GET TO KNOW OUR LEADERS
Rev. Jeremy Bellsmith
I was born into the church, the son of a church leader. I learned the language and rituals early on. But I also discovered that the church wasn’t perfect. Hurt people, hurt people. Questions can raise defences. Churches fight and break up. Add to that lots of questions about how the Bible is true, whether science and religion are compatible, and how best to love my friends & family from the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and I had a recipe for a lifelong wrestling match with God.
I reluctantly stumbled into the ministry twenty eight years ago, and it became the arena for this wrestling match. Wrestling has meant deconstructing the faith I grew up in. I found that asking God good questions brings me closer to Jesus. And the more I do it, the more God proves trustworthy.
When Austin and I started UpperLVL, I wanted it to be a place where questions were ok. We're creating a space where folks who’ve left the church are safe to ask their questions, and where those who’ve never tried the church don’t have to worry about knowing the right words or rituals. I don't have all the answers, but I can point you to One who does.
Worship Leader | DJ
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but I had a pretty dramatic handful of years that funnelled me into a life of faith surrendered to Jesus in 2021, at 27 years old. In that whirlwind of a year, the call to establish UpperLVL Worship became clear. Thrust into the life of the church and filled with a new desire to pursue God’s will to share His incredible love - I wrestled with where my job as a newly-sober DJ following Jesus in a fresh, post-pandemic nightclub scene fits into the puzzle.
Hmm… Jesus came and hung out with us sinners, right? Just as He came to us, He still calls us to do the same to one another. To go and share His love and truth with people where they are at, with a heart full of love, grace, patience, understanding and compassion.
We’re far from perfect, but He's perfect. We’re full of sin. He’s absolutely spotless. Yet in love, He traversed that space between, going to the cross for us to close the gap and seal a redeemed relationship between holy God and sinful man. So… how can the church stand in the gap between “us and them” that we so often create today?
One year into the reality of UpperLVL Worship, I’m still baffled that this is where the Lord has brought me. He’s fuelled me to share the good news of God to those I love and meet - through good music and a heart for my peers and long time friends outside the walls of the church. Because, let's face it. Those walls can be intimidating.
So, as our new faith community grows, I serve as our worship DJ and lay-pastor. I work alongside a faithful team, collaborating within our vision to expand this new way of doing church - while doing our darndest to remain true to the heart of Jesus, as He leads us and shapes our ministry.