Saturday, July 16, 2016

Anatomy Of A Worship Team

I Chronicles 25:7
They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord and each of them was an accomplished musician.

The room is dark, save for the stage lights.
Sound system is on...

Amps are ready and instruments lay nearby.
Mikes are hot....
We gather around a table, the five of us,and we begin to go through a new song that was chosen for the worship set. Chosen for more than the words or chords, but for what it does to the human heart. Much prayer during the week, seeking guidance on which songs to play. 

We take our chord sheets and began to work through the arrangement.
Who sings what....harmonies....

What instrument carries the melody ....
what about the tempo?
We are a worship team....
To some, not familiar with such, we might be thought of as a band. While we do have the trappings of a band, our drive is not for the praise of man,but that we might praise our God.

We have no lofty dreams or visions of greatness in the music record music that thousands will sing....
Our goal is simple...

Sing To God and tell Him of our love for Him.
We've got some years of playing together, and if you wanted to rank us as far as "REAL" Musicians, then you'd have to list Debbie Handy at the top. Our keyboardist and song writer has been a main stay of Recovery worship. Debbie and I have been playing together for 25 years. She gave me a place in learning to lead worship. Debbie has followed me into many a ditch during my learning phase. Debbie's songs reflect a heart that does not give up, no matter what life may hold. God is greater.

Wayne Wimpee would be next. Somehow, I think Wayne may actually be an alien from a distant world sent to earth to aid us lowly humans in our musical attempts. Wayne is our percussionist/ harmonica player / vocalist. At times it seems that Wayne has eight arms all going simultaneously on the drums, cymbals, playing harmonica and singing. I kid you not, he can do it all. I've known Wayne since 1968....lot of music between the two of us.

Barry Hooks is our rhythm guitarist. Barry has been playing with the worship team ever since I left Vineyard the first time to start a church at Rapha. That would be ten years.
Barry has an incredible knack for coming up with all these fill-in's on guitar. 

Carrie Elrod is the latest addition to the team. Carrie and I go back to the House of Blue days when we hosted our first recovery meeting at Gadsden Vineyard. She has come into her own as a vocalist and has the ability to find harmony parts to fill in gaps and empty places. More than anything, Carrie has a heart to worship God. When it comes to a worship team, that is the main element I want....hearts that desire to worship God.

Then there is your's truly....
I am a garage musician....
Lot's of bands, duo's...and other such animals in which I played.

I do not have the discipline to be a professional,but I have the drive to always looking to improve my playing.
In January of 2015, someone gave me a bass guitar, telling me that God has instructed them to do so. While I was pleased, I was also puzzled. I had been lead guitar player on the team and it had been 20 years since I'd played bass. Reluctantly, I took the bass and discovered an amazing thing. The first time I played it with the team, it was as if I'd never stopped. I began to hear bass parts whenever I listened to music.

So with this line up, and the addition of me on bass guitar, we had to take a look at the way we arranged songs. God has been gracious to allow us to craft a sound that we can bring to any song. We do a lot of "take back" songs in our worship set. Because of this, we have arrange the song in such a way that we can get that "full" sound. So far so good.
But we continue to strive to get better. 

I am not naive enough to believe that everyone likes our style of worship. At the same time I make no apologies for it. It's who we are. It's the sound we grew up with. It's the groove that God has put us in. Can't ask for better than that.

So as an added surprise, I let you in on the songs we will be doing this Saturday night.

Open The Eyes Of My Heart
I Will Take Care Of You
All The Way Home
Head To The Heart
Jesus Loves You

Come and out and join us at Vineyard ReCovery Church
Saturday night/ 7 p.m.

Down town Gadsden on Broad Street between 4th and 5th streets.

God on you...


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