The worship leaders have been busy finding potential candidates to join the ranks of the campus worship team. Auditions began on Sept. 16, ended the first week of October, and around 65 to 70 students signed up.
Under the leadership of the Spiritual Formation Department, students such as seniors Francisco “Chiko” Diaz and Rachel Lee, and juniors Josh Del, Clinton Munoz, Tully Wilkinson, and Lane Greenleaf-Perez have inherited the responsibility of the worship team and the role of campus worship leader. Each worship leader is responsible for the formation of a worship group, which rotates playing at student-led campus chapels.
Worship Arts Coordinator Greenleaf-Perez believes that the worship leaders take their job seriously. “Chapel is a worship leader’s baby. God has given it to the students to do with it what they please. We pray and give it coherent thought,” Greenleaf-Perez said.
Both the Spiritual Formation Department and the worship leaders searched for a specific criteria based not only on competency, but also on the character and leadership abilities of each individual.
“The ability to be a pastor: caring, disciplining, musically competent, willing to stretch yourself, and leadership ability. It is a pastoral role. It’s more than just a musical thing,” Greenleaf-Perez said.
All the leaders believe that the musicians’ faith and relationship with God has an enormous effect on the way they play.
“When they worship God with their lives, then they can play on stage,” Munoz said.
During the audition process, participants took a survey that questioned their relationship with God and reasons for joining. The participants were then separated into small groups of vocalists and instrumentalists and given one minute to perform either “Cannons” by Phil Wickham or “Desert Song” by Hillsong United while they were filmed. After the audition, the worship leaders re-watched the films and chose which musicians they wanted in their groups.
Freshman Jerika Hayes auditioned and was accepted. She already played keyboard and sang in a few chapels.
“I’ve been playing music since I was four years old. When I got to Vanguard, I knew I wanted to be on the worship team so I talked to Lane and signed up,” Hayes said.
The worship team has many goals for its future and hopes to make changes for the betterment of the Vanguard community.
“People feel like worship can be complacent. We are trying to get away from that. Right now, the goal is to empower people through worship by reminding them what Christ has done and by taking time to praise God for who He is,” Munoz said.
However, the main goal of the worship team is creating discipleship and fellowship among the musicians and to build them up in Christ so they can build others up.
It takes more than musical ability alone to be on the worship team; it takes the ability to draw others into worship.
“Worship is not confined to what happens at chapel or church. It is not confined to a musical experience. Every moment can be a holy moment if it is done in an instance that is offered to God. It is a response to Him for who He is and what He has done,” Greenleaf-Perez said.