A note cuts through the noise of the congregation and the worship band begins to play a familiar hymn.
Students have found ways to use their talents and abilities to serve in ministries at their home churches, and for many, this involves being a part of their church worship bands.
Julie Leong, junior sociology and anthropology double major, is a campus resident but attends New Heart Community Church in Arcata, Calif.
Leong’s father, the worship pastor at New Heart Community Church, encouraged her to replace the former bass player during her freshman year of high school. With no prior experience with the instrument, she agreed to play. Every week she learned to play new music for the upcoming Sunday.
“There’s something about playing with a group of people and knowing you’re all doing it for the same purpose – to worship God,” Leong said.
Julia Gomez, senior Christian studies major, is also part of her worship band at East Hills Community Church in Riverside.
Gomez said she has a passion for musical worship and a desire to see the church have a constant heart and lifestyle of praise.
“Since being on the worship team, I’ve seen the collective call to worship more,” Gomez said. “If we’re all being tuned to God and focusing on who he is, we can serve that call to worship so much better.”
Some may view music as the only form of worship, but Gomez said she believes it goes beyond that.
She said God can be worshiped in conversations, relationships, hard work and in the pursuit of his son Jesus Christ.
“The greatest gift that God gives us is inviting us to pursue him and inviting us to know him,” Gomez said. “And ,in pursuing Christ, in this passionate pursuit of him, I believe that is worship.”