Kevin King & Grace Worship- Episode 367

Kevin King & Grace Worship – Episode 367


Kevin King’s Personal Testimony – May Christ Be All

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Growing up a musician, many churches will quickly throw you up on their stage. Starting to “lead” worship when I was in college, I admittedly had no idea what I was doing, but, like a good performer, I could pretend pretty well.

            Going to grad school, I began to lead worship at a large budding church and got quickly caught up in the production of the worship event. I inadvertently learned that successful worship meant a successful “experience.” This way of worship leading produced a team of tired musicians and dry hearts.

            I began attending conferences with the “coolest” artists and found my heart swept up in the temptation to be in the “in crowd” – to be known, noticed, and admired. By what these conferences seemed to preach (or what I ended up hearing) was that if I had the right team, the right lights, the right songs, and enough fervor, we would get there. I didn’t really know where the “there” was, but I knew I should be going there. My heart now pines to tell every 20 something beginning their worship leading career that this well quickly runs dry.

When worship leaders look for the “quick fix” or the “answer” to effective worship leading, we have forgotten our true calling: to simply be an arrow that points the hungry heart to the all-satisfying Christ. We are not first production designers, rock stars, artists, or icons. We are under-shepherds under the Great Shepherd. Our game is a long game, and our calling is a slow one. We don’t coerce experiences. We shepherd hearts by the deep well of the Living Word. We lean in to those who criticize us. We love them warts and all. We model the compassion of our God who all day long holds out his hands to an obstinate people (Isaiah 65). What is our greatest resource in Worship Leading? It is the true and better Worship Leader who delights to will and work in us for his good pleasure (Phil 2).

As Grace Worship has approached this project, it has been a relief to continually sing and pray “let your grace my pride relieve,” as I learn to trust that Christ’s work is infinitely more effective than my own. It is a cathartic joy to refocus the goal of my heart from performer to worshiper. I will frequently feel the weight of responsibility that whispers to me, “Without you, this would all fall apart.” Oh how deceiving a thought that plays on my need to be needed, while causing me to work myself into the ground. It is the Friend of Sinners, who leads me beside still waters and restores my soul, that reminds me that my greatest joy in life is to be an empty vessel filled with Christ. And so I pray again today that Jesus would mercifully strike down the first Adam within me to make way for the Second. May Christ be all, and I be nothing.


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About Grace Worship:

Grace Worship is the worship ministry of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, IL, a church that is passionate about making the gospel known through song and story. Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed that His church would be one (John 17). Grace Worship desires to write and share songs that advance this mission through theologically rich and creatively beautiful art. By pulling from the heritage of Christian hymnody and integrating the church songs of today, the worship team hopes to make much of Jesus’ unifying mission through music that equips the church for worship across generations.


About The Fuel Music:

Established in 2008, The Fuel Music & Management, LLC, is a leading artist management and artist solutions company that independently distributes music internationally. Based in Nashville, TN, the Fuel team brings nearly 70 years of combined music industry experience in record label operations, major label distribution and marketing, and artist management for artists ranging from upstart bands to GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-Platinum artists. More information on the company can be found at



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Rick Lee James

Rick Lee James worship leader, a singer and songwriter, preacher, author, and Podcast host with over 15 years of experience in ministry. As host of the Voices In My Head Podcast Rick has worked with Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves, Paul Baloche, All Sons and Daughters, Michael Card, Brian Zahnd, Tripp York, Brett Mccracken, Ian Morgan Cron, Michael Card, Walter Brueggemann and many more. In 2013 Rick released his first Live album of original songs called, Basement Psalms Live. In 2014 Rick released a book to accompany the album called, Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through the Psalms. The book has since been used as a textbook by National Praise and Worship Institute’s Psalms survey course at Trevecca Nazarene University. Rick also was a contributing writer for the book, Renovating Holiness, edited by Jay Thomas Jay Oord and Joshua Broward. Rick has also been a contributing writer for Worship Leader Magazine and has had a number of songs published by Lifeway Worship. Rick’s new album, ‘Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations’ will release on March 17th, 2016 (St. Patrick’s Day). All songs on the record are being published through Lifeway Worship and are written, co-written, or arranged by Rick.