Journey from Musician to Pastor
From a very early age, I could be found for hours sitting at the windowsill playing the keyboard, or at least, imagining it. I began taking piano lessons at the age of seven and continued throughout high school, hoping to study and major in piano performance at some prominent music university. My training was vigorous and heavy in composition and theory. I even studied occasionally with professors from Montana State University. However, although raised in a Christian home, I spent the last few years of high school in rebellion against God and my parents.
I left my music studies behind, and after graduation, moved to Europe where I lived for one year in the Netherlands as a foreign exchange student. That year holds some of the most memorable experiences of my life. It was during my time abroad that I once again turned my life over to Christ. Upon my return and through a very clear calling of the Lord, I departed for Northwest Nazarene University in January of 1983 in order to be part of a professional men's quartet and tour the following summer. God provided financially during that summer tour allowing me to continue at NNU until graduating in 1986 with degrees in Computer Programming as well as Accounting.
Although I did not major in music, it was a very important part of my college life, and I spent many hours singing and studying with Dr. D.E. Hill as part of The Northwesterners. After graduation, I secured a job working for a major fruit company in Yakima, WA, serving as the accounting comptroller and programmer for their company software and payroll programs.
During the next six years, I served at one church on a worship team as keyboardist on Sunday mornings, and as a worship leader for another on Sunday evenings. I also began and directed a vocal musical ensemble that traveled extensively for a couple of years throughout the Northwest on weekends. It was during those years I clearly heard God calling me to the pastorate. In 1992, upon the promptings and affirmations of pastors and colleagues, I embarked on a new full-time vocation to serve the Lord and his Church as a vocational worship leader, and in 2004, was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Inspired by a worship conference in Seattle held by the late Dr. Robert Webber, I enrolled at Tyndale University College and Seminary in his master's program for worship and liturgy and graduated in May of 2010.
My wife Beth and I met during my first pastorate. Since then, God has blessed us with two boys, now young men. I cannot imagine serving God so happily without them. I am a hobbyist and enjoy undertaking a variety of endeavors such as learning to play the banjo, throwing pottery, gardening, and even knitting. I have enjoyed working with school music directors serving as both an accompanist and a substitute from time to time. I enjoy getting into the schools, being with the children and making contacts outside of the church setting.
In the past 25 plus years of ministry, God has worked in my life transforming me from a simple musician to a worship leader, and from a worship leader to a worship pastor. I am excited about the work of the ministry God has called me to, shepherding his people and assisting them in their common prayer and acts of corporate worship.
Rev. Todd Ferring has been teaching for NBC since 2011.
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 07/06/2020