Behind the Scenes with Chase Oaks Worship
We see the Chase Oaks Worship Team members up front every week, using their gifts to help lead others into a deeper experience of God through music. But how do they interact with God in their own lives, when they aren’t up front?
Below, several Chase Oaks Worship leaders and musicians answer questions about how they continue to nurture a relationship with God through different seasons of life.
Q: Does your relationship with God ever get “stale”? How do you keep it fresh?
Yes, yes, yes! I would maybe use the word "dry." There was this long period in my life that I desperately wanted to know God in a tangible way, but I just seemed dry in my relationship with Him. A passage that took me through this valley was Psalm 63:1-5, and it helped me know God in a different way through much pain and waiting. Knowing God without feeling but through knowledge of Him was something I needed to learn…that He is real and He is with me even when I don't “feel” it. It was a really tough season, especially when I had to lead others in worship, and yet it has given me more understanding for time that we all go through when we don't “feel” God.
Part of the passage says, "For your love is better than life, my lips will praise you." The team at Chase Oaks has written a song about this passage called "Better" and it reminds me each time I sing it that whatever I am feeling, it shouldn't stop me praising. - Chris Opie
I think this is one topic that often makes us think we are alone when this happens, but we are not!! Yes, this happens often. There are seasons, even as a worship leader, where you experience staleness or sometimes it can feel like God is silent. But here is where I find growth happens the most within myself. One thing I have experienced is knowing that God is working even when we don't see or feel it. I remind myself often that any relationship takes two. So even though God never leaves us, it does take effort on our part to build upon our relationship with Him....and even in these "quiet" moments, it pushes me to seek God out. I go searching for His presence.
One way that refreshes my relationship with Him is enjoying the beauty of His creation by going on walks outside. Also, throwing on some worship music while I'm at home or driving, as well as praying or getting in His word. - Brie Magee
I think every believer has seasons of feeling “stale.” Much like any relationship, different seasons take on different purposes. We recently had our first child and it’s been a totally different version of life I never expected. There have been times where I’m in great need and God is a provider. There have been times where I’ve felt sadness and loneliness and He has been a companion.
While God exists as all these things and much more, I choose to embrace each season—and whatever change comes with it—as a new opportunity to see a different side of God’s character. Wrestling with the character of God has been a journey, and that perspective helps me avoid a stale interpretation, or relationship, of God. – Eric Jones
My relationship with God is a living, breathing thing that ebbs and flows in every season of life. I don’t think He minds, because the very nature of any relationship includes change, process, and evolution. When I’m feeling particularly distant from my Creator, the thing I try to remind myself of is this: God demands nothing of me except an open heart. Usually those distant times in my faith are set in the context of a stressful or anxious season of life, and in those moments I experience God as a kind and compassionate Father. – Wendy Child
Q: How have you seen your devotional life change as your life stage changes?
Finding time is the biggest struggle in my devotional space. There's always a ton to do and not enough time to do it all. I have two girls now and a full-time job, all of which I didn't have three years ago. So it's safe to say I've had a lot of life stage changes. What I've learned is that spending time with God HAS to be a priority, but it doesn't have to be perfect.
I've had seasons with really good rhythms and a solid chunk of time where I could focus solely on Him. I've also had seasons of terrible rhythms and having to squeeze in time with Him where there are distractions going on around me. I often find myself wanting to "get back" to the good rhythm I used to have. But this often leads to shame and guilt for me. So I've started to view new seasons and rhythms (even if they aren't as effective as previous seasons) as an opportunity to expand my tool belt. Any given way that I've been able to connect with God in the past isn't the only way to connect with God. It's A way, not THE way. Don't be hard on yourself; God's grace is too big for that. – Dain Ussery
Yes, and it needs to change. We were talking as a small group of worship leaders today about this. Sometimes we do a spiritual discipline for a season and then it moves to something else. Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves and say, "I haven't written in my prayer journal for a long time, etc." but I think we need to give ourselves grace and understand that there are many ways to experience God. And to be okay with finding new ways. The question is, "How am I experiencing God's presence now?" – Chris Opie
Yes, for sure. I think as you continue to grow spiritually it allows you to experience your devotional life in a new way. For example, I can look at a devotion I did years ago and remember where I was in that moment and then look at the same devotion right now at this stage in my life and see how I have a completely different perspective on it. As our life stage changes, we begin to look at circumstances and instances differently. - Brie Magee
I think of my devotional life like breathing. You can’t only inhale, every single inhale requires and exhale; one cannot exist without the other. There are times when my devotional life is more like an inhale: I’m reading books, studying the Bible, and finding God in the still quiet moments of prayer and meditation. I’m soaking up every ounce of the Divine I can get. There are other time in life when its more of an exhale. I experience God through action, in meetings others’ needs, and by reveling in the wonder of the great big magical world that God created. – Wendy Child
Enjoy music from Chase Oaks Worship throughout your week! Like, follow, subscribe, and check out their new album "Living Water" here.