I would like to hear (read) your stories of how you became a worship leader/musician/praise team member, all of that. Did you fight God on the calling or did you accept willingly? What's your story?

C'mon and share, I'm ready to read!!!!

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I guess it's time I put my story out here. I'm a very unlikely person to be a worship leader. Why I'm doing this is beyond me. It's nothing I ever would have thought I would be doing. I grew up going to an Episcopal school and being taken to church every Sunday by my parents. We lived at the beach and I rebelled against the tie and dress shoes church and school since I would have rather been in more comfortable surfer shorts and flip-flops and out on the beach. I know that sounds shallow and I hate it now. Anyway, when I was old enough to choose for myself I stopped going to church and switched to public school. I believed in God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. I didn't see any value in formal religion and church. I grew up, went into the computer software industry, got married, and spent the next 20 years working too many long hours chasing the dream of more money, more things, more success, etc. My wife and kids suffered from the dedication to work. I have also been very much the introvert. Speaking in public, speaking up in class, etc. horrified me to the point of stammering and mumbling. I played electric guitar in high school but put it away when I got married. 25 years ago. Over the years my wife got me to shop around and try different churches. We would go for a while then stop going. Eventually she tried a new church plant that was meeting at a local high school. She liked it and got me to go. It was totally different. Come as you are, contemporary worship, small congregation, everyone made a point to seek us out and include us in their lives. Lunch after church, helping to set up and tear down the stage area each week. Church was relaxed, friendly, fun, and only happened if we put in the work each week to make it happen. That made an impression on me. One day out of the blue the worship leader walked up to me and said "Hi, my name is CJ, glad you're here, by the way, do you play guitar?". We got a laugh about how I did many many years ago. He kept after me to come to a rehearsal for about 6 months. I finally did so he could see how bad I was and stop bugging me. He kept getting me to come back for a few weeks then asked me to play during church with the team. "Me, play in front of people? right.". He kept after me for more weeks until I finally gave in and did play during church. From there we became good friends and he helped me understand God, religion, and faith in a very real and fun way. Eventually he moved on to another church. I was kind of left the unofficial leader of the team but I refused to talk or sing. I had never sung before, at all and hated my voice. I planned the music, led rehearsals, but had one of the vocalists do the talking and left the singing to the singers. I told the pastor they had to find a new leader. They did. He was a great guy and we did well together. On a youth mission trip there was an altar call one night. I found myself there with the youth giving my life to Christ. I was also impressed with how the worship leader there was opening up such emotions in everyone. At some point after this I started getting a nagging feeling that I should try to learn how to sing. It was a stupid idea and I could not figure out why I kept thinking about it. I fought this for many months. I finally gave in and started secretly seeing a vocal coach once a week. I think it was week 4 that our new worship leader told me "Hey, by the way, this is my last Sunday, I'm leaving". Our pastor sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do. Nobody knew I had started taking voice lessons. I told the pastor and the team that I didn't think I was qualified but I would give it a shot until anyone thought it wasn't working then we would go out and hire a new leader. I had no problem at all with that, it was my idea. That was about 4 years ago and our worship is getting better every week, out praise team is growing and everyone is getting stronger, our congregation is growing, I am singing and leading on acoustic guitar with confidence, etc. It still shocks me when I sit down and think about it. But now I laugh, pray, thank God for using me, and go on. God does work in mysterious ways and through the most unlikely people.
Wow ya'll!!! Praise God!!! Keep the stories coming!! Your testimonies are amazing and they are to edify us all who are called to lead praise and worship as it is a GRET responsibility....and I mean great...........Lord have mercy it's great...

I don't know how many times I asked (more like told) God that I wanted Him to take this position away from me but thanks be to the Lord, He pushed me deeper in the call. Praise God!!!!!


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