That’s what I get to wear to church on Sundays, not just to church but I am on stage helping lead worship dressed like that!
It has been an amazing journey, there was a time where I was not sure I would even play guitar again in front of people. When we came to Carmel I asked to play guitar in the worship band but back then there was no electric and they did not have a bass player so they asked if I could play. Well, being good friends with a very good bass player growing up I actually learned to play bass from him so I said yes. Even though I knew how to play I was not as comfortable as I would have been on guitar, looking back I know God did that to humble me.
You see I came from the Jersey hard rock scene, the same town and area as other 80’s and early 90’s hard rock bands came from. The guys from Skid Row worked at my local music store before they made it big and the bass player went to my high school. Zakk Wylde who plays guitar for Ozzy lived in the next town over about 20 minutes away and there were others. The band I was in got to open up for Ace Frehley from KISS on his solo tour among others. We used to joke that we could not get through the door because our heads got to big. We had a sense of humor so I don’t think we had that much of an ego but I know any ego would not serve God, just “self”. Getting me on bass and in a situation separated from my past experience forced me to be in the background and be humbled. I did that for about 2-3 years until I was told it is time to break out the electric, this was when the Passion band started getting known, David Crowder and Chris Tomlin were nobodies back then.
Of course during this time I was dressed in business casual but this is also the time that things started to change. Many churches started focusing on the heart and helping people meet Jesus more than how you were dressed or traditions of a religion. (not that all traditions are bad) Zoom ahead to last October and getting the green light to start the Edge, a service geared toward passionate worship and hearing the word of God from our pastor in a casual environment. A service where non churched people can feel comfortable to walk in the door and people that grew up in church can come be relaxed and worship in an intimate environment.
Now I wear a T-shirt and jeans and play guitar humbled that I have the opportunity to be there. I need to keep myself in check though especially when I get compliments on my guitar playing. At first I used to deflect the compliments and change the subject because I did not know how to react to them in the context of worship but I realized it is a gift and if I don’t acknowledge the compliment I may come across egotistical even though I was trying to go in the completely opposite direction. Honestly, I love the compliments though, and it is very encouraging, so I have learned to say thank you to let people know I appreciate it and I am thankful for the opportunity and I try to leave it there so it does not sink in to my head to much, because it could be taken away any time.
I also appreciate the people I get to do this with, great musicians with great hearts. Heath and I have been playing together for probably 8 years now and it is just easy. We know how each other play and it has been fun to see how things have changed over the years. What we do now has been a dream we have had for a long time an we now get to live this dream out.
So, here’s to wearing jeans and a T-shirt because the heart is more important to God than the clothes. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dressing nice, but I don’t want to know I dressed well, I want to know I “did” well. People will remember my heart and what I did more than a shirt and tie, or even jeans and a T-shirt.