Serving others occurs both on the main stage and behind the scenes. One Indiana Wesleyan University student does this through two of her passions: basketball and worship.
Jordan Brown (sr) played high school basketball in Bettendorf, Iowa, earning the position of varsity captain her senior year. Coming to IWU as a psychology major with a worship minor, Brown said she knew playing basketball for the Wildcats wasn’t likely; she didn’t even think about the possibility. But she did get a chance.
“I was shooting outside one day, and Ashley Brooks [sr] and then another player who graduated a couple of years ago saw me, and they were like, ‘hey, you should try out for the team or try to be on our practice team,’” Brown said.
After conditioning with the team for a month, Brown thought she had a spot on the roster, but things turned out differently.
“I was actually really disappointed because when [coach Steve Brooks] called me into his office at the end of conditioning, I thought he was going to tell me ‘Sorry, it’s over,’” Brown said. “But he was like, ‘I appreciate your hard work and how you stuck with it, so if you want to be our manager, you can still hang around.’ That’s how Coach is. He hates it when people don’t get to be involved. He’s got a soft spot for people.”
About that time, Brown said she wanted to start with IWU’s praise and worship team. She taught herself how to play guitar as a freshman in high school when she and her family were serving as missionaries in the Philippines. After multiple years of experience in worship during high school, she thought leading worship at IWU would be easy.
“I came to Indiana Wesleyan with false expectations. I thought I was going to get involved right away. There’s going to be tons of opportunities, like I’ll play all the time. And that definitely wasn’t the case,” Brown said. “For me, it was kind of God being like, ‘No, you are not ready yet. You think you’re ready, but you’re not.’”
But as the years passed, many of Brown’s duties as team manager and opportunities as a worship leader grew.
As a team manager, she started filming away games and washing laundry. This grew into the head manager position by her junior year, keeping track of the shot chart and assisting with team devotions.
“She really cares about people and has a real passion for serving people, especially on our team,” Wildcats center Krystal Stoneking (sr) said. “If something’s missing, she is willing to go find it or get something for us if we need it. She’s very selfless and it shows every day.”
As a worship leader, Brown started by playing for student-led events off-campus as well as singing once in chapel. After a summer worship internship in 2011, she said this school year “blew up,” as she had the opportunity to play at Summit for the first time.
“She’s strong enough as a leader to be able to take authority for her [worship] team, make decisions, lead others, but she’s also very receptive to the encouragement and guidance of the dean of the chapel’s office, those on campus that she has to work with,” said Pat Hannon, assistant dean of the chapel. “Her overall commitment to our campus as a whole really is reflective in the attitude in the way she does everything.”
Brown said that leading worship and managing the basketball team taught her how to be a better servant for others. She said she appreciates the balance between her two passions.
“There’s a lot of stuff that goes on when it comes to leading music and leading worship that doesn’t get seen. The ministry to your bandmates and the prayer that goes behind it is unreal,” Brown said. “Nobody sees that, and that is completely fine. I’ve learned that because of basketball. You don’t need to be thanked, you don’t need to be praised for everything.”