Brett Stanfill is one of our worship leaders here at The Living Room. He is also back in school as a student at Georgia State University. We thought we'd help you guys get to know him by asking some questions about his experience there and for some words of wisdom for you guys. Let's dive in...
First, tell us a little bit about you, your family, and what's going on in your world right now.
My world is crazy right now! My wife, Heather, and I just moved into our first home in Cumming. We absolutely love it there, but getting the house to the point where it’s livable is no small task. Heather works full-time at a financial planning company, while I am a full-time student (finishing this fall) and worship leader at NPCC. On top of this—and most exciting—is what’s coming in September: our first little one! Madelyn Ford Stanfill is due September 18. We couldn’t be more excited to start this next chapter of life together. So, within just a few months, we are first-time homeowners and first-time parents! Crazy.
With a family and career already in place, what made you decide to go back and finish school?
A few different things contributed to the decision. For starters, the more I grew up after high school, the more I realized I love to learn. I’m kind of a student at heart. Once I realized that, I knew I wanted to go back and finish at some point. However, for a long time, I only considered getting my degree at a Bible college, since I wanted to work in ministry. I tried doing some online classes through Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, but I wasn’t a huge fan of online school.
The thing that got me to go back to school—and this is going to sound real churchy—was God. My wife and I went on a trip to Israel in August of 2011. While we were there, I clearly heard the Lord call me to finish school. Not only did I feel like I needed to go back, I felt like he was specifically calling me to go to Georgia State and invest in the city. So that’s what I did. We lived in the city, I worked at a coffee shop in the city, and I went to school in the city. It was a blast!
What are you majoring in at Georgia State?
Speech Communications with a minor in Religious Studies.
Favorite and least favorite classes you've taken so far?
Favorite: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism with Professor Darby
Least Favorite: Argumentation
Best place on/around campus to each lunch?
Anatolia Cafe—hands down. They have incredible Mediterranean food, and it’s always busy. I love that place.
We all learn from mistakes—most of the time our own, but sometimes those of others. What piece of advice would you offer our students that might help them avoid a mistake you've made in regard to school?
Use class time wisely! The classes I had the most trouble with were the ones during which I would space out and not pay attention. Listen in class and take notes. Your study time will be cut in half!
What is something you didn't expect but enjoy/appreciate about Georgia State?
This is going to sound weird, but . . . the smells. I love walking around Aderhold, where all those authentic international restaurants are. It smells like I’m in a different country. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t recommend it as an air freshener scent, but the smell makes me feel like I’m somewhere else.
Do you have a favorite way to pass time between or before classes?
Nerd answer: I work on schoolwork to pass time between classes. The more I can get done at school, the less I have to do at home!
How is your relationship with God integrated with how you approach school?
I think the biggest way my relationship with God intersects with school is in my priorities. I constantly have to check my priorities to make sure they line up with what God has for me. In this phase of life, school is my “work,” and I don’t ever want to put work before my family or my relationship with the Lord. So there are times when I have to put down my schoolwork in order to invest in my relationship with the Lord, my relationships at home, and the rest of the people in my life. Hopefully that makes sense.
Does being back on campus as a student affect your experience as a worship leader for students at The Living Room?
This is my first time on campus as a worship leader at The Living Room. Hopefully it’ll allow me to meet students I wouldn’t otherwise get to meet!
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Brett a bit. If you see him on campus at State, be sure to say hello. Brett started leading with us this summer and we're so grateful to have him on our team. We look forward to you guys getting to know him better as we move through this year.