Assemblies of God University student Kristy Starling had
her life plans change when she appeared on the Today Show’s Superstar competition last
fall. Her performance led to a recording contract with
Warner Brothers Christian Division. Kristy’s single
“Water” from her self-titled album is a top
10 hit. She and her husband, Adam, are youth pastors at
Peoples Church (Assemblies of God) in Oklahoma City. Kristy
recently spoke with Jodi O. Harmon, advertising coordinator
for Today’s Pentecostal Evangel.
In the world’s eyes you’ve arrived; how do
you plan to balance your newfound success with the rest
of your life?
It’s overwhelming to me that I’m able to do
what I love. There’s nothing else I’d rather
do than sing and minister to people. I’m just like
any other minister. I’m just in a different arena.
I’m out in the public where a lot of people who
normally wouldn’t go inside church doors hear me.
Every time I hear myself, I think, That’s me!
Thank You, Lord, so much.
Tell me about the plans you had before all of this started.
Adam and I had interviewed at five or six churches to
be youth pastors. We were going to finish our degrees
through distance education. We loved every church we went
to, but we didn’t feel like the Lord wanted us there.
We followed His will and started school again. I was planning
on being a music minister in a church and Adam was going
to be a youth pastor. Then the Today Show’s
Superstar competition came along and changed our plans.
been a whirlwind since you went on the Today Show.
What lessons about God and life have you learned?
He wants so much more for us than we want for ourselves.
It’s neat that He wants us to succeed, and our dreams
to be fulfilled in His plan and not our own.
did you get over your fear of singing in front of people?
Probably during early high school years. I had said, “God,
I can’t do this on my own.” I was scared to
sing in front of anybody, but I knew I was called into
music ministry. God took the fear away gradually, and
I think it was about making me trust Him.
PE: Do you
ever get nervous now?
Every now and then I get a little nervous feeling in my
stomach, but I think it’s just anticipation. When
the Lord took my fear away, He took it all away. I was
more relaxed on the Today Show than some
of the concerts I’ve done.
are your long-term goals?
Adam and I were talking the other day about this and saying,
“God, You are so good. We’re so young and
feel like every dream we had has already come true. Lord,
what else do You have in store for us?” We know
we want to continue to minister to people.
What fears, if any, do you have about where the road you
are now on could lead?
I don’t want it to get routine, and I don’t
want it to become second nature. I want it always to remain
you received any criticism for singing secular songs?
I’ve gotten some flak for even being on television.
It’s really sad, because in my mind it’s an
opportunity for a Christian to be in a secular world and
allow God to minister. Some big-name people have commented,
“There’s something different about you.”
I didn’t know I was acting any differently, but
I think it was the love of the Lord shining through that
many people don’t experience every day of their
did you decide to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God
I had a lot of friends and family who had gone to SAGU
and had said it was the greatest school. I knew it was
an awesome school, and I wanted to see for myself.
you consider attending a secular university?
I did, but I knew I had been called into the ministry
and that I needed to go to a Christian college. I also
heard [SAGU] had a good music program, and I thought it
was the best place for me to go.
has college prepared you for what you are doing now?
College helped me develop personal dedication. You don’t
have your mom and dad in your ear saying, “Do your
homework.” You have to motivate yourself and grow
up. I have to motivate myself constantly to work, to practice
my songs, do my warm-ups every day, simple things that
you think don’t really matter.
you going to finish your education at Southwestern?
I would like to, although I don’t know when it will
happen. I want to get my degree, and I have worked really
hard for it. I have 15 or 16 hours left, so it’s
one good semester. At this point in my life I know God
has given me this opportunity to sing, so I know I need
to do this right now.
PE: Do you
miss any of the college scene?
I miss all my friends. They were such encouraging people
and all my professors were awesome.
has your life changed?
Nothing is similar; it’s a totally different world.
It was a routine of getting up every morning, going to
classes and work every day. Nothing was spontaneous. Now
somebody can call me up and tell me, “Tomorrow you’re
going to Florida.” I never know what’s coming
up next, but it’s fun.
would you advise a student to consider a Christian college
The atmosphere at a Christian college is so much better
because you’re constantly reminded that the Lord
is with you. Going to chapel was a time for me to say,
“Lord, everything I do today, I want to give it
all to You.”
You can make
so much more of your day when you know the Lord is with
you. I saw many prayer requests answered through prayer
in the classroom. People would come back and say things
like, “My mom doesn’t have cancer anymore.”
encouragement would you give to a young person contemplating
Go out on a limb and trust God to help you do things you
wouldn’t normally do. I would never have thought
of the path God has chosen. God’s way is so much
more than I could have ever imagined. You have to be faithful
to God in your everyday walk, and He will be faithful
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