By Carl Stagner
Worship at the North American Convention of the Church of God is one experience that draws believers back to Anderson, Indiana, year after year. The Church of God has long been considered a singing church. Once again, NAC will feature numerous opportunities this year to lift your voice together with thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ. NAC has also long seen gifted worship leaders and musicians grace the platform. Once again, NAC will feature a gifted minister who will foster an atmosphere of genuine worship at each evening service. Rev. Rodney Martin, of Eastland Church of God in Lexington, Kentucky, desires to see the church worship the Lord in unity at NAC 2012.
Rodney Martin, a third-generation pastor, grew up in a musical family. As far back as he can remember, Rodney was passionate about music. At age five, he was already playing guitar and singing in church. Soon he’d take up the saxophone and discover a love for jazz music. It wasn’t until after a family vacation to Music in the Rockies—a Christian music conference in Colorado—that he played his music intentionally for the glory of God. Rodney received a call to ministry at age twelve, but when God got a hold of his heart at a leadership conference many years later, he fully accepted his call to vocational pastoral ministry.
In anticipation of NAC 2012, Rodney offers some hints as to what convention-goers can expect to experience this year during worship. “There will be familiar elements and personalities through the week, but there is bound to be some style changes if for no other reason than I am a different person,” Rodney explains. “There is bound to be musical genre elements from jazz, soul, gospel, blues, and southern gospel. We will experience a taste from the past, as it seasons our palettes for who we are today. My goal is to help create an environment, through the arts, where everyone engages in worship, and is able to forget about personal expectations, desiring only the Father’s expectations—an environment where secular seeded divisions are replaced by a unified body of Christ opening their hearts and singing to God at one place, at one time.”
Rodney is looking forward to serving at this year’s convention, but he stresses that it’s not about him. He believes God is allowing him to serve and is preparing all the elements to come together at just the right time, for the right reasons. “I’m praying to be used as a worship leader that will provide leadership, which will encourage us all as individuals to openly and boldly express our love and appreciation for our Holy God. [I’m praying] that as a Church of God we would embrace the wonderful cultural differences we come from as our heavenly Father embraces us.”
For those who look forward to participating in the camp meeting choir, you won’t be disappointed. Rodney directs the choir at Eastland Church, and he believes that choirs play an important role in leading worship. Rehearsals will begin at 5:15 PM, Saturday through Tuesday, in Reardon Auditorium. Everyone is encouraged to participate!
Still considering whether or not to attend NAC 2012? Rodney encourages you to make plans now! He says, “It’s the realization that you belong to a ministry that serves way beyond what we can do as individual congregations or states. Until you attend and take in as much as possible, you don’t understand. It’s absolutely a convention that has made strong efforts to stay relevant to the world that it is reaching…I come home refreshed and renewed from NAC each year. I see friends and meet new ones. That’s pretty cool!”
Rodney is the husband of Marcia, and the father of four children, Sarah, Jen, Ethan, and Zach. Listen for Zach at NAC this year—he’ll be on the drums!
For more information, including how you can register for NAC 2012, visit www.chog.org/NAC.