After several months of healing, I imagined that regular worship leading and/or youth work probably was in my past...yet a desire burned on and continued to grow. Randomly I would get asked questions about working with youth. I was hesitant, remembering some of my more recent negative experiences. I was still playing music, so I began to seek a worship leader position that might coexist with my stay-at-home daddy duties. There were a few interesting things, but really nothing that felt like a fit. Add to that, I did not really want to change churches, as my wife and I had found a church where we seemed to fit in like we hadn't been able to in probably 7 years. We discussed it, always reluctantly willing to leave our church if that meant we began our next mission.
It was then we received a wonderful blessing. While I was setting mix levels for worship band practice at our church one evening, the youth pastor, Chris Sanchez, hurriedly asked me if I could play lead guitar (he'd never heard me play guitar, or anything other than bass). He was desperate for someone to lead worship for the 180 Ministries youth kickoff event in less than 2 weeks. Chris explained how the person that was supposed to perform the job backed out in order to fill a full time worship leader position just offered to him. Suddenly my heart leaped.
Did that guy just take the job I wanted? Would it make more sense to work a part time worship leader job with my current duties? Was God really moving me back into youth ministry? Had I ever really left it? Could I do this?
Perhaps the best answer to all of this was the fire burning inside of me to lead 180 Ministry youth in worship. The job asked for someone to involve the students. I know without a doubt God has called me as a worship leader...in different positions, but always a worship leader. I'm a team builder. I'm an organizer. I love working with teenagers, some of whom are still willing to consider truth and the direction of their life. I HAD to do this!
What happened next I'm not sure I can describe. Somehow over the next few days a band came together. Adults from the church helped out. Youth workers helped. College students helped. God renewed the passion in my heart for leading worship, specifically to youth. God gave birth to an ever-changing, growing, and dedicated group of musicians that I dubbed ONEEIGHTY Band.
I can't wait to see what God has in store for this worship team next school year! In the meantime here's a list of what we've been playing this past year:
- Audio Adrenaline - "Strong"
- Chris Tomlin - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"
- Chris Tomlin - "King Of Glory"
- Chris Tomlin - "Sing, Sing, Sing"
- Chris Tomlin/Passion - "White Flag"
- David Crowder Band - "How He Loves"
- dc Talk - "Jesus Freak"
- Fee - "Happy Day"
- Fee - "Rise And Sing"
- Hillsong - "Forever Reign"
- Hillsong - "Salvation Is Here"
- Jesus Culture - "Holding Nothing Back"
- Jesus Culture - "One Thing Remains"
- Jesus Culture - "Rooftops"
- Kristian Stanfill - "One Thing Remains"
- Lincoln Brewster - "Everlasting God"
- Matt Redman - "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
- Misty Edwards - "You Won't Relent"
- Needtobreathe - "Lay 'Em Down"
- Starfield - "Hosanna"
- Todd Agnew - "Grace Like Rain"
- Tree63 - "Blessed Be Your Name"
- Will Reagan & United Pursuit - "Set a Fire"
It's been a blast rockin' these tunes. I'm sure there will be many more opportunities. I'm also excited for the several prospective members we have. Band camp this summer should help us get them further involved. In the meantime, shouts out to my team members, former and current:
- Kelly Sanchez - Vocals
- Robert Kramer - Keyboards, Vocals
- Ron Campbell - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
- Tim Trace - Electric Guitar, Drums
- Jordan Pond - Drums
- Luke Sanders - Electric Guitar
- Danielle Pond - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
- Brendon Jette - Keyboards
- Jonny Paneitz - Drums
- Erik Noble - Tech
- Whitney Dutton - Keyboards, Vocals
- Stephen Adams - Electric Guitar
- Chris Sanchez - Tech, Vocals
I love you and am thankful to YHWH for you.