On February 4th, members of the Worship Arts ministry at St. Luke met for U.Worship, an annual team building event. I caught up with guitarist Kim Jones afterward to ask a few questions about his involvement in this ministry.
LW: You are one of the newest members of the worship team and a recent new member at St. Luke. What drew you to the Music ministry at St. Luke and when did you begin?
KJ: I believe I’m coming up on 1 year with the team. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the performers in the worship team. And especially with the band leader. Having been a band leader professionally for over 10 years, I understand the challenges and was impressed with his musicality, voice and arrangements. Also, to manage a group of highly skilled volunteers who were clearly having a good time spoke volumes about his leadership ability. I was also very impressed that the church had chosen to place the band to the side, allowing the service itself to remain center stage. I felt it said a great deal about the priorities of the church, and the character of the worship team. Having been a part of this team now for almost a year, I’m very happy to say that my first impressions have been validated by my personal experience every week.
LW: The worship team is a diverse group of people at all stages of their faith. How does serving on the worship team impact your personal faith walk?
KJ: I feel that I have found a family that shares my basic Christian world view. To have a team with that camaraderie supported by their faith, has provided a solid foundation for me to express my own faith thru our music and friendship. Every once in a while on stage, when we are all “clicking”, the emotion can be overwhelming, and that’s when I can see the congregation start to sense it and rise. There’s not much in this world that’s better than that, and we get a shot at it every week!
LW: U.Worship is a team building conference to encourage members of the Music ministry. How did the U.Worship event encourage your take on this ministry going forward?
KJ: It was a very positive, mature look at the challenges and expectations of our team as we relate and deal with each other and with the congregation. It reinforced my view that we are both leaders AND followers at the same time, within the team and as it relates to how we represent Christ and St. Luke to the congregation. I would definitely attend the next. I was surprisingly impressed by the Lincoln Brewster video. His thoughtful and mature view of the issues facing a worship team were full of grace and understanding of the human condition. I loved his perspective. Most creative people I’ve known (me included) live on the ragged edge of the heart, challenged with controlling their exploding emotions most of the time, while letting go of that control at other times (and of course, knowing the right time for both). For creative people, this is much more challenging then for “normal” people. I felt that the event quietly began to build a Christian driven framework for that to happen more easily.
LW: What is your favorite part of serving on the worship team?
KJ: For me, to be able to work on challenging music that presents a message and world view that I’m proud of, on a weekly basis, is incredibly rewarding. I was hoping this would be the case when I joined, what was unexpectedly rewarding is how fun the team is to work with. There is A LOT of grace within the team that goes along with very high performance expectations. In my experience this is a powerful and rare combination that requires a great deal of individual maturity to deliver consistently. This team, led by a great leader, pulls it off every week. (I know we all have challenges, good and bad weeks, but this is my perception of how things go most of the time).
LW: What is one of your favorite songs that we have done?
KJ: For me, it will always be the most recent “tough” acoustic guitar part I’ve learned. So recently, “Grace like Rain” was a blast to research and then learn. There was a lot of “Sherlocking” on this one, since none of the guitar music sounded like what the original piece sounded like. New tunings, the discovery that it only works with a weird tuning and a capo to be able to use unlikely chords finally sounded right, new finger picking technique, great rhythm, and I loved the message. Awesome. I wish I could have played it twice!
My favorite song that’s not focused on acoustic guitar has been “They Will be Done.” One of the best new songs I’ve heard this year! Heart breaking but redeeming back story, Great piano work by Jeff, beautiful vocal by Lisa, and I still got to play acoustic guitar in it. What fun!
A big thank you to Worship Arts Director, Jeff Greunke, for a wonderful experience and everyone who works on Worship Arts for their contributions of time and talent in this important ministry.