Did you know songs, including hymns, in themselves are neither traditional nor contemporary? It’s how they are presented that makes them one or the other style.
While our choir and pianist gather in the sanctuary to bring traditional-styled music into the service, five men gather in Fellowship Hall to do the same for the contemporary worship service. They are: Worship Band Leader, Matt Riddel; Drummer, JD Sanders; Bassist, Vaughn Himes; and Sound & Video Support, Michael Hatch and John Williams. All have a passion for music. All have a lifetime of making music part of their ministry and service to God.
Music in church sets the mood for a congregation to hear the Good News of our pastors’ sermons. A tune with words linked to a text help anchor the message. Whether it’s contemporary or traditional worship music, the purpose is the same. “We pick tunes that support the message Melissa is going to bring that morning,” said JD. “It’s not about putting on a show. It’s about the Word and worship.”
The ministry of their music is important enough that everyone in the Mission Band commits to being there. For instance, even though frequently on the road for out-of-town music gigs, Vaughn ensures he arrives at the Mission every Sunday morning. “This is my church,” he said, “and we’re here to praise the Father. To play the right music for the right Father.”
How does the band know when their music hits the mark? “We have a front row seat to see the effect,” Matt commented. “We see the expressions on their faces as they sing the songs. With hands raised and eyes closed, they are not just singing words; they’re singing praises to the Lord.”
JD added, “When people leave, someone will come up to me and say, ‘You really reached me today.’ And then I know. The words, our music, and how we presented it touched them.”
Pastor Melissa summed the measure of success this way: “When the music and message gel, we then know the Holy Spirit is in this place.”
Matt, JD, Vaughn, John, and Michael: Thank you so much for your willingness and desire to offer up your gifts to God in worship. We appreciate your devotion and celebrate your faithfulness Sunday after Sunday, making time for practice, selecting the right songs for the right sermon, and so much more. You bless us. You make a huge difference in our worship experience. In Christ, Your Church.