Vicky: The first full song I wrote was on the last day of elementary school. I was 10 years old and our class was asked to write a song about moving onto junior high school. I remember grabbing a pen and suddenly having my head full of lyric and melody ideas! I just kept on writing, and came up with over 8 verses! My classmates subtly told me that 3 verses would be sufficient, so I just took used the first three. The title I chose was 'Keep Moving On'; yes, very cheesy I know, but I was only 10! The whole class sang it as the Special in our elementary graduation. It's a great memory and it always makes me smile!
Many people criticize Christian music for being full of repetitive platitudes; how do you go about searching for 'new words to create songs of Worship' as you say on your website?
My hope is to stretch beyond over-used lyrics when I write. I see that as part of giving God my best in worship; to work hard on lyrics rather than just settle for trite and overused terms. To keep searching for fresh lyric ideas, I try to read a lot and listen to really diverse music. I'm also a big fan of poetry. But there are limitations when writing songs for congregations, as you need to use words that everyone will resonate with. So very obscure terms will lose people! But my aim is to work hard at rewriting my songs until they are the best, freshest and most impacting lyrics that I can come up with. I like to aim high in the hopes that I might come up with something that will help inspire a congregation to worship."
What is your favorite song on The Journey?
I think that would be "Yesterday Today and Forever". Its become meaningful to me in a whole new way, since moving over to the USA. The song is based on Hebrews 13:8 'Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.' Relocating to a new country, leaving everything familiar behind, God has revealed Himself to me as the One who is always the same and never changes. He is the 'firm foundation' beneath my feet and the song always reminds me of that. I used the word 'Yahweh' in the bridge, to remind us that the same God who watched over Abraham and Isaac, is the same God who is with us today, unchanging and always faithful.
Some could interpret The Journey as having arrangements that are simplistic, considering your musical knowledge and background. How does someone with such a strong musical knowledge explain the use of simple rock arrangements?
When I contribute to the arrangement of my songs I love being creative, but am thinking mainly of the Church and how they'll use the song. I know the
huge cross section of musical abilities in the Church; some people are highly trained and others are just mastering 4 chords on a guitar. So I want
to strike a balance on the album between listenable arrangements that will be fun to recreate, yet keeping it simple enough for home groups to play on
a single acoustic. I love creativity but feel like some restraint in that area can be helpful to enable more people to be able to recreate it at Church. Hopefully the album will represent this desire!
When and why did you choose the electric guitar over the piano as your instrument of choice?
I've played piano since I was 6 and love it. I still think piano is one of the most beautiful and expressive instruments. When I was 12 or 13 I grabbed my Mum's acoustic guitar and got her to show me a few chords. She gave me a well worn guitar book that I think she learned from, and I became
a bit of a recluse in my room singing and playing every night! A few months later, she took me to a guitar store planning to buy me a cheap acoustic. I
fell in love with a red electric that looked like the cover of my Dad's 'The Shadows' album. So we came home with the electric and an amp, and I have
loved playing electric guitar ever since!
What is your view of what a worship leader is?
My favourite definition is simply a 'lead worshipper'. Someone who is standing with their brothers and sisters, worshipping God and giving them an example to follow. I think it should be someone who can lead with strength, so people have a clear musical direction, yet someone who becomes invisible, turning people's eyes onto Jesus alone.
In your opinion, what aspect of being a worship leader is most often overlooked?
Probably the invisibility aspect; feeling secure in disappearing as you lead, and not feeling the need to prove yourself with over playing or by only using your own songs. Also, the importance of being a worshipper in the secret place; ministering to God's heart privately, as well as in public. One of my mentors said to me that worship leading is like an iceberg; what the public see above the water should only be the tip of what lies underneath in your private walk of worship with Jesus.
Tell us about your current ministry to women worship leaders.
I love ministering to both men and women, but a large amount of the people who I come into contact with at events are women. Many of them say they don't know too many female worship leaders and need support and encouragement to keep going. So I like to keep in touch with them and help them find an encouragement network in their own town or state.
Are there any new places or people that God is calling you to minister to?
Well, currently I am finding my way around the new country and culture of the USA. I fall in love with it more every week and am so pleased to be here! This where I feel God leading me to be, and to focus on. I am also excited to now be working with Compassion International, and am looking forward to working hand in hand with them, to minister to and be a voice for the poor. That is such a vital part of worship...to live out the songs we sing, by reaching out to those in need.
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