Everyone at Resurrection recognizes the McMakens. Trevor and Bonnie have served the church for over ten years, and on any given Sunday you might have seen Bonnie leading worship while Trevor preached, acted as deacon, ran the Tech team, and jumped onto the worship team for a song or two. Trevor has been on staff for eight years (and held an unprecedented number of job titles in that time, as you’ll see!).
I asked Trevor and Bonnie to reflect on the past ten years of involvement at Church of the Resurrection, and their answers reflect the incredible love and hard work they have both poured into this church both as ministry leaders and staff members.
Q: When did you first start attending Rez?
Trevor: We started attending in the Fall of 2004, our sophomore year at Wheaton College. Karen and Kevin Miller were family friends of the Woodleys (Bonnie’s family), and they picked us up early in the Fisher U on campus. We got to church 30 or 40 minutes early so the Millers could get ready, and we watched as the sound team scrambled around Glenbard West because the sound system wasn’t working. Little did I know I would lead that team for 8 years…Then after the service, the Millers treated us to lunch at Panera, the first of many incredible and life-changing conversations with them!
Q: What do you remember most vividly about your first Sunday at Rez?
Bonnie: I remember thinking, “Well, this is pretty weird. So many robes. But I feel like everyone is experiencing the holiness and presence of God.” And then, “Oh, well that was interesting … wait, it’s not over?! Wait, there’s still Communion?!” Later that day, as Trevor and I processed “what just happened,” we realized there was a lot we didn’t understand about the service, but it didn’t scare us; it intrigued us.”
Trevor: All logistical details seemed to fade away and we were drawn in to worship and into the presence of Jesus.
Q: How did you get involved?
Bonnie: It didn’t take us even a month to get involved, thanks to the late, great John Fawcett, former worship pastor at Rez. He had heard from a “little bird” (i.e., Karen Miller) that we were musicians, so he called us up. We went in a Wheaton College Conservatory practice room, played and sang through some songs with us, and that was it! We were on the worship team twice a month.
Trevor: The first thing we ever did on worship team was an offertory, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” gospel style. I remember coming onstage and realizing that John stood when he played keyboard, and feeling really clumsy trying to stand and play.
Bonnie: And we’ve been hooked ever since. Trevor has played guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums, piano, keyboard, organ, penny whistle, and probably other miscellaneous instruments. As life-giving as it’s been to be involved with worship here at Rez, it’s also been exciting to get our feet wet in other areas of ministry, some a good fit for us, some not-so-good.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories of your time here?
Bonnie: Our time at Rez has been the most formational season of my life. I got married here. I had babies here. I experienced healing here. I learned how to pray here. I became a leader here. I found home here. There are so many incredible memories that I could point to: my children’s baptisms, leading worship during Holy Week, Trevor’s ordination, etc.
One of my favorite memories is from the Easter Vigil 2014. I had led worship for the first half of the Vigil (the readings portion), and there was a completely separate music team for the second, Communion half. When the song “Happy Day” started at the evening Vigil, about 15 extra music team members jumped on stage. The vocalists shared mics, we danced like crazy, I laughed until my sides hurt, and we worshiped with abandon–like David did.
I love that moment because it’s so indicative of my experience at Rez. When we lead the congregation in worship, it’s not a performance. It’s about entering into a communal and holy reality of worship where we are known, loved, and shaped into the Body of Christ. Also, in this holy reality, there’s a lot of laughing. So much laughing.
How do you capture 10 years of worship, friends, ministry, Holy Weeks, challenges, and joys? A bulleted list, of course:
- Late nights in Glenbard, the Ministry Center, Edman, and Union Ave. working with the tech team
- Our first vigil where we played an original song but the name of the song never made it into the bulletin and instead it had the placeholder text, “Title Here.” Steve still jokes that “Title Here” is his favorite song we’ve done.
- The staff making me the reindeer in the staff Christmas photo. It was my first day back at work after our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, and these were the people I wanted to be with—and still do.
- A prank we played on Steve that didn’t go well and that involved a suit of armor, a toilet Brett and I found on the side of the road, and some goldfish. Note: Steve does not like pranks.
- Keith taking me out for lunch as long as I would go to Chipotle.
- Any one of the hundreds of Tuesday staff meetings where we prayed, confessed, planned, met the Lord, laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
- Spending 10 years with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, and finding them to be the same person behind closed doors when we’re broken or celebrating as they are in front of a congregation, and learning how to grow that same kind of authentic, confessional character.
- Going to the cross on Good Friday and experiencing the profound healing of Jesus; praying for people at the cross and seeing God bring that healing to others.
- Seeing God change lives, mine and others, as we worship him and invite others into that worship.
Q: Trevor, just for fun, can you list out the job titles you’ve held at Rez?
Oh boy, here goes. These are directly from personnel documents, so they’re all official titles:
Worship Intern/Worship Intern, Receptionist, Assistant to the Rector/Worship Coordinator, Receptionist, Assistant to the Rector/Pastoral Care Intern, Worship Coordinator, Church Secretary, Assistant to the Rector/College Coordinator, Rector’s Assistant, Media Arts Coordinator/Communications
Manager, Assistant Director of Community Care/Communications and Media Arts Manager, Pastoral Care Associate Coordinator/Communications Manager, Assistant Coordinator of Community Care/Communication Manager, Community Care Director/Assistant Community Care Pastor, Communications Manager/Communications Manager/Communications Director/Church Planter
Q: What are some of the things that have shaped you most deeply at Rez that you’re planning on carrying with you to Aurora?
- A spirit of profound worship, of meeting God every time we gather together and knowing that we become like the One we worship. He transforms us as we seek Him.
- The value of transparency and vulnerability as leaders and as a church. It’s good to know and communicate we’re broken, and it’s even more powerful to know and communicate that Jesus is changing us and making us into a new creation. This is how we invite others to live authentic lives that are unashamed to need Jesus.
- CELEBRATION! We’ve learned it takes a lot of work! Holy Week doesn’t just happen. Feasts don’t magically appear on tables like in the movie Hook. But the harvest we reap is worth the arduous and sweaty planting and gardening process. Festivity requires effort, and we’re willing to do the work as a new church.
Trevor: There are so many things about Resurrection that we have imbibed. Come visit us in Aurora and when you see the family resemblance, you’ll know!
Q: How can Rez be praying for you & Bonnie & the kids?
Bonnie: Our family needs to be covered in prayer every day. We feel very needy in so many ways, and the Lord continues to satisfy those needs. Specifically, we are stepping into a rhythm and pace of life that is very different from what we’ve had before. I’ll be home schooling the kids this year while leading worship at the Aurora church plant, while Trevor will be taking on more responsibility as our church’s rector. Please pray for our family on Sundays, particularly that the Lord would bring us someone with a heart for watching our kids every week while we both need to focus on serving our congregation in an intense way.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to Rez as you move into this new season?
Bonnie: We love you. We will never and can never be the same after living within your safe walls for so many years. Thank you for giving us refuge and thank you for setting us free. This is sadder and more joyful than any of us could ever express, this Kingdom life. It is the way of the Cross and the Resurrection. It is the way of dark longing and radiant hope. It is the way of Jesus. Take heart.