Getting to know Joel Pridmore
Joel is senior pastor at our Aberystwyth church. He is originally from Devon and is a part of the Elim Sound Core Team. Joel loves Liverpool FC, Guitars and grabbing a bargain.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I live in Aberystwyth on the Wild West coast of Wales where I have been the Pastor of the Elim Church since 2012. I have three fab children Isaac, Reuben and Lydia who all share my love of sports, music, all things artistic.
I grew up in a town called Honiton in Devon and studied for a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham. Since then I have lived and ministered at Elim churches in St Albans and Swansea before moving to Aberystwyth.
In other interests... I occasionally like to dance around the lounge with the music turned up a bit too loud. I particularly love this when my kids join in, but one of them is now getting to cool for this so I may have to rethink my actions.
2. How did you get involved in leading musical worship?
I became a Christian at the age of 15 in the youth venue at an event called Stoneleigh Bible Week and it was through the sung worship that I really connected with God initially.
I had recently started learning the guitar and so my musical and faith journey really grew together at that time. Within a year, after leading worship in our youth group, I was given the opportunity to lead worship in church and I soon knew this was going to be a big part of my life!
3. ‘Stretch and serve’ is one of your key phrases that the Elim Sound team love to quote. Can you elaborate on this for us?
I think these two S's are key for anyone in leadership. In order to draw the best out of people we are leading I believe we need to both serve them (give them what they like or are used to) and stretch them (help them embrace that which is good but is new, uncomfortable or unfamiliar to them).
If, as leaders, we only serve people without stretching them then they will not grow or have the opportunity to put the interests of others first. If we only stretch people then they will grow weary and most likely reach breaking point!
A simple example from a musical worship perspective is the 'new song' vs 'hymn' discussion... I believe we should make some use of them both. At the risk of stereotyping, it may be that some older folks might generally prefer the old hymns and younger people the new songs but by utilising both, we give all the opportunity to 'enjoy' their preference whilst also growing as they learn to embrace and experience the other.
4. If you could go back to the start and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell teenage Joel to make an absolute priority of creating a daily life rhythm to include exercise, reading scripture, prayer and eating healthily. Also alongside this to aim for a monthly discipline of setting a day aside to get away from your weekly routine to spend time with God.
5. You are Senior Pastor at Aberystwyth Elim. What advice can you give to worship leaders who are serving their Pastors on how to build a strong relationship?
Get in the boat your pastor is steering. You have to be on board with their vision the course they have set, otherwise you will pull things in different directions or rock the boat too much - if you do these, nobody benefits.
Understand the level of responsibility you are given in leading worship and seek to positively reinforce its importance in the understanding of your pastor too.
Invest time in you pastor relationally and socially wherever possible - if you understand their heart, you have more chance of understanding why they do things and want things done the way they do! The more you serve them and the direction they are leading, the more you will be trusted and be able to influence the shape of the journey ahead.
6. What music are you currently listening to?
I have broad musical tastes and always have a variety of different styles lined up in my playlists!
Most played artists recently have included Oh Wonder, Coldplay, Daft Punk, James Taylor, Elevation Worship, Housefires and Hillsong Young & Free. Oh... and Ian Yates!
Strat or tele? Strat (since discovering my G&L)
Gibson or Fender? Fender… no wait... Gibson... no... ok... G&L.
Delay or reverb? Delay
Acoustic or electric guitar? This is like asking me to choose between my children... nope... can't choose.
Stephen Gibson or Stephen Gerrard? Stevie G.
Klopp or Benitez? Dalglish!
Daniel Sturridge or Roberto Firmino? Studge has more natural flair, but Firmino's work-rate wins it for me.
eBay or gumtree? eBay, but only just.
Money supermarket or compare the market? Simples... Compare the Market... I truly hate the Money Supermarket ads whereas Oleg is genius marketing (or should I say meerkating).
What’s your best ever bargain? Probably the trusty Avalon acoustic guitar that has been my main musical companion for many years now! I purchased it brand new from the basement of a local solicitors in Cheltenham at factory price (which is a whole other story)!
Oh... by the way - Exeter City FC are a passion on a par with LFC - just so you know!
Questions: What is your favourite song at the moment? Leave a comment below.