The wonderful thing about the Internet is that it makes the world that much smaller, and you can meet people you never would have otherwise. I got to know Chris Vacher over twitter and by meeting at a conference back in the day. Its been awesome to watch Chris do some awesome things, like the Worship Rises project & everything he’s been doing at C4 Church in Canada.
Chris love his family, loves his church, and really has a heart to help other worship leaders. I think that comes across in his response to the 5 Questions, and I know you’re going to want to read more from him. Check it out!
Name || Chris Vacher
Church & Role || Creative Arts Pastor, C4 Church
Main Instrument || Piano, guitar
Fun Fact || My mind must count every single stair every time I go up or down.
(All Emphasis from Chris)
1) How did you learn to/get into leading worship (mentor, school, etc)?
I met Jesus when I was in high school. Because I was already pretty musical I got involved in worship teams right away. I led worship for my youth ministry, at my church, for camps in the summer, then on campus and in a band that travelled around.
2) What is the most helpful habit you have developed as a worship leader?
I don’t want to dismiss good, healthy, fruitful habits like solitude, Bible reading, prayer, etc. We are game over without those.
But, from another perspective, one really helpful habit I’ve had is to keep good communication with my senior pastor. I’ve always seen him as my pastor first, my boss second, and my ally, teammate and collaborator.
I realize that not everyone has a great relationship with their senior pastor but do what you can to keep clear, open lines of communication. Encourage your pastor, pray for him and tell him that you are, let him know that you appreciate his messages and that they are having an impact in your life.
3) What has helped you develop as a worship leader?
Leading worship! Sorry for the redundancy but it’s true. There are some things about leading worship – transitions, ad libs, screw ups, wrong chords – that you only learn to do by doing. We can equip, coach and resource worship leaders all we want but until you actually get up in front of people and have to figure out what to do when your mic stops working, those things aren’t actually part of your ability.
At the same time there are those glorious moments where you know that God and His people have meet in a way that is so hard to describe. You know that it happened but you’re not really sure how you get there or how to make it happen again.
Over time, worship leaders begin to become more sensitive to those moments as they are happening and become more skilled at leading people to become more aware to the presence of God when those moments happen.
4) What’s one thing you wish you would have known 10 years ago?
10 years ago I wish I knew that I’d still be doing this 10 years later. In 2005 I was starting on staff at a church where I would spend the next 8+ years. Since then I’ve been at C4 and we are expecting to be here until Jesus gives us clear instructions to go somewhere else.
We have always said that we would stay at a place until the call was very clear to go somewhere else but if I knew in 2005 that I’d still be doing this in 2015, I probably would have been less concerned about certain things and more concerned about others.
5) If you could only give one piece of advice to a growing worship leader, what would it be?
What does it profit a worship leader if he gains a salary, a CCLI hit, a big church, an office and a retirement fund and forfeits his soul? I’ve heard someone say that ministry is a lousy replacement for a relationship with Jesus.
Some really great reminders from Chris here, especially about the importance of knowing what matters most. I love his comment about how giving up our souls for the sake of perceived success isn’t worth it. Great reminder to dig down into the things that are really important.
To read more from Chris, you need to go check out his blog, ChrisFromCanada.com. He writes for worship leaders and has some really great free ebooks for you, like How to Use a Capo, Write Worship Songs, & Audition for Change. Also, if you sign up for his email list (which is worth it, I’m on it!), you can get his list of the Best Apps for Worship Leaders.