About Jon

Recently, a diary believed to belong to Jon Nicol was unearthed. These excerpts chronicle the life of the founder of WorshipTeamCoach.com.

Note: All of his junior high entries were omitted. (It was mostly about the volume, duration, and frequency of his burping.)


May 30, 1992

I just graduated high school! I’m going to work for the county highway department this summer—should be a fun way to kill the summer before I go off to Crown College in the Minneapolis area and major in youth ministry.

I refused to smile because I still had my braces.

Summer Job. 🙁

June 2, 1992

Working for the county bites. I can’t wait to leave Iowa behind and get to college.

College RULES!

September 7, 1992

College orientation is awesome!! Like summer camp! I've made tons of friends and several girls are totally digging me (at least I'm pretty sure they are). Classes start in a few days. This is gonna be the best time EVER!


September 16, 1992

hate classes! And STILL haven’t found a girlfriend. By the way, decided to double major in youth ministry and music. A youth ministry degree could be a nice fallback if my professional rockstar career doesn’t take off. But I know it will...

I'm 19!

December 21, 1992

It’s my birthday! I’m 19! (Gosh, I feel so old.) Classes are done for the semester. Life is awesome. Except no girlfriend. Half my classmates are already engaged. I’m so far behind...

Dropped the Music Major

February 9, 1993

I’m in a class called Counterpoint—something to do with Bach. I’m totally dropping the music major. Can’t wait to take youth ministry classes. Got a girlfriend! I think she’s the one... 


February 15, 1993

She wasn’t the one. Wish I would've found that out before Valentines Day.


April 4, 1995

The traveling music team I’m on is touring churches in Ohio. Why would anyone want to live here?! Although, we did eat at this great place called Cheddar’s in a city named Mansfield...

We were SOO cool in those 90s Structure sweater vests and khakis.

Graduated College!

May 12, 1996

Graduated college today!!! Can’t WAIT to get my first youth pastor job!

(Side note: You can graduate cum laude as a below-average student if you majored in Youth Ministry in the 90s. Just thought you'd want to know that.)

What Do I Do Now?

September 23, 1996

No job. No girlfriend. You know what? I should go back to school...

Church Guitarist

November 9, 1996

My first Sunday playing guitar on the Church of the Open Door worship team. Holy cow…this church is bigger than the town I grew up in. I think one of the vocalists is into me. She’s got a pierced nose...

Back In School Again...

January 7, 1997

Enrolled in McNally Smith College of Music. Pretty sure this one-year certificate program is my ticket to rock-stardom. All the profs have longer hair than I do.

The Burrito-Donut Era

January 10, 1998

Finished with the music program. No gigs. No girlfriend. Waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant and then driving a donut truck all night around the Twin Cities. Getting fat...

New Job...In OHIO!

February 16, 1998

Moving to Ohio tomorrow. A friend of mine offered me a job as a youth minister and worship leader at his church. 

So, there’s no pay, but I do get live in a house on the church property. I’m SURE this is where God wants me—I didn’t even bother applying anywhere else. 

Side note: My parents wonder if I’m making the right choice. Hello?! I’m like 24 years old—a mature adult...

Youth Ministry RULES!

March 18, 1998

Led worship at my new church for the first time. Why won’t these 60 people sing like my church of 6000 in Minneapolis?!

Btw, the house is mouse and wasp infested. But hanging with the students is a blast! 

Truck Driving School?

September 23, 1999

College loans kicked in and still part-time. Moving to Mansfield, Ohio next week. Got a full-time job as an admissions rep at a truck driving school. Glad my youth ministry degree is being put to good use.

Know some people at a church called North Woodbury Alliance. Will probably attend there.


January 1, 2000

The New Year’s Eve party last night was fun with young adult group at church. Shannon was there. She’s hot. I know she likes this place called Cheddar's.

Side note: Kinda' crazy to think it’s the year 2000. Thought we’d have hovercrafts by now. #disappointed #hashtagsnotinventedyet


October 7, 2000

Just got engaged to Shannon today!!! Then this evening, she and I and her parents went to see the new Ben Stiller/Robert DeNiro movie, "Meet The Parents.” That was a little awkward...

What did she see in that dork?


August 11, 2001

Married today!! Finally

Jon & Shannon's Wedding

Back in Youth Ministry

January 1, 2003

Can’t wait to get back into youth ministry! Starting a full-time gig as a youth & worship pastor in a few days.

I'd Rather Be Leading Worship

February 1, 2003

Can’t wait to get out of youth ministry and be a full-time worship leader. Someday...

You're What?!

December 21, 2005

Shannon's pregnant!! Wait, I’m 32—that means I’ll be, like, over 50 when this kid graduates high school...


June 5, 2005

I met Aedan for the first time today...

Worship Pastor

August 29, 2006

Just started as a full-time worship pastor in Reynoldsburg, Ohio…finally.

And then...two!

Aedan and Addison

March 22, 2007

Aedan's got a sister! Hello, my beautiful Addison...

Debt Free! Shannon Doesn't Return to Teaching...

September 1, 2008

Shannon’s now a stay-at-home mom for the first time! Dave Ramsey helped us get debt-free so we can live on my income as a worship pastor.

Downsized in the Great Recession

October 20, 2008

Apparently this “great recession" thing is affecting our church. They just informed me they have to let me go at the end of January. Wonder if Shannon can get her teaching job back??

And you want that ribeye medium well?

February 2, 2009

Waiting tables again. Fun in my 20s. In my 30s...not so much.

I've arrived on the World Wide Web

Worship Team Coach Logo

The first logo...can you tell I made it myself?

April 16, 2009

I wrote my first blog post today for this site I’m calling WorshipTeamCoach.com. Probably won't amount to much...

Back in Ministry

May 1, 2009

Starting my job as a worship pastor at the church where Shannon and I met, North Woodbury Alliance. Except now they’ve got two campuses and have changed their name to Heartland Church.

Sounds Like a Country Song

March  15, 2011

Life’s getting crazy. Got another kid on the way. Been traveling to Nashville for awhile to break into professional songwriting. Things are going decently for WorshipTeamCoach.com. I think it’s time to choose one over the other...

First "Real" Website.

June 24, 2011

Just got a new logo for WorshipTeamCoach.com and the new website should be done this fall. There’s a lot of the color green…not sure I like green.


September 29, 2011

Corbin was born today! We now have three kids. And only two bedrooms...


June 15, 2012

On a family vacation at the beach with our three kids. Just found out we’re having a fourth…d’oh! Still in our two bedroom house…

Blame Steve Jobs.

July 16, 2012

Finally got an iPhone. It required running my current cell phone through the washer AND dryer. Shannon's not happy about it...

And now, there are FOUR.

January 22, 2013

Cora Quinn was born after a LONG labor. Just realized I’ll be around 60 when she goes to college. My social security checks will go for tuition payments. 

First Book

(Yes, I am that big of a nerd that I would write a book about managing your worship songs.)

July 7, 2013

Just published my first book called the SongCycle: How To Simplify Worship and Re-Engage Your Congregation.

Side note: my neck has been bothering me. And my hands are constantly numb and my legs give out randomly. Not good...

Best Of...

August 18, 2013

WorshipTeamCoach.com just got a "Best of” by Worship Leader Magazine. This thing might actually be catching on… 

Spinal Fusion (No, not my new band's name...)

Banana popsicles were go-to meal in recovery...

September 30, 2013

Getting two discs removed and three vertebrae in my neck fused together today. I think I've spent too many years hunched over guitars and computer keyboards...

Are You Amish?

March 10, 2014

Met with Jerimae Yoder, this worship leader from Norwalk, OH. This guy’s impressive...

First Course. (Horrible Name)

July 20, 2014

Just released my first big course, The Exceptional Worship Team Coaching Course. I wonder if I should start spending more time here than at my church job?

Weekly(?) Podcast Launches

January 1, 2015

Just launched my weekly podcast!  


February 15, 2015

Might need to call it a monthly podcast. I need more time to work on this stuff...

Better Late Than Never

February 20, 2015

Shannon and I are finally taking a real honeymoon, and our first cruise. I could get used to 5 meals a day...  

Director of Coaching

Jerimae photo

And no, he's not Amish. But his grandparents are.

March 25, 2015

Had wings with Jerimae today. Asked him to be my Director of Coaching.

Step of Faith

September 1, 2015

Officially began to reduce my hours at Heartland Church to spend more time on WorshipTeamCoach.com

And had Dairy Queen with this crew...

Released 'Practice Matters'

August 1, 2016

Monumental. Overcame my fear of being on camera. I created my first course where I was actually onscreen (rather than doing a voice-over). The teleprompter became my best friend.

Launched Beta Version of Worship Workshop

October 8, 2017

HUGE, year-long project finally went public. Our membership-based training site that helps you transform your team members into team leaders, mentors, and role models.

Worship Workshop Logo


October 11, 2017

Wrote a one-year succession plan to hand off the worship ministry leadership to this young guy named Matt.

(Note: It's easier to write a one-year succession plan than it is to execute a one-year succession plan.)

13 in a Third World Country

June 9, 2018

Celebrated Aedan’s 13th birthday in Haiti.

Passing the Baton

September 23, 2018

Officially handed off the Heartland Worship ministry to Matt Lautanen. 

And no, this is not a bad photoshopped picture. He is that tall and slim. And I am, well, neither.

Stepping Down at Heartland

September 30, 2018

Wrapped up almost ten years at Heartland Church. What a fantastic team to be a part of! 

What Did I Get Myself Into?

October 1, 2018

My first day as full-time solo-preneur.


November 1, 2018

Taught my fourth year at CMS in Seattle area.

Nashville Shoot

January 7, 2019

Shot full-length worship band training in Nashville.

WorshipTeamCoach Reboot

April 1, 2019

Launched a total reboot of WorshipTeamCoach.com

No more "green guitar-kite" logo. 

(I realize only now that my two color choices for my main business logos were my school colors in high and college, respectively. Oh, how original you are, Jon.)

It's been 10 years...?

April 16, 2019

It's the tenth anniversary of my first blog post back on the ugly Blogger site.

Feel free to read it. But don’t read too many of those early ones. Yeeesh. Not good. But I guess we all have to start somewhere.