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Worship Leader Highlight - Gary Durbin (and Giveaway!)

By Admin on August 15, 2010

(Leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, August 17th, 9pm CST, to be entered into our giveaway. This week we are giving away: Lincoln Brewster's "Today is The Day" Deluxe Edition [CD+DVD] AND ALM UK's "Name Above All Names" Digital Songbook. You must be at least 18 years old to qualify.)

1.When and how did you know you were called to ministry?

My Dad has been a Music Minister in the local church all my life. I started singing in church when I was 6 yrs old, and I felt God’s call when I was 9-10 years old. As a kid, I felt God calling me to the music ministry of the local church. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the term “worship” or “worship leader”, but it definitely was a spiritual thing, even though I rarely heard about the Holy Spirit in church. I ran from that calling after high school for a while, and then in December of 2001, I surrendered to it finally. In May of 2002, I started leading worship full-time for the local church.

2.What do you do to keep yourself fresh as a worship leader and/or songwriter?

The basics. Read and study my Bible daily, and I try to devote more and more prayer time everyday. For accountability in that, I post “Word Wednesday” on my blog every Wednesday. My theory is that if you read your Bible everyday, God will give you at least one fresh Word every week. The most exciting times of writing and leading worship publicly has come from God speaking to me privately in a fresh way. Right now, my heart is really in discipleship. I just started discipling a couple of guys, and God is really teaching me and inspiring me through that. I’ve found that my quiet time and my personal relationship with God is the main way to avoid staleness in my ministry and in my life in general.

3. What are five worship songs you are really connecting with currently?

I haven’t done all of these songs in church, but in my personal listening…

“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan – just introduced that to my church, and it caught immediately

“Jesus Saves” by Tim Hughes

“Come as You Are” by Pocket Full of Rocks

“Deliverer” by Vicky Beeching

“With Everything” by Hillsong United

4. What is the most important thing you would share with an up-and-coming artist or worship leader?

Invest in the local church. If God uses you or your music outside those walls…great, but let Him do that. Even if you do acquire some fame or notoriety, that will eventually fade. Your investment in lives in your local church is an eternal investment. Distinguish between your goals and your dreams. Go after and invest in your goals. Leave your dreams in God’s hands. Personally, my dreams are like a lot of artists. I would love to see one of my songs being sung in churches all over the world, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to impact my local church and ministry. Also, make sure to support your pastor or whoever is in authority over you in the church. Loyalty amongst the leadership of the church is a very healthy thing, and that unity will be a strength and encouragement to the church. I’ve learned that I don’t have to agree with my pastor all the time, but I must support him. If I have a problem with him or a decision, I make sure to talk with him, and not anyone else. It’s the right thing to do.

5. Could you share one of your most embarrassing moments while leading worship?

Probably the worst was about 5 years ago. I was leading worship with a brand new acoustic guitar that my Dad bought for me and my whole family happened to be there that Sunday. Right in the middle of a serious, calm, quiet moment of the worship set, my strap came unhooked from the guitar, and my brand new guitar came pounding down on the stage. It stopped everything, and I just laughed with everyone, tuned my guitar, and went on to the next song. My brother hasn’t let me forget about that one. Needless to say, I check my strap religiously now. J

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Gary is the worship pastor at Bethany Ministries in Melbourne, Florida. He has been leading worship in the local church since 2002. In 2005, he released his first album, "Everything", and in 2008, he released his second called, "Far Away From Me". His latest album is Kingdom EP released in 2010. He has had his songs recognized by Myrrh Records, WorshipSource.com, the Saddleback Worship Conference, and the National Worship Leader Conference. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married since 1999 and have two young children. Gary's passion is leading people in corporate worship and connecting them to the true God.

Check out Gary's latest EP, "Kingdom", on iTunes.

(Leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, August 17th, 9pm CST, to be entered into our giveaway. This week we are giving away: Lincoln Brewster's "Today is The Day" Deluxe Edition [CD+DVD] AND ALM UK's "Name Above All Names" Digital Songbook. You must be at least 18 years old to qualify. Winner will be asked to donate $4 to cover shipping & handling.)

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