Campus worship team’s music helps draw students to God

September 23, 2013 / by / 2 Comments
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By Rachelle Reeves
GCU News Bureau

Many faithful Chapel-goers or regulars at theGathering know the sounds of thumping drums, strumming guitars and soothing vocal harmonies. But they might be less familiar with the people behind the music.

Grand Canyon University’s student worship team provides the talent that drives musical performances every Monday morning at Chapel and every Tuesday night at theGathering. Performers have a variety of academic pursuits, from criminal justice to Christian studies, although they share a passion for worship.

Nearly 200 GCU students auditioned this summer for the worship team. A group of 75 was selected. Each performance includes a different mix of performers based on student availability, so the average visitor to Chapel and theGathering sees a different band each time.

Students involved in the worship team listen to a mix of genres such as folk, rock and pop, but they understand the responsibility of sharing their God-given talents.

GCU Today spoke with a few worship team performers to see how they feel about faith, music and performing on campus:

 

ELIU GAMEZ

gamez_editedRole:  I mix what the band is playing to deliver it to the audience.

Age: 21.

Major: Criminal justice.

Hometown: Phoenix.

What’s on your iPod? The New Life Singers, Stryper, August Burns Red, Jesus Culture Band, and Mumford and Sons — just to name a few.

Why are you passionate about music? I like working behind the scenes while still being involved in a fundamental part of Chapel/theGathering. The environment is ever-changing and no two sets are the same.

How has your talent helped you with your faith? It has taught me that I don’t need to be onstage leading everyone in worship to please God, but rather using the talent that God has given me to the fullest to worship God. Just as it says in 1 Corinthians, there are many parts of the body and they all play an important role in the body. The same applies to everyone who is involved with Chapel/theGathering.

 

ETHAN GAYONGALA

ethan_editedInstrument: Bass guitar.

Age: 22.

Major: Psychology.

Hometown: Surprise.

What’s on your iPod? Hillsong, John Mark McMillan, Ascend The Hill, The Chariot, Gungor, Jesus Culture Band, Passion Pit and M83.

Why are you passionate about playing your instrument? It was the very first instrument I learned that I started playing worship with. Ever since, I fell in love with bass guitar.

How has your talent helped you with your faith? It has allowed me to worship God on so many levels. God has definitely given me a talent that I didn’t even deserve, to minister to other people.

 

ELLIOTT GEORGE

elliotInstrument: Acoustic guitar/vocals.

Age: 25.

Major: Business management.

Hometown: Tucson.

What’s on your iPod? The Civil Wars, Young Oceans, Switchfoot, Gungor, Phil Wickham, Jason Mraz, and Relient K.

Why are you passionate about playing your instrument? I want to use the gifts that God has given me to the best of my ability to bring Him glory. God has given me the gift of music, so I’m passionate about using that to praise Him!

How has your talent helped you with your faith? It’s given me an outlet to express what God has done for me, and to express my faith and trust in Him in a creative way.

 

JEANETTE PLASENCIO

Instrument: jeanette_editedVocals and guitar.

Age: 21.

Major: Christian studies.

Hometown: Tolleson.

What’s on your iPod? All Sons & Daughters, Bethel Music, Bon Iver, Brett Dennen, City and Colour, Coldplay, DowningStreet, The Digital Age, Elevation Worship, Gungor, Imagine Dragons, Jesus Culture Band, John Mayer, King’s Kaleidoscope, the New Life Singers, and Worship Central. And that’s the short list …

Why are you passionate about playing your instrument? I am so passionate about my instrument because I believe that God gave it to me solely to glorify Him.

How has your talent helped you with your faith? I would say God gave me the talent so that I can benefit others with it, not myself. I hold a high importance to being faithful in bringing Him glory through my talent. I believe the responsibility of leading people into worship is continued offstage. I know when people see me onstage they will be watching my every move offstage. So I have to be sure that I am continually in the Word and Spirit and attentive to God’s call on my life.

Reach Rachelle Reeves at gcutoday@gcu.edu.


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2 Responses
  1. Jim Webber

    So blessed to get to learn more about the hearts of the chapel worship leaders at GCU! So encouraged to hear from different instrumentalists and parts of the team and love to read about Eliu’s faithfulness to working behind the scenes and knowing how important his role is in glorifying God. All of these people know what it’s about! Praise God! :)

    Sep.24.2013 at 7:32 am
  2. Scott Shifferd

    It is a wonderful blessing to be reminded of the words of Christ that teach us not to worship for show (Matt. 6:1-7, Mark 12:38-40, cf. Matt. 23:6-11). We are truly blessed to make music to God with meaningful words rather than unintelligible noises apart from what is lifeless (1 Cor. 14:7-19).

    Oct.29.2013 at 6:29 pm
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