Paying it Forward with Brandon Grant

Sometimes “paying it forward” doesn’t take decades. Just ask worship leader Brandon Grant of Eastside Community Church in Richmond, KY.

“I was headed to the University of KY to pursue a law degree,” says Brandon, “and then my pastor challenged me to think about ministry.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Although actually…it’s barely history. Even though Brandon is looking for a worship/production resident to join his team at Eastside, he just graduated from college a little over a year ago. “I’m a product of a great teaching church— the church I work at now!” Brandon not only hit the ground running during his Freshman and Sophomore years volunteering at churches, he returned to his home church to be a full-time resident.

“I think you could probably say that coming back to your home church, for most, would not be ideal,” says Senior Pastor Virgil Grant, “but we kind of have an inside track with Brandon.” After all, they share a last name, and they are related. Virgil is Brandon’s uncle.

“I think Eastside is primed for someone to come here and learn leadership from all of us,” says Brandon. Eastside has partnered with Leadership Pathway to find a resident in the areas of production/worship. “I’ve seen how having interns and leaders in process make the staff better. Even though Brandon is young, I’m excited for him to take this step forward, “says Virgil.

Brandon knows this will be a stretch (as he calls it), but looks forward to providing someone the same opportunity that he had to put into practice the leadership theory he was learning in the classroom. Eastside is hopeful to have this person in place by the fall.

Eastside Community Church is a dynamic and growing church in Central Kentucky. If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity, click here for more information.

In His Own Words

Some Q & A With Brandon Grant

What was your background in volunteer and leadership before residency? Worked alongside a Church plant in West Omaha 2013-2014. Volunteered as Worship Intern at Restore Community Church 2015. Then in 2016 from January to June was on a 6-month internship with Experience Missions in South Africa working alongside the local churches and was able to lead Worship for many of the Churches and congregations there.

Why did you choose ministry? Hmm. Actually I have never thought about this question. I don’t think I did. I was going to Law school at the University of Kentucky. Someone.. ☺… Changed my mind about ministry, I never saw myself as being the preacher type so why go to school for it. Then I realized the impact that the local Church has for communities and how local churches are dying left and right. Broke my heart. I want to Inspire people to live and love like Jesus everyday that is why I have chosen to be in ministry since 2013.

What were your expectations beginning residency? My situation is different, but my expectations is that someone is coming alongside me and teaching me the ropes. So many people go into ministry and have no one alongside them encouraging them and teaching them through the struggles of ministry. A church that teaches me their DNA and how to lead the NextGen.

Was it difficult?  What’s been the most difficult thing – or perhaps can you relay a story of a time that your residency was difficult? Ha. Day one. You think that going into a residency is going to be easy and that ministry is watching people devote their lives to Jesus every day…. Well what about the tough conversations? What about the midnight projects for the new LED screens? What about building teams? The most difficult thing for a residency is realizing that each day is going to be different. A church might have a great program, but do not expect everything to be picture perfect! I mean you are working with people!!

What did you love/ dislike? I loved knowing that I had a team of people supporting me and was there for me. I loved that I was challenged week in and out. What I disliked was the focus that a resident is not “staff”. Which do not get me wrong, a resident is not staff, but for this purpose a resident should feel like a staff member who is part of the DNA. If a Church is going to have a resident, do not treat them like an intern. Treat them like a staff member.

Since a lot of college students are still doing just a summer or a semester-long internship, we are wondering if you could speak to the benefits of staying as long as you did?  What was the payoff? In an internship you have “fun”. In a residency you learn that ministry is a blast, but you also learn that it is a lot of hard work. You learn the seasons that a church goes through!

How are you living out your calling? I said earlier that I want to Inspire people to live and love like Jesus. I have realized in this last year that it is essential to build teams. In the last 6 months I have built 5 teams with over 40 people involved. I’ve realized that I have to Inspire others to feel the same pressure I do.

If you had several senior pastors sitting at a table with you what would you say to them about your experience & if they should do this? Think about when you were 20-22 years old and think about if you had a Church that took you in and showed you the ways of Church leadership. That made you feel the pressure that you do now at 40+. The Church is called to be the Hope of the World and we are not doing bringing that hope if we are not equipping young leaders into leading the Churches for the future. Are you going to find the next you?

What was important when you began?  vs. what’s important now? Getting things done (by myself) vs. Learning how to build teams and utilizing people

What would you say to 20 year-old you? Stop being ignorant and realize that you do not know anything about the local Church. It is way easier to complain about what the Church is doing wrong when you are not a part of it..

What would you say to a student in high school or college about preparing for ministry? You have no idea your potential. You have no idea how God has huge plans for you. Take it all in. You are going to find yourself realizing the pressure that ministry truly puts on you. The thing about a residency is that people who have felt/feel that same pressure surround you. Be slow to speak and truly listen to your mentor and leaders, trust me they’ve been in the game longer.