Alumni Spotlight - Joel Henderson
Joel Henderson, also known as Poor Nameless Boy, graduated from Briercrest College and Seminary in 2010 with a BA in Youth Ministry. Known for his ability to write with a sense of soul and honesty, Joel is releasing his sophomore album Bravery on January 15, 2016. A key part of his music is telling a story where each line is delivered with care so the listener is invited to connect deeply. Between his musical endeavors, Joel works with Youth for Christ in a peer group home in Regina where he builds relationships with youth and walks with them through life.
When Henderson arrived at Briercrest, he had an interest in both youth ministry and music. During his time here, these two areas came together. “My passion is writing songs and it was in my first year of college that I took a song writing course with Ken Dosso and found that it was something I enjoyed and also had a lot to learn!” says Joel. “You fall in love with a certain craft” reflects Henderson, “and for me it was the craft of song writing.”
What impact did Briercrest have on you?
“Briercrest stretched me a lot. I think a lot of people go through similar patterns if you stay for the full four years. During my time, I was involved playing volleyball, danced with Refined Undignified, was a Resident Assistant and did some music. I went through highs and lows and frustrations of theology in practice.” Henderson goes on to reflect that since he had not grown up in the church that this new understanding of what it means to live our faith was a profound growing ground.
How does your music connect with your faith?
“Music is an expression of my faith and what I deem worthy in the world. Music is so communal and it brings people alongside you and creative people that love to express.”
How has Briercrest prepared you for what you are doing now?
“I’m a pretty philosophical person and I thought that there wouldn’t be much room for this in my youth ministry classes, but I’ve learned that we are constantly trying to see the world both in the eyes of God and also through the eyes of someone who is pursing God. The biggest thing that I love about Briercrest is that there is so many things thrown at you where you can leave with tools to be equipped with.”
Henderson states, “It’s always nice to look back at my time at Briercrest because it was both fantastic and awful, but it was good. It was really good. Whenever you put yourself in a place where you can contemplate the things of God, it’s so important. Welcome the hills and the valleys. They are important.” This contemplation and pondering of much of life’s deep issues and transitions reflects in Henderson’s music which echoes with a profound sense of care and gentleness for his listeners
Please pray for Joel as he approaches this new journey with his album release. For Henderson, “the biggest thing I would like prayer for is that everything feels new and everything new is on the horizon –that God would be with me in the unexpected.”
You can find more out about Joel and his new album release at www.poornamelessboy.com