As a Christian artist...

I love creating and singing moments that help people connect their stories to the history and story of God's faithfulness.  I love using acoustic, rock, jazz and classical styles of music to tell stories.

As a Worship leader...

My job is to give people a song to sing.  My hope is that people encounter Jesus in a powerful way.  I always tell the worship team "our job is to give the people a song to sing"... it's their song, not the band's song.  Success is when they are empowered to sing it loudly.  My job as a worship leader is to build an "us".  That under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and within the scriptural perspective of the day, our shared experiences in worship lead the room of individuals to be truly an "us".  

Two things that I'm loving that worship does is that it invites us to be honest with who we really are and where we're really at (Vulnerability - taking off the masks).  And secondly that it is one of the most profound places where we are able to be who we were created to be and WHAT we were created to do.  I'd sum that up by saying we were created for communion and community.  We are invited into a common union with God - RELATIONSHIP and we exist together in common unity with people who are also living in relationship with God through Christ.  Why come to public worship???  It's one of the greatest opportunities to find communion and community - if only we would see worship that way.

Here's the difference between an artist and a worship leader...

As an artist, the audience comes to me and says "take us on a ride".   I get to go where I'd like to and they give me permission to tell the story in a myriad of musical and contextual ways.  As a worship leader the audience comes to me and say "this is what we need".  I am bound much more by the expectations of the people and the native "worship language" they speak.  I cannot simply do what I'd like, I must account for the idea that they have non negotiable expectations and I must be aware of these, respect them and work creativity within a more stringent set of boundaries.

As Mike Westendorf Music, that's basically what I'm about.  I do concerts, I lead or accompany worship and then I do "Worship concerts".

 

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