Interview with Apostolic Worship Leader
1. How long have you been serving in the ministry of music?
It sounds funny, but I was teaching the choir and playing in church from the time I was 12 years old in my parent’s home missions church. I’ve been involved in full time music ministry since I graduated from Bible College in 1990.
2. What would you say is your heartbeat/passion for your particular church?
Definitely Praise and Worship! Our church is multi-cultural and very progressive. This makes for an incredible flavor in our worship services. Intense praise and deep worship is my passion, I love to write it, sing it and share it every Sunday. We’ve had some powerful visitations of the spirit that have transpired through our praise and worship. That is what I live for! I’m longing for the day that the people can’t even stand to minister because of the cloud of glory that fills the house, just as it did in the Old Testament!
3. What would you say is your largest challenge and what have you found that helps you in this area?
Facilitating new people into our music department has been my biggest challenge. Our church is 10 years old, so we don’t have a lot of history or ‘seasoned saints’, so transitioning new converts into the church is something that we’ve had to work on. How do we do it? Through the new members class, monthly interviews and auditions for potential choir members, and teaching the choir to know who they are from a Biblical standpoint. I recently did a study on the life of the Levite that I taught to the choir. That was pretty challenging to all of us. I want choir members who are pure in heart, and who are worshippers to the core, not just great singers, although that helps!
4. Do you use a team and if so can you please describe how this works in your situation?
Yes! I could not do this on my own! I’ve found that I’m a visionary and sometimes I can think up more projects than we could ever produce. Working with a team has helped us to be able to accomplish a lot of goals that I could not have done on my own. I have an administrative assistant, a choir secretary, choir section leaders and I have appointed directors over the children’s choir, youth choir and drama teams. By delegating responsibilities we have been able to build a music department team that is effective without killing one person…that would be me. Smiley emoticon.
5. How would you say that you keep yourself encouraged and thinking forward?
Actually, in my personal devotions. I’ve learned that if I can get into God’s presence, he will give me the strength and encouragement that I need to make it through every situation. When the well runs dry, whether in song writing or otherwise, I have to find a place in worship that restores what I have lost. I’m trying not to look outward for my inspiration as much as I’m trying to look upward, or inward…since He lives in me. I read, I network with other music people, but the bottom line for me is everything I really need I find in His presence.
6. Where would you point folks in regard to finding new material/resource?
www.kimballestero.com. haha…I had to say that. We have a new choir project that just came out that I think has some great, usable stuff on it! I spend a lot of time listening to CDs that I’ve gotten at the local Christian bookstore, and I love to get the New Material from IBC, TBC, and other Music Workshops, because they do all of the work for you! Love those vocals and lead sheets!!!
7. What is your favorite worship conference to attend and why?
Florida Music Workshop is my new favorite! Our first ever, Florida District sponsored music conference just happened on Feb. 1 & 2, 2007. I have enjoyed all of the conferences that I’ve been a part of, but I’m personally invested in this one!
8. What gives your worship department the biggest lift or the greatest recharge of the year?
Every year I bring in 2 or 3 special musical guests that work with the choir and perform in our services, we’ve had Timothy Spell, Karen Harding, The McGruders, Mike Carlen, and many others who have blessed us tremendously! Having Mark Condon bring his team for the Magnify Christmas tour was a highlight of the year for us! (You can pay me later.) Singing outside of our congregation is also a big lift to us. We have had the opportunity to minister in other churches in our city, and to see how the spirit affects people is incredible. The look on their faces conveys ‘where did these people come from?’ We recently competed in “Tampa Bay’s Choirs of Fire” and won because of the intense move of the spirit. They literally said that we won because ‘we brought the fire down’. That was awesome!
9. What is your favorite fundraiser?
“The Rehears-a-thon”. Along the lines of a ‘walk-a-thon’, people get sponsors to lock themselves into the church and practice all day. It’s only fun if you have lots of variety, such as ‘vocal aerobics, a group song-writing class, breathing techniques, vision-casting from the Pastor, split sessions, etc… We worked ourselves silly, learned a bunch of new material and made money all in one day! Actually, I loathe fundraisers, I’d rather get a huge budget from the Pastor, but that never happens!
10. What is your favorite book? (Outside the of the bible)
I love to read, so it’s hard to narrow it down, but one of the most impacting books I’ve read is “Choosing to Cheat” by Andy Stanley. You can’t do it all, but you can do what really counts!
Interview with Apostolic Worship Leader excerpted from the Mark Condon news letter. Article written by Kim Ballestero.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”