Interview with Erie Young Adult’s, Dr. Nick Artman

In 2015, I was introduced to someone that, no matter how far we live apart, I will consider to be a friend.  Nick Artman is an amazing guy, who’s heart is as big as they come. With in hours of meeting Nick, I knew that we were going to be great friends.  In 2015, Nick, myself, and a small group of people went on a life changing road trip to Charlotte.  We jammed in the hotel room on our guitars, wrote a song, and learned a ton!  Nick is the perfect guy to help this community out.  His expertise and background were super helpful to me as a leader, a musician, and a tech.  Let’s get plugged into leadership to see how Nick can help us be better.

1. Nick you play a number of instruments for your weekend worship team, you are the creative director for Erie Young Adults, and you have a PHD in communications. From your perspective, what are some of the most important things to keep in mind when planning a weekend worship service.

Well, for me, it always comes down to the message we wish to communicate.  I begin by asking questions such as: what is the point we are trying to get across, why are we choosing these songs, what extra media assets can we include to reach our audience etc.?  If your worship service doesn’t have meaning, it becomes a simple set of songs we like to sing, but, if we can convey the message in an appropriate manner, a worship service can touch the hearts of a congregation in ways a sermon can’t.  That’s not to say that worship is more important than the sermon, but it should coincide with the sermon and they should convey similar messaging.

2. If you could give some advice to people that are running sound, media and lights for weekend service to be the best they can be in their role, what advice would you give them?

The best advice I can give is to always stay humble and teachable.  Tech teams, such as sound, lights, and media are usually over looked on a Sunday morning.  When you do your job correctly, no one notices.  However, if you make mistakes, most people blame the tech team.  All you can do is shrug it off and move on to the next service. Trust me, technology will fail you at times, but it’s how you handle the setback that really matters.  If you happen to make a mistake, learn from it!

3. What is so rewarding about being the Creative Director for EYA?

I think the most rewarding experience as the Creative Director for EYA is designing the atmosphere that facilitates a comforting environment for people to connect.  Research shows that young adults are looking for authenticity and connection in their services. Thus, we try to create a warm, inviting environment that people can feel comfortable in as they get connected and find their purpose.  For me, it’s fulfilling to see people stick around for hours after a service to sit, talk, and pray for one another.  

4. If you could go back in time and young Nick some advice to be a better leader, what advice would you give? 

It sounds cliche but, always remember that a boss focuses on work, and a leader focuses on people.  I used to have the “I can do it all mentality,” but I was missing out on the team building and the relationships that occur in those situations.  I had a leader once tell me something I will never forget, “a leader will never ask something of his team that he himself would not do.”  Young Nick, stop driving and lead!

5. What is your favorite worship song you are playing these days and why? 

Oh man, that’s tough.  Only one? I’d have to say Jesus by Chris Tomlin has been the song on my heart lately.  It’s a great reminder that no matter what you are going through in life, Jesus is always constant.  There’s no one like him.  He is always with you, he is for you, and he loves you.


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