Paul Taylor is the new Central Worship Leader at Cross Timbers. He loves the Lord, cares about people, and plays basketball just as well as the guitar. Learn more about him below.
Tell us the Paul story. Where’d you grow up? What was your family like? How’d you get to where you are?
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. When I was one year old, my father graduated from Seminary and we moved to Maryland, so he could pastor his first church. Growing up a pastor’s kid shows you all the behind the scenes of church work. I never wanted to be in ministry, but during my Senior year of high school God opened my heart to music. I had grown up in a musical home, but I was always so focused on sports. Within a year, I learned to play the guitar and began leading a “contemporary” service at our church. That is when I realized that playing music and leading people in worship was what I loved to do.
I graduated from high school and got a full scholarship to play basketball at Wilmington University. I met my wife at Wilmington and we dated all through college. We got married right after I graduated (she was a year ahead of me) and I was blessed to be asked to play in the EBA (Eastern Basketball Alliance). I played in the EBA for two years and was offered an opportunity to play in Europe, but decided not to take the opportunity because my wife was pregnant with our first child.
For the next two years, I was taking any work I could find. We had a second baby on the way and we were barely making it. My prayer during this season was always "use this life to do much for you.” God seems to work through hard seasons like that and he used the time to heal my brokenness. It felt like God was saying, "I'm gonna use you, but first we need to get rid of this pride."
Soon after that we left Maryland and everything we knew to move to Grand Rapids, Iowa where I served as worship leader at Cedar Valley Community Church. During that time my wife began to deal with postpartum depression. She felt stuck at home in a new state with a new baby. She didn’t know what she needed to do, but she new she needed to do something. Long story short - she auditioned to host a local Christian radio show and she ended up winning! She had never worked in radio before, but she beat out all the competition. I was at Cedar Valley Community Church for eight years and during that time my wife got hired at the largest Christian radio station in Iowa.
Then in 2012, Rob Swanson contacted me about a worship job in Tucson, Arizona at Pantano Christian Church. We felt like the Lrod was telling us to make the move and so we did. Once in Tucson, wife got another job in radio and we settled into the community. We loved living in Tucson and loved serving at Pantano. We were there for almost three years, until I received another call from Rob Swanson (who had recently moved to CT) and he said there may be a position for me. Initially, I told him no thank you. We were really comfortable where we were and didn’t feel the need to look elsewhere. However, the very next day my wife got a call about hosting a radio show in Dallas, Texas. The coincidence felt too strong and so we began to pray about it. The next time Rob called me the position was officially available and we felt like the Lord was calling us to Texas. So we came.
TELL US ABOUT THE FAMILY: WHATS YOUR WIFE’S NAME? HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE NOW? HOW OLD ARE YOU?
My wife’s name is Julia. We have four kids: Genevieve (13), Arielle (9), Will (4), and Ronan (3). They are the joy of my life. And I turned 37 today (January 20th)!
Whats your role at Cross Timbers? What does that mean? What are weekly responsibilities?
My title is Central Worship Pastor. I will be looking at both campuses and putting together a plan for using the arts and music to change hearts and to enable people to see Jesus. I hope to creating environments where people walk away saying "wow God is bigger than I thought he was". The world comes into the church expecting mediocrity and I never want to meet their expectations. God is the most creative artist of all and we aim to glorify him by creating environments where people can experience a living God. My main focus is on music and creating unity among the campuses worship experiences. Currently, I am learning the body, meeting people, and hearing their stories. Relationships are an important part of what I do and right now I am getting to know all of the worship leaders and the campuses. I love to disciple and to raise up leaders, so my position is perfect for me. I get to see people live out their gifts every single week.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT FOR CROSS TIMBERS? ANY BIG INITIATIVES OR DREAMS FOR WORSHIP?
My dreams for CT are super big, but don't really want to share them yet! | want to be a good and faithful servant, not just a good worship leader. I think we are uniquely positioned to do big things for the kingdom. We have the talent and I hope to bring pastoral care to the ministry of worship. Music is important but people are the most important.
Do you have a Personal hero or someone who has influenced you the most?
My father. He has always been someone I can go to with a good day or a bad day and he will always lead him back to the cross. The older I get the more I appreciate, how blessed I was to have such a good father.
WHAT’RE YOU DOING WHEN YOU’RE NOT BEING PASTOR PAUL?
I'm a dad when I have spare time. I try really hard to safe guard time for my kids. My dad was always there for me, so its really important for me to be there for my kids. I like to go out and do things too, but first and foremost I’m a dad.