Ministry Expertise

Preaching: I am an expository preacher who endeavors to proclaim the original purpose of a text in a way that is applicable to the modern listener. I tend to alternate between preaching through a Bible book or following a theme (but still preaching expositionally). I have preached from every book of the Bible (over 20 years) and intentionally draw from each part and genre of scripture over time. The index on the Good Shepherd website has some helpful overviews of the past five years or so. 

Teaching, contexts (25+ yrs): In almost all cases, I wrote and developed teaching material for the classes and groups I taught

  • Weekly congregational large group Bible study - Bible, topical; lecture, discussion
  • Men's small group Bible study
  • Mixed and multi-generational small Group Bible study
  • Confirmation class (school year, once a week): based on the Gospel of John
  • Seminary adjunct professor and lecturer - M.A. and M.Div. level classes
  • School of the Bible, YWAM, Nicaragua
  • Church sessions and congregations across the presbytery and denomination on denominational issues (2006-2014) 
  • Montreat Wee Kirk plenary and seminar leader, worship leader
  • Presbyterian Global Fellowship seminar on missional theology and practice

Teaching, subject matter: I love teaching God's Word and applying it to our modern lives. Regular teaching over the years in the context of the life of a local church has resulted in substantial studies. Here are some standouts:

  • Books of the Bible - from whole book studies to focused chapter studies
  • Biblical themes - e.g. covenant, blessing, Kingdom of God, salvation, identity in Christ, Sabbath and rest, stewardship, lament, repentance, and more
  • Biblical topics - e.g. prayer, discipleship, baptism, love of neighbor, evangelism, community, racial justice, imago Dei, faith and work (as in workplace/vocation), and more
  • Other - parables of Jesus, letters in Revelation, Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments, and more
  • How to Read the Bible - using the book by the same name by Fee/Stuart
  • Worship (incl. work with churches on theology, practice, and style of worship)

Worship, theology and practice: books, articles, conference speaker, session consultant in areas of worship and music

  • Doctoral (D.Min.) Project: Biblical Worship through Music: a Biblical Theology of Worship
  • The Breadth of Worship - a small group or personal devotional guide based on the D.Min. project
  • Sermon Series on worship and the components of worship
  • Music for worship (contemporary worship team, choir) 

Worship, music: some audio and video examples

Contemporary Worship Team

  • "Hear the Call of the Kingdom" (Getty) (video) - piano/vocal
  • "Blessed Assurance" (arr. Austell) (video) - guitar/vocal
  • "Reckless Love" (Asbury) (video) - piano with worship team
  • "By Our Love" (Nockels) (video) - created during COVID for virtual worship, then re-used live with congregation post-COVID... I arranged and played the accompaniment as well; this is a wonderful congregational song!
  • "God So Loved the World" (We the Kingdom) (video)  - COVID virtual worship special music; playing all instruments, singing harmony, and did all audio/video editing and mixing (cf live version - will play from the right place)

Other Misc: "Lord of Peace" (English/Martin) (video) - coordinated the rehearsal tracks, phone video submissions, and did all the audio and video editing and mixing for this choral recording during COVID virtual worship

Original Songwriting/Composition/Arranging: lots! A representative sampling of styles and genres below, with links to an explanation and audio. All these were for use in a congregational/worship context.

  • Choral Music
    • "Christ in the Darkness" (Austell, Mounger) (link)
    • "Silent Night" (arr. Austell) (link)
  • Contemporary Hymn Arrangements
    • "Come Thou Fount" (studio recording | live worship)
    • "Immortal, Invisble" (arr. Austell) (link)
    • "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" (arr. Austell) (video) - COVID virtual worship; playing all instruments and arranged vocal parts
  • Sermon-Song (piano): "Rachel's Prayer" (link)
  • Sermon-Song (guitar): "Burning Hearts" (Austell/Dawson) (link)
  • Communion Song: "Remember This Gift" (link)
  • Baptism Song: "Long Before you Were Made" (Austell/Dawson) (link)
  • Confirmation Song: "Now You Make it Your Own" (Austell/Dawson) (link)
  • Piano Instrumental: "Go Tell It" and "What Child is This?" (link)