By Abbie Sonstegard

Thoughts from the 10:45 am Contemporary Worship Team

Earlier this summer, we examined “Why We Worship” in the first part of this summer blog series. 

We explored what worship is… which is a declaration to God and an important part of our relationship with Him. Worship is a way to express our love, adoration, and gratitude toward Him. 

I recently reached out to the members of the 10:45 am Contemporary Worship Team to broaden our consideration of “Why We Worship” by offering different perspectives on how our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ worship. 

Deb Ries sings on the worship team and in the choir.

Deb described the meaning of worship as “feeling the holy spirit in me and celebrating his good works with music and scripture. It also prepares me to go out and live with Christ in my life to try and make a difference in this world and let my light shine for others.” Deb acknowledged that she worships to learn more about how to be with Christ in our life. Deb loves to come to worship to ask for forgiveness, repent, listen, grow in understanding, reflect, and “thank Jesus for his sacrifice.” Deb announced that she loves singing and worship to practice the “UP – IN and OUT”!

Kevin Bottolfson volunteers his talents in the tech booth.

Kevin described worship as “time to get refreshed before heading into the mission field on Monday.” Kevin expressed looking forward to worship “to learn more about our Creator and his Son who died for my sins and rose from the dead.” Kevin identified two of his favorite contemporary worship songs to be “Who You Say I Am”, because it “speaks of the amazement that the Highest King would welcome me as a child of God with a place for me in my Father’s house,” and “I Can Only Imagine”, because “it helps me imagine the unspeakable joy there will be when we get to heaven.”

Janelle Rau plays the keyboard, and piano, and sings with the contemporary worship team.

Janelle expressed “I want to use the gift of music to help people focus on God. Music can help people connect with God by lifting their hearts, minds, voices-even hands!-in praise to Him.” Janelle identified multiple ways to worship stating, “To me, worship is anything that brings honor and glory to God. We can worship through prayer, acts of service, studying God’s Word, or thanking Him for His abundant gifts.” Janelle shared, “For as long as I can remember, I have felt most connected with God when I am worshipping Him through music.” Janelle expressed love for how worship songs get stuck in our heads and can “serve as a reminder of God’s love and goodness,” and a “wonderful way to keep God’s Word on your heart and mind.” Janelle stated that she has many “favorite” worship songs, just as Pastor Jon has many “favorite” Bible verses. Janelle stated that “if I could only sing one Christian song, though, it would be ‘Jesus Loves Me,’” connecting to John 3:16, the song serves “as a simple reminder of how much we are loved by our Savior.”

Todd Rau described his role on the Contemporary Worship Team as helping to “prepare hearts to engage in worship by playing the acoustic guitar.”

Todd identified his most focused and centering worship time as when “I close my eyes and play my guitar at King of Kings. For me, I worship most deeply and naturally through contemporary Christian music.” Todd stated that worship “helps me find release from life’s worries and challenges; where God is the focus.” Todd identified he worships because it seems “instinctual” and is a “matter of obedience.” Two songs that Todd musically “LOVES” are “Rattle!” and “Ain’t No Grave.”

Nick Dotzenrod shares his talents by playing the Bass Guitar on the Contemporary Worship Team.

Nick described worship as “getting people together to celebrate the same idea. For us Christians, that of course is celebrating Jesus and God and the understanding there is more to life than just ‘life’.” Nick identified that he appreciates worship through music, stating “I worship because I feel it provides me a greater purpose in life. Having the chance to make a difference in even just ONE person’s life is invaluable. I also worship for the community. I enjoy being around others with similar morals and beliefs. Finally, I worship since it provides me personal enjoyment to play my instrument for the enjoyment of others. I, of course, always hope the message of the music is absorbed but I really enjoy just getting to play for others in general and also enjoy getting to play music with others. There is just something truly special about different instruments and musicians coming together to create an enjoyable song, which becomes even more special if it’s for worship at Church!” Nick stated, “I appreciate the ‘old school’ worship songs.”

Sam Johnson is the Contemporary Worship Leader and offers his talents in guitar and vocals.

Sam described worship as “a group of people coming together to share time in praising Jesus in song” and that it has “always been about music for me.” Sam stated that he worships to “find balance in my life. Not only is it a way to do what I love in playing music, but it is also a chance to play songs for a purpose much larger than myself with a group of people that I love.” Sam identified some of his favorite worship songs to be “Cry Out to Jesus,” “Finally Home,” and “Wonder.”

I have truly enjoyed the process of putting together this blog post. How wonderful it is to learn about what worship means to other individuals within our congregation! I have had 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 on my heart while writing this post, which states: 

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 

How wonderful to worship in countless ways, with so many uniquely talented people, to praise our one Lord.

Keep an eye out for future posts! I hope to highlight and uplift more members of our congregation in this summer blog series!

Abbie Sonstegard