Women In Worship: Rachel Storment

Feb 24, 2016

I have been the worship pastor at my church for a little over two years now with a predominantly male volunteer and staff base. Previous to being the worship pastor  at Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin, CA, I served as an associate worship pastor, a college group worship leader, and before that. a worship intern (basically, I served as the stage vacuumer, coffee runner, and music organizer.) Worship ministry has been a huge part of my life for a little over 8 years now, so as I look back on my journey as a woman in worship ministry from intern to  worship pastor, I have reflected on some of the struggles and lessons learned along the way:

1.    I dont have anything to prove.

            This was a HUGE struggle for me. When I moved away to college, I was struck for the first time how much assumption was placed into the idea that women were musically incompetent. As someone who had studied music her entire life, you can imagine my struggle when I walked into settings where my competence was questioned  MERELY because of my gender; it was a grace-growing opportunity to learn how to navigate having a tough skin but maintaining a tender spirit, not lashing out in anger, but instead approaching the situation with a meek and gentle demeanor. I did not let people walk all over me, or speak down to me, but I also had to learn that I am accountable to Christ alone: I have nothing to prove. I am responsible to be a good steward of the gifts God has given me, lead in GRACE, and walk out a life of integrity, love, peace, and gentleness.

2. Being a woman does not give me a free passto be ignorant of Theology.
            Women tend to be very emotionally-charged beingswe are very in-touch with who we are, and the world around us. We feel very deeply, and tend to base our reality(or what we perceive to be the reality of God) on how we are feeling. Now dont get me wrongour feelings and emotional intimacy with the world around us is an amazing GIFT from God. However, if feelingsare not coupled with proper orthodoxy, we can easily be led astray.  The Scriptures say to TEST all things (including our own emotions or even perceptions of what we believe to be the voiceof the Holy Spirit) and approve it by the Scriptures  before accepting it as Gods Truth.   (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1). It is dangerous territory to NOT know the Word, and yet attempt to lead people into the Presence of God. If we do not KNOW God, or the Christian perspective of the world, how are we expected to lead people in the charge of pursuing right relationship with Him? Study the Word, and KNOW the God you serve.

3. Do not isolate yourself from other women, and do not forget to INVEST in the Kingdom.

            Being that most worship teams are predominantly male, it is so easy as a female worship leader (or worship pastor) to begin to just spend time with the guysand forget to invest in the other females around you. This can happen for many reasons, the most common being jealousy. If you are the ONLY female on your team, you can begin to feel extremely territorial: You feel like you are so incredibly neededone of a kind, even! This can lead to you shutting out opportunities for other women to become involved in worship ministry. Oftentimes, you will nit-pick other femalesabilities simply because you are insecure about your place in ministry. Continue to remind yourself of this not-so-fun fact: YOU ARE NOT INDISPENSABLE (nor SHOULD you be.) YOU are replaceable. It is unhealthy to create an environment that rises and falls solely around your presence.
            As leaders, we need to be investing in other leadersas FEMALES, we need to be investing, mentoring, and walking with OTHER females. We also need to remember to ALWAYS have people in our lives who have the permission to speak into us, hold us accountable, and challenge us. It would be my greatest downfall as a leader to have a  ministry which was dependent solely on my own abilities: I should continuously be multiplying and developing those around me.

4. It is less about Being a Woman in Ministryand MORE about Being a Christ-Follower
            We can spend so much time getting hung up on what it meansto be a woman in ministry that we forget our ultimate calling in life: To love God, love others, serve Him faithfully, and live a life WORHTY of the calling marked out for us. Spend time in the Word. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Surround yourself with people who hold you accountable. Be a good steward. KNOW who God created you to be. and then be that person on PURPOSE. 

Be sure to follow Rachel's journey on Instagram. Make sure you get over to iTunes and download Destiny Christian Church's new EP Our Great King. My favorite song is Halleluiah, What A Savior. Rachel adds a modern touch to a song I already love so dearly. Make sure you give it a listen! 

Also! If you are a woman in worship ministry, I would to love to share your heart and perspective! If that sounds like something you would be interested in, please email me at ParrishTheThoughtBlog@gmail.com 

See you soon!

Rainy Day Schedule: What Does The World Need From You?

Feb 18, 2016

Hello! I am so glad it's Thursday! I had a four day week, but I already need a weekend! Who's with me? This is the part of the school year that really exhausts teachers and students. I refer to it as the long haul. No breaks till spring break and then no breaks until summer. I watch my students gradually become zombies, while also weirdly honing their critical thinking skills... Critical Thinking Zombies, they should make a movie about that!
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Anyways, while preparing for this zombie apocolypse, I've made a commitment to being constantly aware of my surroundings. Not because of potential Zombie attack, but to be intentionally looking for inspiration. 

Today at our teacher's devotion (I know, I work with people who do devotions before work, its like some kind of dream), our head of school told us about a study done on two kinds of people. I could Rachel 1 or Rachel 2 and could choose which one of those I wanted to be. R1 is the type who lets the pursuit of her own fame drive her and everything about her, her bank account is driven by what brings her glory...and ultimately never has enough. R2 is the type of person who asks "What does the world need from me?" "What does the world need? How can I help?" or from a more Christian perspective... "What does the world need, and how can I be in Jesus in that way?" And that's what drives everything they do.

I was so struck by the Holy Spirit in this devotion today. How can I be Jesus and really provide the needs of my students? I sincerely want them to achieve great things on this earth, because I dearly love them, and I want them to love Jesus. They are not mutually exclusive. I've actually completely changed my lesson plan for next week. Bringing the Gospel, SAT prep style! Will someone write a book about me? Probably not. I'm not doing anything glamorous or sexy (weird). But Which Rachel am I going to be? Which Rachel does the Lord want me to be? Who or what will drive everything I do, and how I can leave an impact? Do you think about things? Which version of yourself are you? I really had to think about it, and I would encourage you to do the same!

Not bad for a Thursday morning teacher's devotion! See you soon :)

The Longest Short Season- A guide to having a meltdown

Feb 16, 2016

Hello there, and happy Tuesday to you! Today feels very much like a Monday to me. I had yesterday off, and Tuesday's are chapel days at work which means my precious students and I have to be at school at 6:30 AM, so long weekends come to a very rude end for us. But that's not really what I wanted to discuss today.
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If you've been following along with the Parrish world, you may already know that we have been navigating through a bummer season with the cancelling of the most recent Kutless tour.  The Lord has been so good to provide for us through all of it, and he has been so very faithful in preserving mine and Nate's relationship, but I have to be honest; we have had our fair share of meltdowns. 

I had a major one yesterday. I have had more than one in this season, and so has Nate. We get set off from different things, that usually have nothing to do with what we're actually feeling in our heart. Yesterday I lost my debit card, and I just lost it. I folded laundry in tears and poured out my heart while Nate just kind of sat and listened. Nate had a meltdown last week, and I actually don't remember what set him off. But it was my turn at that time to listen. Neither one of us ever really knows what to say, we just sit and listen.

This season started for us around thanksgiving. Taking turns having meltdowns and taking turns listening and encouraging. What I'm continuing to learn is that these seasons are the cost of following your dreams. Never have learned better the importance of prayer and being in the word, so that I can have the strength and wisdom to keep on being Nate's number one cheerleader, and to remember that following your dreams and your calling is worth it. Serving Jesus and living out your dreams is a scary thing. We're experiencing the not so fun side right now, and I am just now after 4 months of this, starting to learn this marriage lesson that the Lord obviously had planned. What has probably hit me the most about all of this was that I didn't learn it from being an awesome cheerleader... I got it from needing/having one.

Valentine's Day Adventure

Feb 15, 2016

Hi Everyone!
I hope your Valentine's day was nice! Nate and I were leading worship at Church, so we didn't really get much of a chance to do anything on the actual day of Valentine's day, though we did get a nice hearty Sunday afternoon nap in. Instead we tooka advantage of my Friday off and went up the valley to the little town of St. Helena. 

Napa Valley is postcard perfect. Every single thing is beautiful, so even just a little drive is romantic. It's wonderful. Also, Napa CA proper, doesn't really have all the wineries and restaurants, there are a lot of them of course, but the really big nationally known ones are up the valley in Yountville and St. Helena. Of course, we have never been to any of them, they are crazy expensive. BUT St. Helena has the cutest downtown, and it really is just fun to walk and see and look at all the shops. Here are some of the pics of our outing.

This really is what Napa looks like. Right now. It's a dream world!

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I wish my slip hadnt been showing in this picture, but I really dont care all that much. This  old church that Nate and I parked by was so beautiful. It was built in 1859. Our walking date consisted of walking around downtown, and stopping to look in some of the shops here and there. It was just nice to be outside. It was a perfect 70 degrees as we were walking. You couldnt have asked for better weather.  It was such a fun date.

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We'd never really been there on a date before, but we'll definitely be going back. This was more like a scoping out, rather than really taking it in. Can't wait to go back! How was your valentine's day? Did you do anything fun or romantic? Do you have valentine's day tradtions? 

Spring Reading

Feb 12, 2016

Hi Everyone!
Happy Friday! First off, let me say the response to Women in Worship has been so awesome! Its all I can think about!! Secondly, I've got a 4 day weekend ahead for President's Day! It also happens to be Valentine's day weekend! Nate's a spontaneous romantic, so I'm excited!

I thought I would share with you what I'm reading right now! I really love love love reading, it relaxes me, and takes me out of my busy world. I'm reading three awesome books right now. They are vastly different from one another, but they really so edifying in their diffferent ways. 

1. Anne of Green Gables- L.M Montgomery. Yep, you read that right. I read it when I was a kid, and I'm now reading it as an adult. I started reading it last summer and I've gone away and come back to it. I'm finally on Rilla of Ingleside, the last book, and I have to say, I'm kinda sad. I really dont want it to end. But for those of you who are fiction readers, let's just give it up for Anne Shirley, they really don't make female Characters like they used to. She is just my absolute favorite. Anne shows us how beautiful it is to be a normal woman. She's so beautifully and creacefully normal. I can't get enough of her. I wish she was my nextdoor neighbor and that she wass my best friend. It makes me also wish I lived on Prince Edward Island.

2. The Explicit Gospel- Matt Chandler. I've been reading this book with my high school students in Chapel Leadership. If you've been churched your whole life like I have, this is a great book. I was given a firm foundation of doctrine even in my childhood, but it was never really put all together to me. Why these doctrines matter, how they matter, and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His reconciliation on the Cross plays a major role in Heaven also. Doctrinal principles I have always been taught coming together as one full Gospel PRestentatin. Thats what this book is for me. It's not the easiest read, but it has really shown me so much about myself, our world, and our need for Jesus. Such a great book. Quite the contrast to Anne Shirley, but hey! It's all about Balance!

3. The Best Yes- Lysa TerKeurst. I was introduced to this book by a teacher I work with, her name is Val. I hope you gals have women in your life like Val. I just watch her in amazement. She is so awesome at what she does, and she so evidently loves Jesus. I wanna be like Val. I'm only in Chapter 1, but this book is already speaking my language. IF you're like me and you legitimate love saying "yes" to every request, and want to do every possible wonderful thing this world has to offer, but then find yourself pulling your hair out because you're way overextended, I would strongly reccomend you start reading this book (I know you'd be saying yes to another thing, but this one is worth it! I you need a book to sit in a coffee shop and read with a cup of coffee and a hi-liter, this is the one. 

So there you go everyone! A little look into my coffee/by myself time. Have you gone back and ready the books you loved as a little girl? You should! What are you reading? I'd love if you picked up The Best Yes, and shared your thoughts! Kind of like an informal book club type of thing. If you have a long weeknd! Get some extra rest and enjoy! See you soon!

New Column?! Leading Ladies: Women In Worship

Feb 9, 2016

Hey Ladies!

I've wanted to do this for a while, and I feel that now is the perfect time. Its no mystery that I have a passion for Music, and worship leadership in the church. The only thing is, sometimes when you are a leader, it's hard to meet other awesome ladies who lead, and hear their hearts and ideas. So, I feel that now is the right time to turn a new leaf for Parrish The Thought, and start including other ladies. My first column, of what I hope will be a few, will be Women in Worship. I'm sure i'm not the only girl who wants to know the hearts of the women who lead our congergations in to the presence of the Lord. I'm really excited about meeting and hearing those of you who share this passion with me! If you know a leading lady, or if you ARE a worship leader/pastor at your church, please shoot me an email at ParrishTheThoughtBlog@gmail.com! I wanna know you! I can't wait to hear from you.

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Photo by Abby Castrillo (She also does all the Parrish and Kingdom Band photography)

Happy Monday!! A Word on Marriage

Feb 8, 2016


Happy Monday to you! Hopefully you're surviving the beginning of your work week! Today I'm sharing over on the awesome and beautiful blog The Radiant Life about Marriage, and what the Lord has shown me through my Marriage to Nate! Click on the Picture below to take you there.


Feb 3, 2016

Hello everyone!
Happy New Year? I know, I’m way late to the party, but the fact is, I’m working on being intentional about this blog. I know it can be hard to tell, but I really do love this blog, and I love sharing my life with you folks.
I thought today I would share my heart for 2016 with you. I guess since it's February, it's about time!

Every year, our church fasts for three days in preparation for the new year, and this year was no different. Last year was the first time I had actually fasted food altogether and it was such a powerful encounter with God, that I was really excited about the fast this year. This year I fasted and prayed that the Lord would show me things that I need to change. I prayed for a change of heart, a renewing of my mind. I wanted to stop my poor me mentality, and take responsibility. 

I didn’t ask for a word from God to go into 2015, but I did for 2016. The word God gave me this year is “treasure”. A word to constantly remind me what I’m praying for; To care about the things that God cares about.  The Lord brought Matthew 6:19-21 to me, and it has rocked my world. “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Yikes. What are the things that I treasure? Do the things I love and obsess over point others to Jesus or do they point to me? Does my marriage benefit from what I love, or just me? What are the things God cares about? Do I care about those things?
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Nate and I went on a coffee date (I’ve finally worn Nathan down to liking coffee shops after 8 long years of trying, this is a HUGE victory) to talk about what we wanted to save for and how we wanted to go into 2016, and what kind of things we wanted to see come out of this year. It was so fun. It’s so fun to plan and dream with your spouse. You can express your goals and desires, and they are there to cheer you on, and keep you on track and vis versa! I can’t believe we’d never done it before! I even got a gym membership!

What are your goals for this year? Do you have any? I want to know! I wanna cheer you on! Let’s treasure the things of God together, and encourage one another in our pursuit of Him! 

Also check out www.TheRadiantLife.com on Monday for my feature in their Women Empowering Women: Marriage column! I couldn’t be more excited!!
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