Laura Story – Worship Leader Spotlight

Josh Pauley —  October 17, 2013

Laura Story   Worship Leader Spotlight

Location:

Perimeter Church in Johns Creek, GA (North Atlanta)

What are your roles and responsibilities in your church?

I oversee our main auditorium, one of three venues on our campus,  This includes both leading worship as well as training and equipping volunteers and developing worship services.  I also lead a weekly women’s bible study.

Tell us about your church (style of worship, size of church, what church looks like in your part of the world, how the church is impacting the community, etc.:

Great question.  Our church has about 4,000-4,500 worshippers a weekend, so we have to work hard to make it participatory and really develop community among our members.  We have a fairly contemporary worship style yet incorporate old hymns as well, utilizing both electric guitars and strings.  Its a pretty eclectic style but I love it.  As far as impacting the community, there are literally hundreds of serving opportunities at our church, whether it’s in our local public schools or our local food banks, even taking part in fighting sex-trafficing industry in our own backyard.  Perimeter isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and really live out this thing called the gospel that we talk about on Sundays.

One word that best describes how you work:

Blessed.  I love my job and count it a privilege to serve here.

How do you prepare to lead?

I wish I could tell you that I spent countless hours in prayer… and I’d love to do this if it wasn’t for our 11 month old and a thousand other things pressing on me.  My greatest preparation for leading is organization and logistic preparation.  This may not sound very spiritual but I find that the more I think for my volunteers, the more I free them up to really worship as they serve.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget could you not live without?

I can’t think of any gadget other than my iPhone.  And I’d be completely lost without it.

What apps, software, instruments, or other tools do you recommend?

Planning Center Online is probably the best thing that’s happened to our worship department since discovering Hillsong United!

Seriously, our team uses Planning Center, CCLI and ProPresenter.

What’s your workspace like?

I love my office.  One wall is a collage of pictures, kind of a work in progress, of Perimeter volunteers and their families that I’ve worked with over the past 8 years.  I’ve also got a futon, a pac-n-play, a mini-fridge and a basket full of baby toys.  All are helpful for those long weekends that all worship leaders sometimes experience.

How do you balance ministry and personal time?

This is an area in which God is still teaching me.  Though I’m not great at this, God is teaching me that He will never call me to a ministry that causes me to compromise the role of wife and mom He has called me to.  What does that look like practically?  Not sure yet, but I know it will involve saying no a lot more, even to pressing needs in our congregation.  I was reading Mark 1 a few days ago and Jesus has just spent a whole day healing the sick and the next morning, he gets up and tells his disciples it’s time to go, even though there were so many more people in that town that needed healing.  His response was that they must go to a new city to proclaim the good news, “for this is why I came”.  Though I’m still mulling over how this applies to me, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with knowing what I’m called to do and being obedient to God’s voice, not the voice of the crowd.  And what I do know for sure is that there are thousands of worship leaders and recording artists out there, and only one mom to Josie and wife to Martin.

What are you listening to right now?

Great question.  Kind of an eclectic collection: Beatles, Matt Maher, Tommy Walker, TobyMac, Jill Phillips, Rich Mullins.  Honestly, I don’t listen to a ton of music anyway.  I have a short commute to the office and I’m usually listening to voicemails.

Can you tell us a recent setlist you’ve used?

Yep.  This past weekend we did “Praise To The Lord the Almighty” (Passion version of old school hymn), new Paul Baloche song “Oh Our Lord” followed by a reading of Psalm 8 by our worship team, one of my new tunes “Who But Jesus” into “In Christ Alone”.  For offertory, one of our extremely talented vocalists sang Bebo Norman’s new song “The Broken” (with strings and dulcimer, which was awesome), then we closed the service with Kristian Stanfill’s “Who You Are”, which is becoming a congregation favorite.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? How does it affect your leadership style?

I usually describe myself as an introvert that has some people skills.  I’m highly relational and I think that shows when I lead worship but after a Sunday morning, I desperately need some alone time to recharge.

What is your relationship like with your senior pastor?

My senior pastor is Randy Pope and I would follow him off a cliff.  He is a humble man of God, a brilliant bible teacher and just an all around great person.  And he’s not artsy at all, or touchy, feely for that matter, so we’re a good balance I think.  Truly love the man. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

As a worship leader, this is the thing I try to always keep on the forefront of my mind: I am the music minister, and that word “minister” actually means servant.  Don’t let the spotlights and microphones fool you.  I am not the music rock star of our church, or the music diva that drops in to grace Perimeter with my presence.  In the same way that our custodial staff serves our church with mops and brooms, I serve our church with music; and when I cease to choose or write songs that truly give voice to our congregants, I have failed in my role as music minister.

Any advice you want to give to other worship leaders?

My greatest piece of advice would be to love your church.  Remember that the local church is plan A for the salvation of the nations, not a stepping stone to a solo career.  In the same way that you grow so much more in your sanctification through marriage rather than dating, we really grow as leaders and worshippers when we are committed to a local body of believers. 

What’s a useless talent that you have?

I can fit my entire fist in my mouth.

Fill in the blank. I’d like to see _______ answer these same questions.

Brenton Brown

 

Josh Pauley

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Josh joined the team at the beginning of 2013 and now manages all things digital for Worship Together, which includes running the website, overseeing all online content, and handling visual design. Prior to Worship Together he worked for a record label that includes artists such as Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder, and Kristian Stanfill. Josh leads worship in Nashville, enjoys trying out specialty coffee brewing methods, and heads outdoors on the weekends to hike, mountain bike, or camp with his wife Kaylee and their dog, Tucker.

2 responses to Laura Story – Worship Leader Spotlight

  1. In the same way that you grow so much more in your sanctification through marriage rather than dating, we really grow as leaders and worshippers when we are committed to a local body of believers.

    Thanks for this.

    I can fit my entire fist in my mouth.

    i just tried that and i couldn’t… it’s indeed a talent :p Amazing.

  2. Great interview! Her answers to the last two advice questions were excellent :)