There’s not many guys I love and respect more than Chad Brewer. Sure, the guy is a great leader and worship leader, but it’s what happens Monday thru Saturday that stands out most to me.
Chad’s a great husband and father, and someone I’ve looked up to for most of my life. These people are rare in life, and I’m excited to share him with you today!
I think you’ll find Chad’s perspective to be refreshing as well as helpful, especially if you’re having a hard time with the influence or responsibility God has given you right now. Take the time to work through his responses and see if God doesn’t do something in your own life. Check it out!
Name || Chad Brewer
Church & Role || Port City Community Church New Bern – Worship Service Programming Coordinator
Main Instrument || Acoustic Guitar
Fun Fact || The only thing I enjoy as much as playing music is playing golf. I actually tried to make a career out of it before going into ministry full-time.
(All Emphasis from Chris)
1) How did you learn to/get into leading worship?
Funny enough, I didn’t always feel like I’d be leading worship. In fact at 15 years old, I felt very strongly called into Student Ministry. I had always grown up signing in the church, but did about as much speaking in front of the church. So, as an 18 year old college Freshman, I found myself leading a Student Ministry.
This group had never had live music as a part of their Youth Group experience. This was not ok for me, because the music I had experienced as a student was such an integral part of the way I felt God speaking so clearly to me. I had to make that a part of their experience.
I had a guitar in my dorm room that my grandfather had given to me (a 1949 Gibson LG-3), I began to teach myself how to play guitar, and a few weeks later led my first song a Youth Group. By the end of my Freshman year, I was leading weekly at Youth Group and at The Baptist Student Union, even opening up the yearly BSU conference that Summer with over 700 Students.
What began as a need, God planted in me a passion for using music as a way to communicate his love and truth to people who desperately need it.
2) What is the most helpful habit you have developed as a Worship Leader?
It may sound trite, but memorization and preparation. I have been a part of cultures in the past where that didn’t seem to be a priority as well as ones where memorization was demanded. I have always felt that in doing the hard work before hand and learning your songs, you are freed up to lead more in the moment.
You become unencumbered by having to be glued to a chart to make sure you play the song right. It frees you up to lead with passion and be flexible at the same time. I tell our team to, “know the songs so well, we can change them.” Meaning if you don’t have to be locked into a chart, we can add choruses, start on the bridge, whatever and you already know the parts.
I simply am able to engage more with a song when it becomes a part of me. Not something that I have to become familiar with while leading it.
3) What has helped you develop as a Worship Leader?
I believe that God has given me incredible grace as a leader and allowed me to fail often. It is through failures that we learning what to do and what often NOT to do. The first time I began leading at Port City Community Church, where I now serve on staff, was over 13 years ago.
I was asked to fill in on a Sunday morning. I must have turned off my alarm, because I overslept by a couple hours and was rolling in right as rehearsal began. I missed set up (we were portable at the time) and sound check. Swearing it would never happen again, I figured I would never get the chance. A few months later I was asked again, and I overslept again. I learned to set 2 alarms!
I believe that God uses many things to teach us including failure. He’ll use blogs, conferences, lessons, feedback, seminars, etc. But unless we are willing to admit that we haven’t arrived, we aren’t going to learn and grow.God MOVES in a free-flow worship set AS WELL AS in a 3:30 planned song. We can’t BOX HIM IN.Click To Tweet
4) What’s one thing you wish you would have known 10 years ago?
I wish I had know how much responsibility is on us as the Worship Leader to actually lead. I think most of us get into this gig because we love to worship. It’s the way we feel we best connect with God. We’re touched by music and the power it has to soften hard hearts and break down walls. But I think we can easily abdicate the responsibility to lead and do so well.
For years I felt as though my worship leading was a person thing and I happen to be on stage while doing it. This led to leading with head down or eyes closed very often. Saying very little. Allowing the moment to lead me as to what to say. I have come to learn that we are charged with engaging the people we are entrusted to lead. We must bring them into what we are doing.
We must prepare before hand what to say in order to draw them in. This isn’t always popular as people feel it quenches the Holy Spirit. I believe that He can work on Tuesday in our preparation as well as Sunday while we lead. And He moves in a free-flow worship set as well as in a 3:30 planned song. We can’t box him in. But we must lead people into the flow of what ever God is doing in our services in that moment. It is our responsibility.
5) If you could only give one piece of advice to a growing Worship Leader, what would it be?
Stay Humble. We all want to be the next Chris Tomlin, David Crowder or Kristian Stanfill. I think we have aspirations of writing songs that the church will sing for years to come. But know that It is not our job to make our name famous, only God’s name. Trust me, God knows where you are and He knows your name. That should be all that matters.
If God has placed you in a small congregation in a rural area, be faithful in that spot. If he choose to give you more responsibility be a good steward of that as well. God grows His church, not us. We are only called to lift Him up and make his name famous. The rest doesn’t even matter.
If God chooses to move you into a place of greater responsibility it will be because you are postured to point any glory received away from yourself and to Him. He ultimately wants nothing more than for His name to be made famous. So stay humble. God knows where you are and He will entrust to you what you can be faithful with.Trust me, God knows where YOU are and He knows YOUR name. That should be ALL THAT MATTERS.Click To Tweet
I love Chad’s perspective on the responsibility that rests on a worship leader. Its not just about picking a few songs and knocking them out with a group of people on Sunday mornings, but rather we are charged with engaging people so that we might lead them into something more! SO GOOD!
Also, don’t miss his stuff on humility. That seems to be a very resonate theme through a lot of these posts. Humility is what leads us to greater and greater things, not because it’s “part of the gig,” but rather because that’s how Jesus works. He raises up those who choose meekness over arrogance. Ashes over crowns. Pursuing humility will NEVER be the wrong choice.