Posted by: worshipguitarguy | December 1, 2006

Thank You, DC

533966375_l.jpgToday’s a bittersweet day for me.

Seven years ago, I was a youth volunteer when our youth pastor put together a worship band. I should’ve been the last candidate for it… I could play about three chords… none of them well… and my rhythm was atrocious. Added to that, I was a super slow learner when it came to music. 

Fortunately, the students with me weren’t perfect either, but there was one who was close… he was an eighth grader… who was way too mature for his age… a musical prodigy, the type most of us love to hate.  He quickly learned any instrument he touched. Piano, drums, guitar and bass… there was something inside of him that naturally understood music in a way I couldn’t. 

Fast forward about two years and Donnie, now a sophomore became our youth group’s worship leader. At first we wondered if his age was an issue, but we quickly saw God develop a leader in front of our eyes.

But our relationship went way beyond band members. Though nine years in age separated us, Donnie became one of my best friends. We’d spend hours talking together about life, faith, God, and the role of worship in our lives. I learned about the hurts he’d experienced as a child, and how God shaped him through them. We became accountable to each other, encouraging each other as brothers. 

As time passed I became a better musician. Though my talent was still nowhere near Donnie’s, he still insisted on having me as his guitar player. We were now receiving calls, and we started traveling, doing camps, retreats, services, and special events.  The entire time we grew closer to each other and the guys we shared our musical journey with.

That’s why I had mixed emotions when Donnie called me about two months ago.  A strong, dynamic church in West Texas was talking to him about becoming their worship leader. For him, it was the perfect opportunity, he’d be entering full-time Christian ministry at 20, in a place most worship leaders would love to be.  But it meant leaving us.  For a couple weeks, we both prayed about it, and the answer that came to both of us was the same… go.

So today he left.

Seven years, countless practices, and worship services… nights at Taco Bell after playing, discussing theology, life, and friends. Hours of loading and unloading trailers, setting up gear, and doing soundchecks. Meeting countless people all over, sharing their life stories, and praying with them.  Donnie’s the one person I’ve been with since I began playing worship. But now, a page is turning, and that chapter has closed.

A while ago, someone told me that their ministry at church was playing music. Hearing that statement made me shake my head. As important as the music is, the truth is it’s God’s tool to connect us with our real ministry, people. My relationship with Donnie has shown me this in a powerful way… and it’s a lesson that will follow me for the rest of my life.

So thanks DC for everything.  You’ve blessed me in ways you’ll never imagine.  Good luck buddy, and I’ll be praying for you.

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Responses

  1. Bittersweet indeed. There are few experiences as intimate as making music with other musicians – especially music that honors our LORD.

  2. Yeah Donnie is probally the most talented musician I have ever worked with. He is an inspiration to us all. About a month ago, my two buddies and I had the unique opprotunity to play with Gerry and Donnie. The quality is not too great and the levels are a little unbalanced, but overall you can see the Chemistry that Donnie pocesses when leading worship…

  3. So is rhythm learnable?

  4. Absolutely, it takes some of us longer than others though… 😉

  5. Hey Thanks Buddy! I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for you!
    On a side note…yes rhythm, though difficult, is very learnable. Not everyone is cursed to play like a yankee forever…

  6. I love you too… jerk!!!
    Only one guitar player’s cursed to play like a Yankee forever. 😛 😛 😛

  7. Gerry I know what you feel like. Next year the guy I play lead for/ my best friend is moving to Colorado for an worship internship. While I consider myself a average guitarist, he has insisted that I play lead with him (he is amazing). He as made me a better player and really helped show me what it is to worship and lead worship.


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