Daulton Hopkins : My Leadership Pathway
For me, leadership is a constant journey.
In high school, my life revolved mainly around baseball and sports. During that time I became a leader on my baseball team and created a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club during my senior year. The sports at my school were really divided, and I wanted to create a fun place to bring all the athletic teams together, and remind them that we were all on the same team.
I didn’t plan to work at a church. Ministry kind of chose me, in college. I was actually pursuing my finance and economics degree, but I always had a passion for music. I was creating and producing music in my dorm room when out of nowhere, a long-time family friend asked if I wanted to be part of a creative arts internship at Verve Church in Las Vegas. I was shocked, but after much prayer and consideration, I turned down the accounting job offer I was qualified for, and packed my bags right after college graduation. I now serve as the Creative Arts Intern and High School Worship Leader at Verve.
I expected my residency to be time-consuming, exciting and rewarding, and all of those assumptions have proved to be true. Some weeks, ministry is just a lot of work. But the payoff is huge when lives are changed. The most difficult, rewarding aspect has been pushing myself into uncomfortable situations in the hope that I’ll grow from it. Before Verve, I had never performed for anyone besides my family and friends, and it was incredibly hard to stand on that stage and play guitar for the first time. Over the past year, I’ve been able to lead worship for the student youth group every week, lead worship for our main service, and even perform in Poland on a mission trip. I’m also leading my own college group, which is so rewarding.
I never planned to move five hours from home for a profession that was completely new to me. But the support has been incredible, and I can confidently say I’ve never felt closer to a group of co-workers. I love the unpredictability of it all. I had two accounting internships while in college, and everything was predictable, routine. The crazy ride of being a ministry intern has been refreshing for me. I’ve been able to meet so many amazing people, and learn aspects of music I never would have learned otherwise. Going into this, I was looking for an opportunity to serve and a chance to gain a clearer picture of whether or not worship leading is really for me. I also wanted to gain confidence and experience in performing on stage. I’m still in the process of praying about whether worship leading should be my fulltime job, but my passion for music has increased exponentially. It’s clear that God wants me to keep pursuing music, whatever form it takes.
To someone preparing to go into ministry I would say: Pray, pray, pray. Seek the advice of trustworthy people who have plenty of life experience. God speaks in unique ways, and if you are fully trusting Him, crazy situations can happen, and opportunities will open up.
I’m Daulton Hopkins, and this is my leadership pathway.