Westmont Magazine From Third Base to Center Stage
Jadon Lavik ’01 came to Westmont to play baseball, hoping to catch the eye of a major league scout. The third baseman made the all-conference team but struck out with the MLB draft.
Instead, he’s achieved success in a completely unexpected area: Christian music. Jadon has recorded two CDs on the Tooth and Nail label, “Moving on Faith” and “Life on the Inside,” and he spent three months this year touring with Rebecca St. James, a well known Christian artist.
“Music for me was always a hobby,” he says. “I spent most of my time in college on the baseball field. I only picked up a guitar and wrote songs to escape from the demands of a busy schedule.”
An economics and business major, Jadon briefly pursued a career in real estate. But as he looked for a job, he spent more and more time with his music. “My searching for work became a searching for songs,” he says.
Eventually he decided against business and spent a year in seminary. His father was a pastor, and he thought the ministry might be a good fit for him. When he arrived at Talbott, officials encouraged him to get involved in a church as an intern. That made him stop and think.What gifts did he have to contribute? Music came to mind immediately, so he sought a position in music ministry at Saddleback Community Church, Rick Warren’s congregation.
“It’s a great place for a musician to be,” Jadon says. “There is always something musical going on, with artists coming and going and lots of conferences.” Performing before the large church terrified him at first. “I had to grow out of my nerves,” he says. “Thanks to the power of God in my life, performing has become less painful.”
Jadon’s musical taste is eclectic, and he describes his work as folksy, bluesy and simple. “My music is about living in the world as an authentic person, about caring for others and honoring them,” he says. “My new record was aiming to talk about transparency, about what is going on in a changed heart.”
While he appreciated the chance to tour with Rebecca St. James, Jadon found 40 shows in nine weeks challenging. He hopes to limit tours to one a year. “I’d like to have a home church and be plugged in there and do music ministry from that base of operations,” he says. “That sense of community is important to me.” Getting married in April — his wife, Stephanie, is a high school English teacher and soccer coach — increased his desire to travel less.
Majoring in economics and business has prepared him to manage his career. “I developed a great deal of confidence in my classes at Westmont and use what I learned all the time,” Jadon says. “Now that I run a business, book shows and negotiate contracts, the business degree is the best thing I could have done.”
For now, Jadon is content to practice, write, play and perform at Saddleback and a variety of other churches. “I try not to make too many plans or anticipate the future too much,” he says. “It’s better to stay on my toes and live by faith.
“I love music, but if it were all gone tomorrow, I wouldn’t lose sleep,” he adds. “I feel God has called me to be a performer for the present. I am making plans to do another album, and I will keep doing that if there continues to be a demand for my music.”