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Interview with Kevin Abel | Rock Church Worship Music Leader
By Dave Franco

When and how did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian home, so my first experience with Christ was more of a routine, legalistic viewpoint. We all got up early on Sundays and had to go to church, and had to pray before every meal because that’s what Christians do, right? Well after years of living in religion and not fully understanding who Christ was and what He did for me, there was one moment I experienced God in a new way. I was a teenager at a Youth Camp event and I felt God access me in a completely different way. I felt something different for the first time and someone helped me understand that it was the Holy Spirit. But because I grew up in religion, there were still some bad habits, and I still felt that God didn’t approve of me because of my sin. I got myself into a dedicated group where a culture of discipleship was taught. I have totally grown in what the Lord is calling me to, and also, in defining my identity in Christ.

What kind of music were you into before you became a worship leader?
I listened and loved all types of music! Growing up, my parents were into the oldies from the 50’s and 60’s, and as a child I remember wanting to know what I was listening to. It was beautiful and made me feel happy. In high school, I was all about hard rock and metal, and as a young guitar player who loved Rock, the dream was always to travel the world and be famous. I obviously had some growing up to do, but I knew that music is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now, as a worship leader, I’m starting to live out that dream! It is incredible that we get to do this together as a team, as a family. God is so good!

Your studies were in Jazz Theory and Guitar. What is it about Jazz that means so much to you?
Jazz is the origin of almost all of today’s music; between rock, gospel, R&B and soul music, it was all influenced by Jazz. I loved the history of how Jazz became…it’s focused around creativity and imagination and as an expression of the player’s emotions and feelings. It’s really about being free. And of course, that is what all of us who are in Christ experience. Freedom.

As the worship music leader at Rock Church, it’s not just notes and arrangements. What does worship mean to you?
Worship to me is far more than music—it’s about the condition of the heart and the total surrender of ourselves to His Kingdom. Worship can be spending hours of our time to serve those in need, faithfully giving of tithes or even something as small as our attitude towards others. Music is just another creative way that we can use our gifts to tell our God how great He is, and to give Him thanks for all that He has done.

What other things besides arranging do you do?
In the Worship Ministry, we try to find others who have similar gifts in music to mentor, equip, train, and to build them up to be leaders, both musically and spiritually. That’s what it’s all about to us. We are here to develop a culture of discipleship and we get to do most of that through something we love, music.

Normally we have a time of worship when we go to church. How can someone keep a spirit of worship going throughout the week?
Well, we know that we don’t just ‘go to church.’ We are the church—not just on Sundays, but everyday. Worshipping to music is a great way to start your day, whether its in your room as you get ready, or bumping it in your car as you head into work. It’s a great way to get into a Christ-centered attitude. After that, worship can be being patience in difficult situations, loving someone who is hard to love, or truly forgiving someone that has wronged you. All of this is worship and it all brings God glory, and that is what it means to be the Church.

Besides worship, how do you go about being in God’s presence in your daily life?
When Pastor Miles gave us the challenge to pray 15 minutes a day, I took it on. It has been unbelievably life altering for me to start each day seeking God. That much focused prayer has set me on a course where I think about God all day long. But it’s more than that. It makes me look for opportunities to be His hands and feet, whether it’s showing kindness to others, or sharing Jesus with a person I’m standing next to in line. I’ve also set up an airtight accountability plan, to make sure that I do it. It’s worked perfectly.

Wow, an accountability plan that works perfectly. Do tell.
My girlfriend and I can’t call each other until after we’ve individually prayed. If I didn’t want to already pray, that would certainly do it.

Kevin’s love of music is one way he shares his faith. How do you share yours? Tell us! Send an email to [email protected].