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Pat Dryburgh

I’m sitting listening to “The Almost,” trying to get my office cleaned up for the last day. I have a feeling it’s going to continue to transform into a storage closet (as it’s been for the last 4 months) but I figured I’d at least clear room for some more stuff!

It’s tough to describe the feeling right now amongst the leadership team. It’s a mix of gratefulness, of slight sadness that we are, indeed, moving on, of excitement for what’s to come, and a bit of anxiousness for the next week. We all have a lot of work ahead of us, and we will need all our volunteers to be engaged.

I am excited because as a young leader, I am experiencing something that most 22 year old worship leaders will never experience. We are embarking on something unprecedented in this area, even this country. There have been church splits, and there have been churches that have left denominations, but in some way our story is much, much different. We are leaving not because of theological differences, or because of a fallout in leadership. We are leaving to follow a vision. We are leaving to follow Jesus into cities he loves. And I cannot begin to describe how exciting this path looks from our vantage point!

I will be sure to blog more often about the changes that are happening, as well as what I learn about developing a music strategy for multi-site. I know there are many out there who have done it, but as my blog title says, I’m still a rookie.

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Here’s the decision many of us have been waiting for. It’s official tonight: Connexus will be launching in December 2007 at the Galaxy Cinemas in Barrie and Orillia connexuscommunity.com

Well, it looks like we’re movin’ out. The presbytery of Barrie decided last night to not dissolve Trinity in an attempt to continue a presbyterian congregation in Oro, Ontario, which means those of us leaving to start Connexus no longer have the opportunity to purchase the facility. However, those of us in leadership are very excited about our future. We will be launching two sites simultaneously in December, one in Barrie, Ontario, and one in Orillia. While this creates a lot of work for us, it also opens us up to what I think will be incredible growth.

For the next two weeks I will be working both at continuing my role to create incredible environments here at Trinity, as well as strategic planning for our launch in December.

It’s a huge risk. We all knew that going in. I really feel like we’re doing exactly what Jesus has called us to do, to “sell everything” and follow him.

What are you risking to follow Jesus these days?

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As of October 31, I will no longer be employed by Trinity Community Church. The last seven months have been amazing, as I have grown both as a worship leader and as the leader of a music ministry. I have made mistakes, I have had victories, I have hurt, I have rejoiced, and through the whole experience I have grown.

However, the leadership of Trinity Community Church has taken a huge step towards our vision for multi-site. Almost all of the staff at this point have handed in their resignations, including our lead pastor Carey Nieuwhof and our Executive Director of Service Programming Patrick Voo. As of October 31 they will be leaving the denomination to lead a new church called Connexus Community Church, a church for people who don’t go to church. We will be entirely outsider-focused, creating environments where people can safely and comfortably explore who Jesus is and what his call is on our lives.

I am joining this new venture with faith that God is in total control, and that his heart is for those who don’t know him. I move ahead not necessarily knowing what the future holds, but trusting that God is totally in control, and that we are in his hands.

Until October 31, I will be focusing in two things. The first is that I will continue to wholeheartedly serve the congregation of Trinity. I am not letting up. Trinity is still my home, and where God has called me. Our mission here is still the same. We want to still strive for excellence in what we do. The second thing I will be focusing on is building the music ministry of Connexus Community Church. This will happen for the most part outside of the 40 hours a week I put in at Trinity. We want to launch December 2nd with a fantastic team, and I am looking forward to looking for ways we can move forward in the music that we do in each of our environments.

If you would like to learn more about Connexus, please check out www.connexuscommunity.com and subscribe to our blog there.

I’ll be keeping updates regularly here at www.patdryburgh.net as well.

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Wow. So, it seems I’ve pretty much left this thing by the wayside for the last 3 months. I can pretty much chalk it up to a very, very busy life that I’ve lead the for the last 90+ days. Here’s a brief summary of what’s been happening:

  • On Canada Day, I was assaulted. I ended up with a fractured orbital bone, a broken bone to the right of my right eye, and a black eye that is still somewhat visible. Plastic surgery was almost needed, however thankfully was not in the end. They caught the guy who attacked me, and I will be going to court probably soon to testify.
  • I spoke at a camp that I’ve been a counselor at for the last 6 years. It was an absolute blast. It was really great to have the opportunity to hone my communicating skills in a focused period of time. Hopefully in the next few months I will have more opportunities at the new church (more details about that to follow).
  • Our church hosted around 30 bands during the first annual Freedom Fest. The turn out for the event was not as high as hoped for, however there is a good chance that it will be brought back next year.
  • During July, I went through our church’s first “360 Evaluation” process. The process involves questionnaires being filled out by those above me, those below me, and myself. The results were then tabulated and I was given a summary of what was said in the evaluations. A lot of it was great. Some was harder to hear. However, it was all very helpful in seeing what I need to improve and develop as a young leader. Over the last few months I have been working very hard at making sure I am diligent at making improvements in my leadership. So far I have heard some very positive feedback.
  • I’ve realized over the last few weeks the importance of blogging once again, and hopefully over the next few months will continue to do so with regularity.

I mentioned above something about a “new church.” Over the last few months Trinity has been working through the process of leaving the Presbyterian Church of Canada in order to continue with our vision for multi-site development in Ontario. By October 31st, our senior leadership, as well as our elders, will have resigned from the PCC. If the denomination decides to dissolve Trinity as a congregation, there is a possibility that we may be able to keep our building (or purchase it from the denomination). If not, there is a chance we may have to look at moving out of our building; a risk that many of us are excited about. My newest colleague Rich Birch and I will be traveling to Pittsburgh this weekend to check out one of the strategic partner’s soft launch of their new site. I am looking forward to seeing how a custom audio/visual system could work in a portable situation as we look toward possibly moving from our current location.

I will be sure to take pictures and keep you updated!

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So, through this whole ordeal with my face being beaten in, I really feel like I’ve had an optimistic view on it. I was able to forgive my attacker right away, able to go into public with my busted-up face without feeling too awkward, able to feel an amazing peace and strength that I know came from God… And I am so grateful for how faithful he’s been; how I very well could have died that night and yet for whatever reason I was saved.

But, in the last few days, I’ve sat thinking “how much longer must this go on?” I still have numbness in my face. My orbital bone and the bone to the right of my eye hurt a lot when I touch them. It almost is looking like the orbital bone isn’t healing right, and is too low on my face… which may mean I’ll need plastic surgery after all…

I’m tired of touching my face and being reminded of that night. I am tired of hearing “wow, that’s looking good” knowing that it’s only because 3 weeks ago my face was black and blue and my eye had so much blood you couldn’t see the white. I’m tired of knowing that whenever I go downtown anywhere I feel an anxiety that I cannot seem to shake, and that everyone is an enemy.

I guess I’m tired of feeling strong. I’m tired of being ok with what happened to me. Where does frustration fit in? Where does pain and hurt and sorrow fit in? I skipped those steps… and now they’re starting to come back to me. I dunno. I am not looking for sympathy. I guess I’m finally done with putting off asking the question “why me?”

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Hey everyone,

I just wanted to ask for your prayers over the next few days. Late Sunday night I was assaulted in downtown London, leaving me with a few fractured and broken bones to my face. The attack was totally unprovoked, but pretty serious nonetheless.

Right now my face is pretty swollen on the right side, but thanks to some meds I’m not feeling too bad. I am waiting to hear from a plastic surgeon whether or not I will need surgery for my face.

I am really asking that my friends will pray for me, for my family as they cope with what’s happened, and for everyone else who is close to me that are affected by this. I hope that I’ll be back and ready to go back to my life as soon as I can be.

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In the last few months I have traveled to two places I had never been before: Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL. Both were for conferences that pertained to my new position as Associate Director of Music at Trinity, and both offered amazing content from different perspectives on topics such as family ministry, art, developing as a worship leader, copyright law, the church and the post-modern culture, and many more. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend both The Orange Conference and the Willow Creek Arts Conference.

I have been learning a lot over the last while, and am actually quite disappointed that I haven’t been keeping up to date on here. I really think that there are a lot of lessons that you learn as a young music director, and I really feel as though I need to be more diligent in sharing them.

So, be sure to check back over the next week as I begin to take on some of the things I’ve been learning both through experience, and the wise counsel of many other worship leaders from around the world.

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Over the last few weeks I’ve really had to think about just what my role is at Trinity. I am a person who will continually say “yes” to things until eventually I forget what it was I first said yes to.

My role here at Trinity is to design and lead a music ministry that creates an irresistible space where people can experience life change through Jesus Christ. Everything from leadership development with the music leaders, to working with the tech group to enhance our live sound, to sitting in with our lead pastor and our executive director of service programming to work out what our bottom lines are week to week.

One of the hardest things to do, I’ve found, is to say no to things. I feel as though we’re expected in ministry to just say yes to everything, because we’re doing “God’s work.” The problem is, I’m not responsible for video display, or ordering bibles, or setting up weddings. None of those things correspond to my role of creating a music ministry that creates and irresistible space.

I’m just venting. But I hope you can see my point.

Update 04/20/07: Just to clarify, I hope no one thinks I don’t enjoy what I do. I absolutely love it. I love the teams I’m working with, the leaders on staff and in our volunteers that just continually push me to be better at what I do. What scares me is that I’ll become distracted from what it is I’m supposed to do. In the same way that our church narrows our focus to our mission of leading a generation of people to life-change in Jesus, causing us to stay away from programs and ministries that don’t lead people to this mission, I want to make sure that whatever I fill up my day with is the things that will ultimately create the environments that will help further our mission. If I want to be the best leader I can be, I need to be careful not to major in the minors.

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I’m pretty certain that this is something that most in ministry have to wrestle with at some point. I am truly glad that I was able to wrestle this one down early on; otherwise I don’t know how much longer I would’ve been able to go on.

Moses wrote in Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” What amazes me is that amidst our hurried lives that we live, we don’t notice that God has given us an amazing, holy gift in the form of a day. A day where, as Rob Bell puts it,

Sabbath is taking a day a week to remind myself that I did not make the world and that it will continue to exist without my efforts. Sabbath is a day when my work is done, even if it isn’t. Sabbath is a day when my job is to enjoy. Period. Sabbath is a day when I am fully available to myself and those I love most. Sabbath is a day when I remember when God made the world, he saw that it was good. Sabbath is a day when I produce nothing. Sabbath is a day when I remind myself that I am not a machine. Sabbath is a day when at the end I say, ‘I didn’t do anything today’ and I don’t add ‘And I feel so guilty.

What is truly remarkable to me is how productive I am in a week when I have taken my Sabbath. I am refueled, refilled, remade so that I can be everything God wants me to be through the rest of the week. My mind is more stable, my emotions less controlling. God does some of the most amazing stuff on my Sabbath, which honestly makes me wonder “how could I have missed this the past 22 years of my life?”

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I got into my office today, and immediately received a phone call to come down to the office. Immediately I’m thinking something bad has happened, or that something has gone wrong.

Turns out, I had received a package which contained my passport. 11 business days. They said it would be 15. I am amazed!

Praise God! I didn’t want to have to worry about it as we were quickly approaching the Orange conference in Atlanta!

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