John Waller – Words from a Worship Leader
John Waller is a Christian recording artist, with a repertoire of hits such as “While I’m Waiting,” used as the theme song in the motion picture “Fireproof,” “As For Me and My House,” and “The Blessing,” to mention a few.
However, every other Sunday, John Waller is a Music Director!
I asked John to describe his life as a Music Director. “I don’t consider myself a music director, but lead worshiper! When I hear the words “music director,” to me that encompasses a lot of things I’m not. I remember growing up in a Baptist church, we had music directors. They led choir and did a lot of things I’m not capable of doing.”
So how has church music and praise teams changed over the years? It seems it is becoming more about the production, than the music itself? John replied, “I go before the congregation to lead people into God’s presence, and forget about the performance aspect of it. It took me years to learn how to worship God.
What would you like to say to someone thinking about becoming a Music Director? “You need to determine, ‘Am I gifted to lead people into worship?’ and ‘Do I have a gifting to sing?” Is music something I’m naturally gifted at, whether I ever learn to read sheet music, or learn the technical aspects of music? Is it naturally the desire of my heart, and something God is calling me to do? If it is, then look for those opportunities where you can lead groups in worship, whether it is a Bible study or small groups. God will open the door for you… if you are faithful with each opportunity.”
“When I was growing up, many directors of worship probably didn’t have a gifting to lead worship, they just directed people with music. There is a difference! In the body of Christ, God anoints guys and girls to lead people in worship. There is a lot of specific spiritual gifting involved.”
How do you prepare the music for your band? “I make sure I surround myself with people who are talented and gifted musically. They listen to the songs, and they show up with their own charts. We use Planning Center Online to organize the service… Most of them go to YouTube to listen to the songs. We come together and I let them do their thing. If it works… great, if not, I don’t have a hard time telling them to try something different. I’m very laid back about it!”
How did you choose your Praise Team? “I don’t choose them. I have another guy who organizes everyone each week. Some of the players are there every Sunday as anchors. The rest is a team of rotating musicians and singers.”
John Waller is the Music Director at “New Hope Baptist Church”, located in Fayetteville, Georgia. He serves every other week, at two separate church campuses.
John is a good man with great faith. He is blessed with the skills to be a powerful “Director of Music,” and “New Hope Baptist Church” is blessed to have such talent.