Many things have happened in my life. Some good, some bad, some successes and some failures. Some fond memories and some regrets. But one thing has remained constant - God's unfailing love for me. His mercy, His grace, His faithfulness have held me together in times when everything else was falling apart. I have had every reason to turn away from Him but His love was like a magnet that refuses to let go. The more I pulled away, the more I feel His love drawing me back. No matter how far I wander, how deep I have fallen, His love is strong enough to rescue and change me.
I became a Christian in my early teens whilst attending the Chinese Church school in London. We had two lessons of Chinese and a lesson on the Bible. I also attended a Christian youth club and later helped to run it. Since then I have always been involved with a church in one way or another. My conversion was simple. I just decided one day that I believed in God, believed that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour and that He died for my sins. However, the Christian journey is another matter. It has been and still is a journey of coming to know God and to know Him more intimately.
I have no musical training and no musical background. But I do remember from an early age I loved to sing and I loved music. I wasn't very good academically but in primary school the two things I was really good at were singing and art! Unfortunately I pursued neither and it was only when I became a Christian that I found my "first love" again. With my borrowed guitar and strumming the few chords that I knew, I found a way of expressing what I was feeling inside. It was my way of talking to God, telling Him exactly how I felt through music and through songs.
Praise and worship has come a long way since I became a Christian. It has evolved beyond the simple choruses and tunes. My first love is still the old hymns...they are irreplaceable. The depth of their words and music is timeless. Nothing can beat the sound of "How great Thou art" sung by a congregation of worshippers! Nonetheless, contemporary praise and worship songs have changed our services and changed the way we worship. Undoubtedly, Hillsong, Vineyard, Integrity Music, the leading songwriters and worship leaders of our time have played their part in bringing worship into the 21st century. However, one question we always have to ask ourselves every time: what is it all for?
I was blessed to have led worship in a church (SCC) for nearly 11 years. In the beginning, it was out of necessity rather than by choice. A bunch of young, inexperienced friends decided to start a church together in 1988. But what we lacked in experience we made up for in enthusiasm, in our love for God, in our determination and desire to see people saved. I landed the task of the worship leader. Like a fish out of water and without a clue as to what it was all about...I went through many and I do mean many, trials and errors. I went from knowing nothing to knowing something. From thinking I knew enough to realise how little I know.
The life of a worship leader is not about performance, the music or the songs, nor about how well you lead the worship. It is a lifestyle; it is a way of life. You spend time preparing, seeking, loving, serving, praying, singing and being with God…the result? You are prepared FOR service. You turn up on the day and you wait and see what God will do! And I remind myself with that question every time: what is it all for? If Jesus is not the centre, if He is not the one worshipped, if He is not the end result, then it is meaningless. The "job" of a worship leader is to "lead" God's people into His presence, bring them to a place where they are one-to-one with their God and it is there that miracles can happen: restoration, healing, burdens lifted and you come out changed. You know you have done your "job" when Jesus is glorified and you know God is smiling.