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Greetings from a Worshipaholic (not seeking rehab)

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  • Greetings from a Worshipaholic (not seeking rehab)

    It's weird, but I never grew up wanting to be a worship leader. As a wide-eyed 10-year-old, I wanted to be Jimmy Page. From my perspective, "Whole Lotta Love," played loudly into headphones, with Page's guitar licks bouncing from ear to ear, was the sonic version of Mount Everest. The absolute pinnacle. Complete euphoria. If only I could PLAY like that!

    But my stepfather, a stern man raised during the depression, was having none of it. "The guitar is an evil instrument used to make devil music," he snarled, and that was the end of that. When I pointed out to him that a guy in the Lawrence Welk orchestra was playing a guitar (a very nice 335, as I recall now) to make music that wasn't particularly satanic, he replied, "But YOU will use it to make devil music."

    Ouch.

    That was in 1970.

    Thirty-one years later, I was walking out to my front porch on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I heard loud music coming from down the street. I followed the music to a church, where a stage was set up on the lawn. There was a band playing, and they were really good. I asked someone, "Who are these guys? Are they professionals?"

    "No. They're our church's praise band. They're volunteers. This is our annual music festival. Would you like some lemonade?"

    My answer still makes me smile: "Wait ... you can do THAT in church?"

    I stood there for three hours watching the show, utterly amazed that regular people could play like that. In my world, church was polyester suits, hard pews, pipe organ, and ... blecch! This was different. This spoke to me.

    When it was done, I walked home and told my wife, "I know what I want for my birthday. You HAVE to get me a guitar."

    Here I am, 14 years later ... worship leader at a mid-sized church. I now play guitars from all the food groups (acoustic, electric, a little mando, nylon string), bass, and keys, and I'm learning drums. Basically, I'm addicted to worship. I'm a worshipaholic ... and I'm not seeking rehab.

    They call me "Pastor of Congregational Development." It's a fancy title that means I work on worship, small groups, communication, and outreach. I'm not ordained, but they call me Pastor. That's cool ... I think. I love the Lord, and I'm hungry for His word. And I'm so, so glad I've found this community. It's exactly what I need. I only hope I can contribute something in return.

    Be blessed.

    Bob Castelline
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    Romans 5:8

  • #2
    Welcome, Bob! Glad you made it. You will like it here.
    Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

    www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

    Comment


    • #3
      That was fun to read, Bob. It reminded me a little of my story, a little...well sort of. In 1970, my dad is in his 20th (and last) year of Air Force service. We're living on a huge SAC base in Louisiana. I am 8-9 yrs old and coming home from playing with friends and as I approach our home I hear this music blaring from the living room. It was my 40 yrs old dad playing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" on his beloved Akai reel-to-reel stereo. He had recorded it for my oldest sister and was having fun listening to it, I guess? He was a country and folk music fan. I thought the music was a little scary with Robert Plant's psychotic ad lib vocals in that song. Fast forward to 1981 after high school I joined a rock club circuit band playing all around the southeastern US for a few years. Fast forward to 1997 a week before my 36 birthday I received Christ and I'm born again. I had not really been to church most of my life and thought that church music was basically choirs, pianos, organs and such. Had not heard contemporary worship music. I got invited to a church that had a band and I was sort of shocked. That's how out of touch I was. When I first received Christ I just hoped for the opportunity to sing in a choir. Little did I know that a couple years later I'd be leading worship. Still doing it today. What an honor! Thanks for your enthusiasm.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Bob,

        So glad I saw, and read you post. It echoes my journey and I'm sure that of many others. Welcome to the community, honored to call you brother.

        Pray on,
        Eddy
        Eddy
        eddymann.com
        eddymann.blogspot.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Bob,

          So glad I saw this and read it. It echoes my journey, and probably that of many. Welcome to this space, honored to call you brother.

          Pray on,
          Play on,
          Eddy
          Eddy
          eddymann.com
          eddymann.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Smitty View Post
            Welcome, Bob! Glad you made it. You will like it here.
            Thank you, Smitty. Appreciate the welcome.
            But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
            Romans 5:8

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nacah View Post
              That was fun to read, Bob. It reminded me a little of my story, a little...well sort of. In 1970, my dad is in his 20th (and last) year of Air Force service. We're living on a huge SAC base in Louisiana. I am 8-9 yrs old and coming home from playing with friends and as I approach our home I hear this music blaring from the living room. It was my 40 yrs old dad playing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" on his beloved Akai reel-to-reel stereo. He had recorded it for my oldest sister and was having fun listening to it, I guess? He was a country and folk music fan. I thought the music was a little scary with Robert Plant's psychotic ad lib vocals in that song. Fast forward to 1981 after high school I joined a rock club circuit band playing all around the southeastern US for a few years. Fast forward to 1997 a week before my 36 birthday I received Christ and I'm born again. I had not really been to church most of my life and thought that church music was basically choirs, pianos, organs and such. Had not heard contemporary worship music. I got invited to a church that had a band and I was sort of shocked. That's how out of touch I was. When I first received Christ I just hoped for the opportunity to sing in a choir. Little did I know that a couple years later I'd be leading worship. Still doing it today. What an honor! Thanks for your enthusiasm.
              Thank YOU for the enthusiastic welcome.

              Very cool about your dad and "Whole Lotta Love."

              Also interesting about your rock band experience. I've always wanted to play in a rock band. Still do. My music "career" started so late that I only really had time to devote to worship and Christian rock (and I'm very grateful for that). But I still think it would be fun to play some CCR or Eagles or Mellencamp, just for fun. I actually had an opportunity recently ... one of the drummers at my church is in a 70s-80s band, and he invited me to be their lead guitar player. I downloaded their song list, started practicing ... then decided not to do it. I felt like it would take my attention away from my calling. Waited my whole life to work for the Lord. Don't want to ruin it!

              Again, thanks. Glad to get to know you!
              But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
              Romans 5:8

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by eddymann View Post
                Hi Bob,

                So glad I saw this and read it. It echoes my journey, and probably that of many. Welcome to this space, honored to call you brother.

                Pray on,
                Play on,
                Eddy

                Eddy,

                Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm glad to call you brother, too.

                Bob
                But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
                Romans 5:8

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 2thecrossroads View Post
                  Thank YOU for the enthusiastic welcome.

                  Very cool about your dad and "Whole Lotta Love."

                  Also interesting about your rock band experience. I've always wanted to play in a rock band. Still do. My music "career" started so late that I only really had time to devote to worship and Christian rock (and I'm very grateful for that). But I still think it would be fun to play some CCR or Eagles or Mellencamp, just for fun. I actually had an opportunity recently ... one of the drummers at my church is in a 70s-80s band, and he invited me to be their lead guitar player. I downloaded their song list, started practicing ... then decided not to do it. I felt like it would take my attention away from my calling. Waited my whole life to work for the Lord. Don't want to ruin it!

                  Again, thanks. Glad to get to know you!
                  Thanks Bob...I lost my dad in 2012 (and my mother in 2006) but they both were so supportive musically in surrounding my sisters and I with a wide array of music and even though they were apprehensive about me striking out on the road in a rock band (when all my friends were going to college), they provided me with their utmost support, especially once they came out to see us play months later. As to your opportunity to play in a rock band. Honestly, I don't think I could ever handle the trappings of that world anymore as a Christian. The temptations thrown at you are never-ending it seems. Maybe you or I could handle that better at our respective ages, but in my 20's I was open to try a lot of things that were just not healthy. Lastly, when I started playing and singing worship music quite frankly I improved musically so much and I never sang better. My vocal range even increased. I often tell the youth musicians I have had the honor to mentor (including one of my daughters who currently sings with me) that I so wish I had come to the Lord as a teen. Besides, those old rock and roll days photos of me with really long hair and in red spandex continue to haunt me today, LOL! My pastor recently put one of those photos up on the screens in our church to mess with me as I arrived for a mid-week worship practice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Guys thanks for sharing.

                    It's interested me because I've had a little bit of a different experience.

                    Namely, I play in a band through where I work that's classic rock and blues based. We represent our company at community service events and the like. A friend of mine who is also in the band and goes to the same church has been playing guitar for 20 years. He doesn't play on the worship team largely because he's old-school gospel hymn, rockabilly chickin-pickin style and it just doesn't sound right in a Jesus Culture tune. But he leads a music & preaching ministry at a local jail and senior home. Another friend of ours has played guitar for years and sits in with a lot of the regional touring blues bands on occasion. He also leads worship at his church.

                    We've tried a couple times to get a blues-rock Gospel band going but can't ever seem to get a born-again drummer that's either interested in playing that style or has that skill set.

                    So my experience is playing this other stuff has immensely helped me grow my musicianship, especially now that I've switched to guitar at church. It's also helped me develop and bring in good practice and learning techniques to learn a lot of songs in a short time. The down side is I tend to expect a higher standard with some of the people on my team than may be reasonable.

                    The other cool thing is it does provide some neat ways to witness Jesus to people. We talk about our church with our band mates, break some of that stereotype of the 'church organ & choir' mantra.

                    I'm always glad to see people from all different backgrounds playing music in church and out of church. Some people don't feel that way and that's ok, nothing wrong with that. But (within reason) play a variety of stuff.
                    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great story , Bob ! I , too had no idea that church music could be so cool . Sue and I played in rock bands all our unchurched life . Loved the Lord , but got burned by church so we stayed away . One day , my wife and I passed a neighborhood church while walking our dog . We stopped . turned to each other , and simultaneously said , " Let's go to church . " We returned later that morning and discovered not hymn and organ but SHOUT TO THE LORD and MY REDEEMER LIVES . We were knocked out ! . That was 2004 and we have been a part of contemporary praise music ever since . My personal prayer is that God will allow all the unchurched of our generation to experience high quality , Spirit filled , modern church music ,and that their hearts will be moved with a desire for the Lord . Can I get an Amen ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My personal prayer is that God will allow all the unchurched of our generation to experience high quality , Spirit filled , modern church music ,and that their hearts will be moved with a desire for the Lord . Can I get an Amen ?
                        Amen to that !!
                        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I say YES & AMEN!!

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