We’re a few of these 5 Questions posts into it, and I think we’re sorely missing the female perspective. When I was looking for women I wanted to include in the 5 Questions series, Kalee was literally the first name on my brain.
I’ve known Kalee for a few years now, and she’s not just a great worship leader, but a great friend. She’s one of my favorite worship leaders to lead with, and she has such a heart for those that she leads. I’ve had the pleasure of leading with her at several events, and its always awesome to see how God moves through her.
Kalee leads worship at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC and is also involved in Aaron Keyes‘ worship school, 10,000 Fathers. Check out the bottom of this post for more info, and go ahead and check out Kalee’s 5 Questions.
Name || Kalee Stikeleather
Church & Role || Port City Community Church // Worship Leader
Main Instrument || Mainly vocal, but I do play piano and guitar from time to time
Fun Fact || I have 8 different pairs of chucks.
Links || @kalee_stike
(All emphasis from Chris)
1) How did you learn to/get into leading worship?
I have been singing since I was little and have, apparently, loved music ever since I was in my mother’s womb (she claims that I would kick like a storm whenever music was playing). I grew up in a baptist church and was highly involved in children’s choir, choir in middle and high school, and adult choir.
I actually started leading worship for the student ministry when I was in 7th grade by singing and playing the keys. I have been involved in helping lead worship at many places since then. Man, that was 10 years ago!
I currently help lead worship at my home church in Wilmington, Port City Community Church and I’ve been a part of this wonderful church for 4 years now!
I am now in worship school called 10,000 Fathers that takes place in Atlanta, GA. An amazing opportunity where I am being lead by wonderful and inspiring leaders that pour in wisdom, guidance and challenge you. Some ways that they want to disciple worship leaders is to equip us with theological soundness and a conviction to grow in character and competency. (www.10000fathers.org)
2) What is the most helpful habit you have developed as a Worship Leader?
Solitude. A time of worship. Prayer. Leaning in to hear what God has to say to me through his word.
One of the most important things that I love and need to do for my walk with the Lord and as a worship leader is to have a time of worship on my own. Just me and God. I love leading worship and God always brings something beautiful when we sing to him as a congregation. However, there is something even more special and intimate when you come before the Lord and be still.
A time of no distraction, no time constraints, no lights, no cameras on you, and no pressure of how you lead. I have learned that your private worship will unfold beautifully through corporate worship. This has forever changed the way I lead worship today.
3) What has helped you develop as a Worship Leader?
Internalizing the songs that we are singing on Sunday so that you can become it! Taking the time to read the lyrics by studying them. Surrender the song to the Spirit.
Ask yourself: What do these lyrics mean to me? What scriptures are revealed through these songs?
Mainly to be fully prepared on my part for the service so I don’t have to focus so deeply on how to sing a song or if you are playing an instrument to know the structure of the song without questioning. I believe that knowing your part through vocals or playing an instrument allows the door to be opened for the Spirit to work in you and take you deeper as you lead or play.
4) What’s one thing you wish you would have known 10 years ago about leading worship?
To remember the unseen supplies that the Lord provides us. Instead of being distracted by intimidation, insecurity or comparison but to see that he has given me everything I need.
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Through many hard moments, I have learned that God has given me the things that I alone need and may not have what others have. I am unique for a reason just like everyone else in this world. We may have to work harder in certain areas where it is easier for others but God will always supply the needs that we need in the season that we are in.
5) If you could only give one piece of advice to a growing Worship Leader, what would it be?
Just one? Yikes. There are so many!
I have to say that the secret in growing as a worship leader is your time with the Lord. These times are so important to grow in your identity to what God has called you to. When we take action to lean towards Jesus without any distractions from the world, our time with the Lord can take the matters of our heart to allow him to begin healing, adding wisdom and joy. We have a better understanding of who He is and our eyes are clear to what is true and what are lies.
There is a quote that I love from John Ortberg:
“The goal is to make space for Jesus in our lives so that we can learn to live like him.”
This is what I strive to be and do everyday. Even when it is easier said than done.
I’m grateful Kalee took the time to share with us today. Here are some key takeaways I had:
- Your private worship matters as much, if not more, than your public worship.
- Your relationship with God is what HAS to fuel your worship leading.
- Remember that God has given you everything you need to lead well.
If you’re interested in learning more about the worship school Kalee’s involved with, 10,000 Fathers, CLICK HERE. I can’t endorse Aaron’s school enough. And honestly, I wish I would have had something like this around when I was deciding to go through seminary.
Aaron and his team have developed a really great system for developing, growing, and empowering worship leaders to lead well and I’m sure we’re going to be hearing from even more voices from 10,000 Fathers here on 5 Questions and elsewhere.