story.
twitter: @kaylaraeharker | facebook: @kaylaraeharker | instagram: @kaylaraeharker