2010 has been quite a year for Travis Cottrell.
In February, he accepted the call to become a worship pastor at a church – something that in recent years, he didn’t think he would do. He also reached the milestone age of 40.
In May, he was ordained into the Gospel ministry. During that month, he also moved his family from Franklin, T.N. to another part of the state – Jackson.
And most recently, in September, he released a book titled Surprised by Worship: Discovering the Presence of God Where You Least Expect It.
A New Season of Ministry
“This year has been pretty monumental. It’s amazing how God has taken us (Cottrell, his wife Angela and their three children) through this process. He put us in a position to rid ourselves of anything we wanted to put ahead of Him,” he reflected.
“Through this process, I was reminded that we should not lean on whatever career or ‘niche’ we have carved out for ourselves. We can’t lean on the comforts of home, our community or the church we serve. Just because something feels good to us doesn’t mean it’s permanent. This has been a year of really anchoring into God and nothing else.”
He remembers his ordination in May as a defining moment. “It was very sobering to walk through this process and to have people from my past, present and even future ministry life speak a blessing over mine and Angela’s lives.”
While the ordination process was not needed to validate his last 20 years of ministry, it still served as affirmation for him. ” It was reinforcement that everything I do is about the business of shining the light of Jesus into as many lives as I can. I’m set apart not only in this ministry abroad, but right here in this community, casting a net for Jesus Christ in Jackson, day after day.”
Worshipping Through Life’s Good, Bad and Ugly
“Authenticity at this point in ministry – in this generation – is non-negotiable. People will sniff out fakeness and facades we create as leaders,” Cottrell explained. “It is important to me as a leader that I don’t just bring in the ‘good’ to the Lord. He wants us to also bring the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’.”
The heart of Surprised by Worship is that we will find God in the good, the bad and the ugly if we look for Him. As a worship leader, Cottrell wants to encourage people to offer up their whole selves to God.
He cites Romans 12:1-2 as his favorite Bible verse regarding worship. “Paul tells us that to worship is to be a living sacrifice.”
Cottrell also explains that our reaction to life’s unwanted surprises can be a form of worship. “We are met with a choice. We can turn our back on the Lord and we can doubt him, but the right choice is to offer those moments right back to God. We need to ask Him to teach us, to speak to us, and for His glory to come out of it. That’s when those moments go from the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’ to moments of worship.”
A Worship Experience at The Cove
A seasoned musical guest at The Cove, Cottrell will be singing without the team that usually accompanies him to engagements such as concert tour stops and Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live conferences. The audience can plan to hear and sing a blend of songs he has recorded – old and new – as well as some songs he has not recorded.
When Cottrell leads worship at the Cove, he plans to apply what God has been teaching him this year. “God has really been teaching me about pastoring people and helping them grow through an experience. I hope when I am at The Cove that I can pastor the audience and love them in those moments. I want to direct them to offer their whole selves unto the Lord. I also want them to carry their worship experience with them over the following days.”
To find out more and register for Travis’ Evening at the Cove, click here.
*Travis will also be leading worship during Jonathan Falwell’s seminar, Becoming More. Make plans to come early and enjoy this three-day seminar and Travis’ Evening at The Cove!
Learn more about Travis Cottrell’s ministry. Visit his Web site »