A little about me

I came across this list on another blog interviewing a worship leader and the questions got me thinking about myself. I thought perhaps, that some of you might be interested in learning a little more about me, so I’ll share my answers to the questions below.

1.When and how did you know you were called to ministry?

When I was really young, my Great Grandmother taught me how to play the organ on her spinet. I used to love to sit there and bang on the keys and play with the different sounds and I distinctly remember one service when I was probably first or second grade – the service was ending and the organist was playing a really upbeat and lively postlude. I stood there for a moment watching him and I remember my mom leaning down and saying that she knew I would be up there some day. And I remember that scene vividly coming back to me the very first time I played the organ for church and when I started playing keys for the contemporary service.

2.What do you do to keep yourself fresh as a worship leader?

I’ve been trying to get into regular personal devotions again. I’ve allowed myself to get out of the habit occasionally and every time, I can really feel a difference. I try to listen to new music and always be searching for what God might be trying to teach me or Journey through different songs.

3. What are five worship songs you are really connecting with currently?

We haven’t done all of these at Journey yet, but they’re ones that I’ve been listening to or playing myself:

  1. Hosanna – the song is originally by Brooke Fraser but I’ve fallen in love with Starfield’s cover of it.
  2. Captured Me – by Jeremy Camp
  3. From the Inside Out – I really like Seventh Day Slumber’s cover
  4. He is Exalted – yes, the old Twila Paris song – whenever I’m sitting at the piano by myself, I pull this one out from time to time and it still lifts me up.
  5. Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed – I grew up traditional, so there are a number of old hymns that I grew up liking and they generally fall into two categories: upbeat, majestic hymns (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty; Crown Him With Many Crowns; Etc.) or Lent/Good Friday, somber songs. There’s something powerful and moving about those hymns and they’re a strong reminder of the price paid for us.

4. What is the most important thing you would share with an up-and-coming worship leader?

Be prepared to stick with it through all the ups and downs, and there will be lots of both. One of my favorite quotes is “God is worthy of my praise, whether I feel like it or not.” I don’t remember who said it, but I think of it whenever I’m “not in the mood to worship” (which doesn’t happen often, but it does happen). For all that God has done for me, a person who deserves none of it, I can’t help but give him my worship, wherever I am in life.

5. Could you share one of your most embarrassing moments while leading worship?

This wasn’t while actually leading worship like I do now, but a few years back I was playing organ for a funeral. The combination action on the organ was broken (it allows the organist to push a button and all the predetermined stops are pulled automatically) so I had to pull all the stops by hand. It was a tiny funeral and they were reading the eulogy before the next song. I started pulling stops to set up for the song, when I pulled a trumpet stop in the pedal – not realizing that my foot was ever-so-slightly sitting on one of the pedals, enough so that when I pulled the stop, there was a brief BERRR that filled the whole church. It was only a split second, but I think I died for a moment. The guy sitting at the sound booth near the organ nearly died trying to laugh silently while I just wanted to disappear.

About Matthew Starner

Matthew Starner is pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they help people take their next step on their journey with Jesus.

2 Comments

  1. I remember that Sunday so vividly as well, when I knew I'd see you up at that organ someday.

  2. Teri C. Lacayanga

    years ago, i was leading worship. it was right on that part where i was singing my heart out loud when suddenly i noticed that i couldn’t hear my voice in the monitor. then i realized, the cable connected to my microphone fell on the floor (without me noticing it), i continued singing and slowly picked up the cable and connected it to my microphone. the singing went on and finished like nothing happened. 🙂

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