Pat Shelby is a worship leader, mentor, and accomplished guitarist. Recently, Pat talked to Worship Links about how he became a worship leader, his new blog, and what to do when someone in the congregation hits on you.
WL: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for us. It’s truly appreciated! The first question is an easy one. Tell us a little bit about yourself in five sentences.
PS: I grew up in Iowa and married a cowgirl from Wyoming. My wife, Brenda, and I have been married 19 years and have two sons. I’ve been the worship director at Rejoice Church in Dundas, MN. for 10 years. I’m a guitar teacher and currently have 18 private guitar students.
How did you get started in worship ministry?
I was working as an over-the-road bus driver and moonlighting as a coffeehouse musician doing a solo guitar act. I came to a saving faith at a Christian retreat. A musician friend of mine invited me to come play in his church worship band. That day I heard God’s call to become a worship leader. We gathered to pray for just that! I answered an ad for a worship leader in our local paper and got the job. I hung up my bus driving gloves on December 15, 1997. What’s really funny is that I remember telling my then fiancé, Brenda, that I would never play Christian music!
What’s your basic process for planning a service or worship set?
With the theme of the day and/or scriptures in mind, I gather together some songs. I pray and ask God to show me what He wants to happen at the service. I listen to demos or sing through the songs and imagine being in our church with everyone gathered. That process usually leads me to the right songs and the right flow.
Desert Island Worship Mix: You’re trapped on a desert island, and for reasons too ridiculous to explain, you can only have one CD with five worship songs on it. What are they?
- Knowing You by Graham Kendrick
- Taste and See by Tommy Walker
- Give Him Praise by Lincoln Brewster
- Jesus, That Name (from Tommy Walker’s Never Gonna Stop CD)
- Let God Arise by Chris Tomlin
Over the years, I’ve developed a passion for teaching and equipping, particularly in worship ministry. I started worshipBOOST as a way to share inspiration and encouragement to others in music ministry around the world. As for the web site, I envision it to be a place where worship guitarists can find lessons to help them grow in their skill. In addition to that, I have a wealth of experience and knowledge gained in 16 years of music ministry that I would like to share. The web site is developing into a place where interested folks can find out what I do and how I might be able to help them.
Any new worship artists on your radar lately?
I was at the National Worship Leader Conference in Leawood, Kansas this past July. I was blown away by Tim Timmons. He demonstrated a combination of guitar skill and an amazing ability to connect with his audience and lead us in worship.
If you could give one piece of advice to up and coming worship leaders, what would it be? Conversely, what’s some advice you wish you’d received earlier on?
Read Bob Kauflin’s book, Worship Matters, twice. Nurture your relationship with your pastor.
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done while leading worship (that you’re willing to share)?
I remember being shocked and a bit embarrassed when a lady in the congregation hit on me during communion! As congregants were filing past the worship band this gal was giving me the once over with her eyes. That was definitely weird. 🙂
Thanks again for answering our questions. If people want to find you online, what’s the best way?