Yes, it’s true. I have officially left the Paul Baloche band. After 20+ years with Paul I decided, back in March of this year (2016), that it was time to move on. Many of you were surprised, and actually it was even a shocking decision for me too. I’m still trying to figure it all out. These guys are my friends, comrades… even brothers. So it was very challenging to let it all go. We’ll always be “soul brothers,” but the path I’ve needed to take could not wait any longer. Basically, I felt God has called me to some other things, and the road work was eating up too much time and energy for me to be good (or better) at what I need to be doing here in Nashville.
Leann and I have been pastoring a church for almost 4 years now. (The Well of Nashville) The team, community, and Leann have felt the strain of me being gone almost every weekend or every “other” weekend… and sometimes several weeks in a row. It was not the best way to help build a community. 🙂 Being home more allows me to connect to our church better, to work here in town… and to Leann as well.
I’ve also wanted to be more involved in recording sessions; production work; songwriting; teaching and more. In Nashville, if you’re on the road, it’s almost the “kiss of death” for doing the recording scene here. I noticed that if I missed a call the word quickly spreads that “Carl’s a road guy” and the phone quits ringing. Of course I’ve just always gone with the flow… trusting the Lord to work out my schedule. And He did, and still does so. I’ve been fortunate to always have a balance of touring, studio work, and ministry activities. But I new it was just a matter of the limits of my personal time and energy that was closing some doors and making it impossible to juggle everything. You can only have so much “on your plate.”
At the beginning of 2016 I actually thought this would be a two to three year process. But as I was praying, talking to Leann, and others, it became clear time had accelerated. The more I pressed into the Lord and good council I realized this change was happening in two weeks! It was already mid February and I knew there was no long transition period that felt peaceful. So I called my friend Paul in March and made the announcement. There were tears, and laughter… stories of past adventures and the vision for both of our futures. We prayed and blessed each other and even talked about the possible future connection at some events. But that will have to be a strategic move of the Lord… and careful planning. The goal really is to stay home in Nashville and focus on life and work here.
Leann and I still travel on occasion to speak at an event, do some team training, or lead worship together. I’ve even taken the “one off” weekend playing drums for some other events… but the focus of my life now is to stay in town more to connect to the people we are pastoring, to work on music, and to find what the Lord has in store for me here. Being gone every other month for a couple of days is VERY different than being away every week.
Thanks for your prayers as we move into this new time. It’s still in process. For those of you that have spoken to me about it, thanks for your encouragement and support. Change is tough, even when it’s right.