I can’t believe we are now in the second last week of 2011. It’s been an amazing year full of God’s faithfulness and favour. In another post, I will reflect more broadly about this year, which was filled with some amazing transitions (though not yet complete) and faith-building experiences.
But today, I want to honour and appreciate a bunch of people with whom I have had the privilege to serve alongside for most of 2010 and for half of 2011.
The Worship Revolution Band started in around May 2010 as part of a restructuring of the worship team in our church. We finally went from a rostering system to being allocated specific bands.
We took the opportunity to cast a bold vision and set some crazy goals for ourselves, with our main outlook being to reform and energise the worship of our church. We reached some milestones, fell way short on others, but after about a year of being together, I can look back and say that we were well on our way to achieving our primary objective.
We defined our culture as being spiritual (who isn’t?… well, I suppose the carnal ones amongst us might not be, but I could only see our team members being full of Jesus and therefore spiritual), unified, fresh, authentic and fun. We didn’t want to miss out on fun, because serving God should be fun and fulfilling.
Together, we wanted to spur one another on, bring cohesion to the band, improve together and celebrate our progress.
After many months of learning to function together, we started to add fuel to the function of worship to unleash the fire of worship. We wanted to balance excellence against the prophetic and the spontaneous. We learnt together (some of our guys went to group singing lessons with Stephanie Truscott) and inspired each other.
Here are the people who made the Worship Revolution Band one of my most fulfilling ministries in recent memory:
- Co-Worship Leader: Derwin Bong. A young, passionate and sensitive worship leader. I hope he leads worship again soon. City of Perth, look out.
- Music Director: Addie Choon. We worked really well together because Derwin and I could cast the vision and direction and Addie would make it happen musically. A really talented guy who plays bass and keyboard with a very keen understanding of worship ministry.
- Vocal Director: Kelwin Wong. One of the few people I know who can harmonise with himself in three parts. Known for recording harmonies so the singers could learn their parts before rehearsals. One day, he will star in a musical!
- Singers: Ling Chua (my awesome wife and a worship leader in her own right), Kelwin, Tri Tran (one of the hardest working people in our team!), Minh Lam (our resident culture-vulture. One day, he will help the church cross the culture divide), Melissa Loong (faithful minister and super creative) and Liz Tran (one amazing female vocalist!).
- Keyboards: in the early days, Jeremy Wong (who retired to become a missionary-in-training; one of the most radical, sold-out-for-Jesus types I know) and Matthias Yap (an upcoming keyboardist we were privileged to serve with).
- Bass: Addie
- Guitar: Ivan Manalip, a faithful guy who wins the most-improved award.
- Drums: Samson Tan, a great personal inspiration to me, revivalist and all-round nice-guy and Bernard Lim, who always thinks outside the box and challenges me creatively. Really enjoyed working with Bernie.
- PA: Wei Koay, a faithful servant who is always willing to sacrifice huge chunks of his time to serve the Kingdom.
- Honourary AV (we didn’t have AV people on our band, but we claim these guys): Jess Tran and Adrian Chee, our great friends and who always celebrated with us.
- Honourary Dancers: Joan Manalip (one of the most creative and inspiring worship dancers) and Sharon Chia (another great friend on the journey who we’ve claimed as a “daughter” even though she isn’t that young anymore!).
So, as we end 2011, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to my awesome co-labourers, friends and inspirers. You have made my own journey a fruitful and fulfilling one. I hope to serve with you guys again one day!
With much love,