Daniel Doss, the amazing worship leader who helped launch Grace Community Church, announced to the church this week that he is leaving to help plant another church. Daniel has one of the most gifted voices I have ever heard and could easily find a position anywhere, including staying at Grace, but he is excited to be pursuing the dream of planting again (it does get in your blood) with a high school friend in Northern Indiana. Daniel is our first full-time staff member to leave and we are surely going to miss his and Emily’s energy and passion for what we are doing at Grace.
I have some random thoughts about losing Daniel as a staff member:
- Daniel has prepared us well for his absence. He has assembled an incredible team of “worshipping artists” (his term) and they are ready to continue the excellence Daniel began.
- We were proactive in this situation. Knowing Daniel’s talent level and his continued passion for Kingdom-building, we knew we could lose Daniel someday if God presented him another opportunity to do this again. Two years ago we hired another worship leader, equally talented, but with different skills, to co-lead with Daniel. Michael has been and is ready to lead the deal. It was sometimes difficult explaining why we had two highly talented leaders in the area of worship, but now we are thankful for the risk we took in making that happen.
- I told Daniel when he first told me he was sensing a call to this new plant that I am a forward thinking person. I truly believe a vision must be about more than a personality, so we will continue to the vision Daniel helped us launch. Michael Higdon is talented and for all practical purposes assumed leadership of Sunday mornings several months ago. He previously led worship for over 20,000 per weekend at Fellowship Church in Dallas, so he is well equipped to continue the excellence Grace is known for in worship.
- Daniel is leaving on good terms with the church, his worship team, and even Emily’s family who live in Clarksville. We are sad to lose them, but can rejoice with them in this new venture. I hope every staff exit we have in the years to come can happen this smoothly.
- Daniel and Emily Doss will always be a part of Grace Community Church. I’m fully convinced they will still be connected to us in some way years from now. They are family to us as a staff and to the church. Our paths will continue to cross in the years to come.
Daniel and Emily, Cheryl and I love you both. We admire your hearts, your passion for life, ministry and others, and your faith in taking risks. Thanks for the difference you have made in our life.
(PS. I’m hoping Daniel and Emily won’t mind that I grabbed one of their pictures. I found it on Google images. They are quite popular there!)