Interview: Worship Leader Kim Krenik

Kim Krenik is a worship leader, recording artist, and songwriter in Central California. Recently, Kim talked to Worship Links about the power of prayer, being a student of the Word, and that time she totally froze.

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.

I’m a Mom of four miracle kids, married to a Senior Pastor and church planter. Central California is where I reside. Songwriter, worship leader and singing teacher are a few of my job descriptions. Very soon, I will release my first book/women’s bible study. Spending time traveling with my family is one my favorite things.

How did you get started in worship ministry?

The first experience I had leading worship was when I attended a Discipleship Training School at Youth With A Mission Montana. That was the beginning of it all.

What’s your basic process for planning a service or worship set?

I start by asking the Holy Spirit to direct me. Then I read through the passage the pastor is teaching – at Calvary Chapels the teaching is verse by verse. Sometimes I will have a song pop into my head randomly as well, and often the other team members suggest songs that are on their hearts. The pastor also sometimes suggests songs. All of that happens on a Sunday/Monday. On Tuesday, I sit at the piano and worship God with the CCLI Song Select website up nearby. During that time I pick songs. The media team needs songs by Wednesday so I have to have things ready by then, plus I practice through the set daily so I am able to lead strongly and memorize the songs.

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?

LOL! I hope I get a guitar on this island so I can make up some new songs. I suppose the coconuts and bamboo sticks could be made into instruments if need be. Okay, five songs…. yeesh….

  • “How Great Thou Art”
  • “It Is Well” (Bethel)
  • “10,000 Reasons”
  • “Amazing Grace” (Todd Agnew/Chris Tomlin)
  • “Always” Jason Ingram.

Yes, I was trying to be sneaky on one of those. But technically they are the same song (lyrically).

What have you found are some of your greatest challenges in managing a worship team? How do you handle the balance between being a musician and being a manager?

The number one challenge is finding skillful players, who work hard and practice/learn the songs, and at the same time have a humble heart after God. That combination in a worship team member is award winning! My husband has pastored the church we are at for over 15 years now, and the greatest challenge for me hasn’t actually been balancing between the musician/manager. When I was solely focused on the role of worship leader, I enjoyed it and wasn’t overwhelmed. It got a little crazy when I started adding the babies to the mix, then became the our women’s ministry leader by default. Plus I was doing a lot of behind the scenes tasks. Thankfully we have had help come along just in the right seasons. What never ceases to amaze me is the power of prayer. You think I would learn the lesson, but I am super slow. When we have called out to God to provide help, He has always come through. I believe it is crucial for a team leader to scout out potential future leaders, and also to help people discover their gifts, and to delegate responsibilities out.

What scriptures speak to you the most about worship?

2 Chronicles 20 is a powerful picture of the power of lifting up the Name of God. Praising our God as a worship leader is a spiritual battle. I wrote a chapter in my book about this. The chapter is called “Warrior Pose.” I also wrote a song that goes with it. Our part is to plant ourselves firmly in the ground and to wait for the Lord. So often we associate waiting as passive, but it is more like a warrior, waiting with their shields (of faith) interlocked. As we lift up our eyes and direct the worship of our congregations, we are building their faith and our own. The act of worshiping God, lifting our voices in song, and singing the words in sincerity… it is a powerful act of faith. I believe without a doubt that God is on the move in churches that are worshiping this way. Another chapter that I love is Romans 12, which gives a very practical outline of what true worship is. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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?

When I have the privilege of training up new leaders, these are some key things I like to instill: Serve others, we are servants, not rock stars, Be a student of the Word, and Be who God made you to be! (If you sing in a soft voice, make the most of it, pick the best songs and make it work! If you have a big voice, don’t try to hide it or be ashamed. Be a musician and study music and arrangements, because a team leader needs to know how to utilize their team members best in what their ability is.)

What do you think worship in the church will look like in ten years?

No idea. But I HOPE and PRAY we see a revival and that the Lord sweeps through the nations causing every knee to bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I also hope with some of the vision and new college courses offered, that we will see a new era of worship leaders who grasp the calling of leading worship, and of being students of the Word.

Any new worship artists on your radar at the moment?

I have a friend named Kenon Chen who God has been using locally to gather people and unify worship leaders in the SF bay area.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done while leading worship (that you’re willing to share)?

Hmmm… ya… when I completely forgot the words to one of my songs. Rather than handle it with clever humor and make light of it, I froze. I totally froze. That was one of those, “let’s never let that happen again…” moments. (I blamed it on mom-brain later, since I had just had a baby a few months before…)

Thanks again for answering our questions. If people want to find you online, what’s the best way?

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