by Lisa Tome
Nate Christian is willing to sing for his supper.
He'll also play guitar for a year's worth of lodging and meals in Australia. Christian, son of Janes United Methodist Church Pastor Drew and Debbie Christian of Rising Sun, has been accepted to Hillsong College in Australia. The teen is now working to earn $14,000 for his living expenses while at the college.
Although just 18, he has completed two years of college. He finished up his sophomore year at Salisbury University last week. This is the next step in realizing his dream to be a Worship Leader in churches.
Being a worship leader means more than just performing songs during a church service. There is more to it - music, lights, media. Christian selected Hillsong because he feels it will be the best path toward his career as a worship leader. "Their (Hillsong) praise band tours the world," said Christian.
He is majoring in business at Salisbury. And will take the year in Australia to focus on making his dream come true.
The hitch is that Hillsong does not have a scholarship program. Christian is working to raise $14,000 for his living expenses and an additional $2,000 for travel. He is excited about the opportunity to study abroad. "I will get hands on experience and study with the top of the line. I will learn different ways to lead worship and evangelize," he said.
He's going with what he knows for the fundraising. For weeks, he and his bandmates Kieran Clucas, Kaila Clucas, Steven Soltow, and D.J. Donnelly, have been playing concerts at area churches, accepting a love offering in exchange for the music. They've played at churches in Delaware and in Salisbury. Kieran Clucas is also heading to Hillsong and the duo are splitting the concert proceeds.
He has been playing guitar for five years and is a self-taught guitar player. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity," he said. He got his start playing guitar in church as an eighth grader.
"The extent of my knowledge of guitar was (the video game) Guitar Hero, but I felt a desire to learn and to serve. I later learned it was God's calling to get me out of my comfort zone and to use and grow in a talent I didn't even know I had," he said.
They'll bring the music to Rising Sun on May 31 at 7 p.m. The band will play at Janes UMC. The concert is free and open to all. But a love offering will be accepted. Donations may also be dropped at Janes Church.
"I know I have a future as a worship leader and bringing people to God. This is the next step in my journey and it is a big step...I know it is God's plan for me," he said.
On July 8 he will leave for Australia. On July 17, he begins orientation for college in Sydney.