Introducing Kevin Pledger!
Featuring Kevin Pledger Posted on July 1, 2008
Along with God’s call, what were the heart-impressions that led you into worship ministry?
I've been around music all my life. My parents sang Southern Gospel professionally when I was born up until I was two. Some of the greatest names in Southern Gospel music, like Vestal Goodman, would look after me backstage while Mom and Dad were singing. From there, Dad went on to be a Minister of Music in local churches until I was 10, when He went to seminary and then into the pastorate. Singing and playing the piano (by ear) was something that drove me as a child--along with football. It was the way that I felt like I best worshiped my Lord. My Dad taught me how to direct when I was young and by the time I was 11 or 12, I was leading hymns in church. When Dad went into evangelism at my age of 14, the directing took on larger roles as I started directing choirs of 200 at area-wide crusades where he would be speaking. I took my first church as Minister of Music at age 16 near my hometown of Commerce, Georgia. Now at 37, I am looking back on 21 years of experience in local church music ministry. Football ended in middle school. Time has flown!
Tell us about your passion for church community and worship ministry:
In my years of ministry, I have seen some really big highs and ridden the wind of blessing. But there is a difference between riding the wind and chasing it. And at one time in my life, I quit riding the wind and started chasing. I got caught up in me. A lot! I started believing what everyone else said about me when they would tell me how talented I was. And conceit took over. From there, God broke me as only He can and in ways that I will never forget. I learned more about grace over a three year period than I would've probably learned in a lifetime otherwise. Sharing the unmerited favor - grace - of God is what fuels my passion for church community. We have so many hurting people out there! I once heard someone say, "Hurt people hurt people." Imagine what damage it would do to the enemy if Christians rose to the task of extending grace instead of kicking our wounded, as we often do. The hurt could be taken away by the healing power of grace that flows from our Father as it did in my life. I find that there is healing when I worship as well. When I take the focus off of me and place it on Jesus, He comes into the places He's invited, like my heart. And healing happens when in the presence of Jesus.
How do we as a Church recognize and practice worship as a spiritual discipline?
I believe that worship in it's simplest definition is "obedience." Remember what Samuel told Saul? He said "To obey is better than sacrifice." Paul wrote that we are "to present our bodies as living sacrifices, which is our reasonable form of Spiritual worship." What Paul was saying was that we are to die to our selves; we are to submit our will to the will of God on a daily, hourly and by the minute basis. As "living" sacrifices, our biggest flaw is that we have the habit of getting up off the altar. Worship isn't music, though certainly music can be worship. Worship isn't an hour on Sunday morning, though worship happens during that hour. Worship isn't meeting with our small groups, or our youth groups. It isn't contained in vacation bible schools or in hymn books. Worship is a lifestyle. It is how we live 24/7. It is putting God first and showing Him that He has that priority by living a life of obedience. Songs come later. We don't show up on Sundays just to worship. We come together to exhort one another in the faith, to strengthen, to build up, to encourage, to love, and yes, in some cases, even to rebuke or discipline. But when done in an attitude of love and a heart of service where redemption is the goal, God is honored. And when all of these things are done and the goodness of God is seen and heard, worship breaks out among the redeemed! So what happens on Sunday should be just an extension of our Mondays through Saturdays.
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