I can honestly say that I first came to Anthem not expecting much. It was a chance to play drums and I wanted to give it a shot. But what I experienced was something I had never felt before as a church musician. The excellence of the music was refreshing but really the big thing was seeing firsthand the way the church leaders bent over backward to personally thank every volunteer, every person who sacrificed time to make Anthem Church what it is. I'm a "words of affirmation" guy (if you're familiar with the #5LoveLanguages) and hearing someone come over to me, EVERY SUNDAY, and shake my hand and thank me for helping out, just stuck like a splinter in my mind, and I knew that I had to keep being a part of this.
The more I was involved, I noticed that this church showed an incredible volunteer environment. I've never seen that many people so happy to give their time so freely. Over time I saw the appreciation for volunteers shown extravagantly again and again which helped me understand how a church could have that successful a volunteer program. And I don't mean extravagant financially, I mean extravagant in thought, deed, and spirit. A church's lifeblood is the people in it willing to give, and Anthem's rich in that!
I have been lucky to hear a number of world-class speakers on a regular basis (Mike Patz, Brian Sanders, Mark Rutland), so my standards are pretty high for good teaching that's challenging, engaging, and not boring. My luck would surprisingly continue as I began to listen to Andy Stanley every week. Challenging and practical teaching made it that much easier to call Anthem Church my home.
Then I started building friendships. Through playing with the same group of guys regularly and getting involved on the creative team, friendships began to form, and that was the thing that really nailed it for me. People who challenged my faith, whose faith I can also challenge, to grow myself and help others grow, and help lead people in worship regularly doing that the thing I know God called me to do. That's #MyAnthemStory and I'm sticking to it.
Special Bonus Piece: I give Mike Patz credit for instilling in me both a desire to cross-church unity in Gainesville, and the truth that, "there's nothing like the Church when it's working right." That truth has always stuck with me, and as such I love being able to keep a strong connection with Greenhouse Church where I was for a long time, and other churches in the area.