This Sunday, St. Luke is honoring Jeff Greunke for his 25 years of service as the Director of Worship Arts. To commemorate the occasion, we asked the worship team to share their memories, photos and thoughts about what Jeff has meant to them. Due to an overwhelming response, there will be multiple posts. You can view the first here.
I met Jeff while singing in St. Luke’s children’s choir, and he has been a strong influence in my life ever since, teaching me so much more than just music. As a kid, working together on church musicals. As a teen, patiently putting up with Wednesday night High School team antics while continuing to stretch my abilities. As an adult, always understanding when I needed time off to focus on family and always welcoming me back when I was ready.
Jeff is very much the heart and soul of the worship team, both during practice and on the outside. Whether he is presiding from his “throne” in front of the piano, running sectionals to get a piece just right, or kicking back after hours bonding with the team over beer at one of our favorite local spots, it is obvious to everyone that this man is the real deal. A gruff exterior, a heart of compassion. An abiding love for his Savior, his family, his church and his team. Jeff is an excellent musician, mentor, leader and friend.
We love you so much, Jeff. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration and for sharing your heart for worship.
Lydia Will, vocalist
It is hard to believe we are celebrating 25 years of your service at St. Luke. That means we have known each other for 24 years! Time does fly and I would not trade playing music with you for anything. I consider myself blessed to back up such an amazing musician.
Jeff has a quiet sense of humor that’s a joy to be around. You can see it coming when he starts to have a twinkle in his eye (yeah, I said twinkle… with Jeff, it’s a thing). I won’t spend time on his musical prowess which I believe is on clear exhibition every Sunday, but the result of the way he leads the rest of us is a consistently high caliber performance by the team every Sunday! Truly magical.
Jeff never adds fuel to the flame of any disagreement, he creates an atmosphere of “Grace” for everyone’s differences and musical errors. The music is well chosen and organized and arranged by Jeff which allows everyone to come to the rehearsal as prepared as they wish. And every week the performers are a different set of volunteers! I was so impressed after my fist rehearsal, and after over a year, even more impressed.
Working with Jeff these past months, it is clear to me that 25 years in Gods service clearly has immense rewards in and of itself, and having had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff’s family a little, both Kelley and his beautiful children, it is clear to me that God has blessed him with many jewels in his crown. Here’s to 25 more years!
Thanks for the honor of working with you AND the rest of the Worship Team Jeff.
Kim Jones, Guitar
I met Jeff for the first time in 1998. Becky and I were set to be married in the fall and we had requested Jeff as our organist.
He met us that summer Sunday afternoon at the keyboard in the Great Room, with his trusty red binder. I immediately noticed something about him: Golly, this guy is a giant.
As Jeff flipped through his binder and ran us through the songs he thought would suit our wedding service and effortlessly maneuvered from one song to the next with such ease and intention, I was then struck by something else: Radiant humility. He was a gentle, thoughtful and considerate giant.
Little did I know then that I had just met the man that would go on to become at varying times my co-worker, my boss, my bandmate, my writing partner, my director, my mentor, and most of all, my friend.
Through all of those seasons of my cherished walk along side this beautiful man, Jeff has shown me immeasurable grace and kindness and love and I am so blessed to have had Jeff in my life for the past 19 years. As I reflect on the innumerable ways Jeff has impacted my life, I do not even know where to begin…
I could try to give you a story that encapsulates how Jeff’s spirit of gentleness, or his servant heart, or his unwavering patience have been a beacon for me as I stumble along this path. I could list countless pearls of wisdom, nuggets of leadership advice, or words of encouragement from Jeff that have made home their in my heart.
I could share an anecdote of how Jeff took this introverted and awkward stuttering mess, and emboldened him to offer up his humble bouquets of dandelions. I could do all of those things, but that would not even scratch the surface of what a true giant Jeff Greunke has been in my life.