Worship helps believers to connect with God; and worship leaders and guitarists are the key to making this happen.
Contributed by Donn Koh
On April 14, a group of 60 people, consisting mainly of City Harvest Church cell group guitarists and song leaders, sat under the teaching of Teo Poh Heng, one of the church’s key worship leaders. Teo is a familiar face to many in CHC, being regularly seen on stage with his guitar strapped on, leading the congregation in song.
Teo shared his knowledge and experience with those who were in attendance, pouring out nuggets of wisdom on the importance of worship in a Christian meeting. “Many things are caught, not taught,” Teo said in opening. In the compact two-hour meeting, Teo dished out valuable tips and guidelines to both the guitarists and cell group song leaders.
Teo reminded the guitarists that the role of the musician is to help build the spiritual atmosphere. The instrument that one holds does not merely produce a sound; it can bring forth heavenly melodies that touch the hearts of those worshipping in the crowd. He also challenged them to be diligent in sharpening their music skills by practicing consistently and having variation in their guitar strumming. “People are encouraged when they hear their own voices during praise and worship; hence, softening your strumming at the right juncture can help build an atmosphere of worship and an anticipation for God’s presence,” Teo explained.
To the cell group song leaders, Teo offered practical advice, encouraging them to practice with their cell group guitarists regularly. He also told them to plan the sequence of their songs for the meeting so they would always be well prepared. Teo then cited the Bible verse, “A man plans his way but God guides his path,” describing how it is also important for the worship leader to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit during the worship session itself. He also taught them how to discern the atmosphere of the meeting and to help believers enter into worship and feel the presence of God in their cell group meetings.
Throughout the session, Teo shared openly about his own experiences and how he began in the ministry as a church drummer, not a guitarist. But under the encouragement of his then-cell group leader, Teo picked up guitar skills and has not looked back since. Today, he teaches guitar in a music school and his passion for music has overflowed into his family as well. He teaches guitar to his children and uses the opportunity to connect and bond with them.
Teo also shared poignantly about how playing the guitar helped him in his own personal walk with God and led to his spiritual growth. His dream is to train up more musicians and worship leaders in the church so that more hearts can be blessed by the ministry of worship.