By Josh Stevens
The words “triple major” are enough to stress out any student. But senior Brandon Slifer seems to have his full schedule down to an exact science without breaking a sweat.
“It sounds impressive,” Slifer said. “But it overlaps really well.”
Slifer is a Worship, Youth Ministry and Christian Education triple major. During his time at Cedarville, he has devoted himself to finding ways to serve God. Through this pursuit, Slifer has also found his passion.
“It makes a lot of sense for what I want to do to get as much training as I can while I’m here,” he said.
From Tipp City, Ohio, just outside of Dayton and about 45 minutes from Cedarville, Slifer loves his hometown and his home church, Vandalia Baptist Temple. He is ministering there as the worship leader and will move to a full-time position at the church after he graduates this May. When looking for a college, he chose Cedarville for one specific reason.
“I wanted to go somewhere that would train me for the ministry,” he said.
Starting out as a Worship major with a Youth Ministry minor, Slifer soon found he could do even more if he added Christian education to the mix.
“In a small church setting, you’re not just leading worship, you’re also teaching and preaching and mentoring,” he said.
He then decided to major in all three: Worship, Christian Education and Youth Ministry to give him the diversity of skills he needed to effectively fulfill his calling to serve in a small local church.
“I don’t know why, but extra work seemed enticing to me,” Slifer said.
Multi-tasking is a driving force for Slifer. On top of his three majors, he is also involved on campus through a chapel band, senior class band and PSG. He frequently helps set up the audio for chapel services and several other music groups on campus.
“I do a lot of band things,” Slifer said with a chuckle.
“A lot of band things” includes being a multi-instrumentalist. Slifer plays bass, acoustic guitar, piano, drums, trombone, tuba and is a vocalist. He plays mainly bass on campus due to few bass players.
“Bass is like my fifth thing,” he said. “All of those other instruments I learned easily transitioned to bass.”
Music is clearly a large part of Slifer’s life, but he said growing up, music was not a central theme in his family. He soon began to realize the influence music had on his life.
“Music affects me in a very particular way,” he said. “I found that I had to stop listening to other genres. Music that doesn’t point me to God just takes my heart and drags me in another direction.”
Slifer’s love for music grew gradually. He did not go easy on himself when he first began to play.
“At first I was horrible. I was so bad,” he said.
One moment that stands out in his musical journey happened in his pastor’s office during his senior year of high school. Pondering over his college decisions, his pastor and youth pastor both affirmed his talents and passion for music.
“They told me they could see a clear heart for worship,” Slifer said. “That’s always been my desire.”
From that moment on, Slifer put that desire into practice and committed his life to serving, worshiping and teaching the name of Jesus. He carried out that commitment throughout his time at Cedarville and will soon be continuing through his home church. Two years ago, though, Slifer would have said his future didn’t involve his church.
“I was ready to leave. I had a couple of offers from other churches,” Slifer said. “But then God started doing some really cool stuff.”
Vandalia Baptist Temple launched discipleship groups, and Slifer began to notice change.
“My heart has become much more invested in the people, and I love them so much,” he said.
At Vandalia Baptist Temple, he has found a place to execute God’s calling on his life and exercise the talents and skills he has worked to develop. Slifer is already training the church’s praise and worship team and is looking forward to other opportunities to lead when he comes on the full-time staff.
“I’m invested,” he said. “I’m there for the long haul until God calls me somewhere else.”
Slifer’s musical journey is far from over, and his accomplishments at Cedarville and his church have fueled his desires even more.
“I’ve always felt like wherever God takes me is where I’m going to be,” he said. “and I’m really excited to see where that is.”
Josh Stevens is a senior journalism major and an Arts & Entertainment writer for Cedars. He enjoys communicating via Spongebob quotes and listening to music your grandparents probably enjoy.