Jacob McWilliams : My Leadership Pathway

I picked up a guitar.

The first time was toward the end of Middle School. I had no idea where that first day of playing guitar would lead me. Around the same time, my home church hired a new worship pastor, so I asked if I could join the worship band. Worship has always been my favorite aspect of church, and it gave me a place to belong.

I learned to love the guitar. I was learning to love people. And I was beginning to learn what leadership in the local church was all about.

The more I practiced, the better I got, and I eventually had a growing desire to go into worship ministry. Luke, my worship pastor, began mentoring me, and I played during weekend services and for the youth group all through high school – a path that eventually led me to attend a private Christian college in Tennessee. I kept moving forward, and pursued a master’s degree through a leadership program.

I was actively sending in applications through a group called Slingshot when Leadership Pathway contacted me, and suggested I get more experience in worship ministry before becoming a full-time worship pastor. At first I wasn’t excited about the thought of going into a residency. I had just finished five years of schooling, and thought I was ready to be a full-time minister. But I noticed there was a gap between the idea of who I wanted to be as a leader, and the reality of who I was as a leader at the moment.

I’m now entering my second year at Centerburg Church of Christ, and I feel like a whole new door is opening. Different leadership aspects are starting to become more natural to me. I still struggle with confidence in myself, but I’ve seen a lot of growth in this area, too. I’m even becoming more of a people person. How I handle difficulty is helping shape who I am as a leader. I love the constant challenge of never settling for mediocrity, the commitment to excellence.

I’m now living out my calling by trusting the process of Leadership Pathway, and of course, continuing to trust in God. I am trusting in His timing, as so many leaders in the Bible had to do. I know He’s preparing me, and there are no short cuts here. I trust Him, and I’m going to give this my all. I still have things to learn and always will, but I feel like the reality of becoming a full-time worship leader is just around the bend.

 To others, I would say this: Be patient. Be humble, and never stop having a desire to learn. Take every opportunity to challenge yourself; with challenge comes experience. Degrees are important, but experience holds so much more weight. Don’t let fear hold you back. I’ve learned to be so much more patient this past year. When I started, my goal was to get a full-time job in ministry no matter what. Now my goal is to get the right job.

My name is Jacob Williams, and this is my leadership pathway.


StoriesDave Miller