Lead #pastor shames me into leading #worship at his #church

I ended up leading worship at Western Hills Baptist Church this past weekend after lead pastor Grant English shamed me into coming. The regular worship leader, Rick Stones, was gracious enough to allow me to come in as an unknown and work with their musicians and techs. This is a snapshot account of what my experience was like.

Grant’s ‘walk-away message’ was about community, a part of their “Sacred Rituals” series — having a safe circle of believing friends (Life Group) to run to when life turns sidewise. It caused me to think, as their guest worship leader, how good it was to have a common foundation in Jesus Christ, even though I didn’t know anyone else on stage or off. A small form of ‘automatic community’ exists between believers, even when they don’t know each other. I’m sure it has happened to other believers; sitting on a flight, meeting at your child’s game, or that traffic accident. We can form an immediate connection through the same one Creator we place our trust in.

The first immediate thing I noticed about Western Hills (WH); they were very warm and friendly. Even before I showed up to rehearse, they invited me in to their Creative Team as they planned for the weekend. The drummer, Jim, friended me on Facebook and asked about some of the music we were putting together.

There were several things I really appreciated about the musicians and techs during my visit. I appreciated that all the techs showed up to rehearsal — it made it feel like we were one team. TBC does this, too, and I really like it. I appreciated having a nice solid bass player, Bob, right behind me. I heard and felt the right amount of low end. The keyboardist, Claudia, showed me the stacked keyboard setup and gave me some feedback about how to lead the final song. Both singers, Susan and Jeff, were spot on vocally — and we ended up having nice SAT harmonies with very little work.

I also noticed they were a serving group of people. I appreciated that a their guitar player, Shane, helped me figure out where to stand, what to do with my cases, monitoring situation, and put me at ease immediately. (By the way, he makes his own guitar effect pedals — first person I’ve met who does that. Maybe I don’t get out much.) Then the church secretary not only worked on the main food/feast table (the main creative element for the morning), but handed me a bottle of water along with Grant.

I’m so glad I was an adopted part of the Western Hills family for a weekend. Hopefully I didn’t permanently damage them when I walked out the door. The experience definitely made a personal connection with me — one that will help me remember about my friends with the same mission on the westside of town.

So Grant, when are you going to come teach at Topeka Bible Church (not that I have any liberty to either invite or put pressure on you)? But if takes too long for you to respond, I’m inviting my TBC friends to leave friendly comments on your blog.


One Response to Lead #pastor shames me into leading #worship at his #church

  1. Grant says:

    My dear brother!! I have a gift for you by the way.

    First, when you get a chance, love to hear your ‘unvarnished’ thoughts. What could we do better?

    It was awesome being able to lead with you in worship. We will most definitely do it again.

    As far as me coming to TBC — do you let guys with earrings teach? If not, I can play the guitar. ha ha.

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