How Worship Arts & the North Valley Community Empower Ethan

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Ethan is an individual who goes beyond the call of duty and does all he can to use his gifting to glorify God. He has not only been impacted by North Valley, he has positively impacted the church environment through his engaging spirit. Ethan clearly follows the directive of the Lord and uses that as he leads others on the worship team. Here is more of Ethan’s story. 

When asked “How has the Lord used North Valley to help you grow in your faith?”, he responded by saying, “When the COVID-19 Pandemic started I had been balancing full time work, in the restaurant industry, with worship ministry. I made the decision to take a step back from ministry and threw my full focus on managing my restaurant and my staff. When I had parted ways with the restaurant business I had already pushed myself away from active church presence, both in community and in ministry. I had first heard of North Valley a bit over a year ago when I was asked to fill in on a Sunday to serve alongside the worship team. As I continued to serve a bit more, I would sit in on the services themselves as I had neglected my spiritual growth for almost the entire two years of the pandemic. My wife and I were looking to get back into a regular rhythm of church attendance and service, as we both left jobs that stretched us too thin. Pastor Ryan definitely secured my interest in this church, especially his unwillingness to re-write the scriptures to make the Gospel palatable for a world that is spiritually starved. However, it was the community groups that made the impact for my wife. The MacGregors were so intentional about taking care of my wife, who was struggling heavily with allergies, and this meant the world to her and I. Through this, God has used the people in this church to help draw myself and my wife closer to Him. I am hopeful and trusting that God will continue to use Pastor Ryan, the MacGregors, and the worship team to continue sanctifying me so that I can glorify Him in my marriage and in my hope to one day be a father."

When posed with,, “You are a huge asset to our worship team, how has being a part of that changed you or helped you grow in your faith?”, Ethan stated “Worship ministry has always been the most important aspect of my faith. In 1 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul writes about Spiritual Gifts and the Unity/Diversity of the Body of Christ. His message expresses that God designs us as a community of believers the same way he designed the beauty of our bodies. Each part having a singular purpose and function that provides a benefit to the rest of the body; an ear is designed to help one hear, I have been designed to use my skills and talents to help foster and facilitate congregational worship. I have been given the responsibility and honor of leading the worship team in a morning devotional and communion every Sunday morning. This has definitely been a challenge of balance, between providing the utmost respect and care through for the Eucharist and guiding us as a worship ministry for how the Gospel impacts what we get to do for this church. Jonathan has done an amazing job leading this worship team musically, I only hope to be as efficient in guiding the hearts of this team towards the right posture for worship. My prayer is that each week as we put prayers into melodies that God would soften people's hearts to receive His truth, His love, and His Holiness that we know brings life change whether or not it happens that day or in 10 years."

When asked, “What do you love about North Valley?”, he answered by saying, “ I would be lying if I did not say that the greatest thing for me is the ability to use my craft of drumming on a weekly basis. It's the one area of my life where I feel the most intimate with God, where I can be refilled if I am spiritually exhausted, and where I can feel empowered when I am weak. I love the worship team and the people who I get to serve alongside each as we experience both the challenges and triumphs of this ministry. I do love the value that my wife and I get from community groups and the relationships that we have built that have been so monumental as I have been battling a lot of fear due to my father being diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year. I am also grateful for Pastor Ryan and his wife Leslie for the support they have shown my wife and I, alongside the opportunities Pastor Ryan has entrusted me with.”

Lastly, we asked Ethan to  “ Share anything else you feel others would benefit from as far as how the Lord is using North Valley to work through you.” He said, “ As a worship minister I cannot express enough that we have an extremely unique opportunity every day that we draw breath on this earth. We will only have the opportunity to provide God with worship that is laced with our pain, our doubts, our fears, our worries, and our battles on this side of Heaven. We know Christ's power is perfect in our weakness and we are encouraged to be content and glad through these worldly pains because our weakness is where Christ strengthens us (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). One worship song that I really enjoy is "Firm Foundation," by Cody Carnes, and the second verse captures this beautifully. "I've still got joy in chaos, I've got peace that makes no sense, I won't be going under, I'm not held by my own strength." For as long as we reside on this side of eternity we should pour out our praise in response to God's merciful gift of eternal life through our faith in Jesus Christ.” 

Ethan shared so many wise and moving words through the testimony of his experience with North Valley. It is our hope that you are encouraged and empowered by this story. It is our belief that God can move just as mightily in you, using the gifts and talents He has blessed you with. 


To Christ Be The Glory In the North Valley, 

Pastor Ryan Rice