Got Questions?

question-mark2Ever wonder why Steve Chae always says “Clutch” or “Excellent”? Want to know why Ander only wears glasses on Sunday? Well here’s your chance!

I’d like to ask the readers of our blog to submit those burning questions you’d like to ask the Gracepoint Fellowship Church praise team. I’ll be periodically answering these questions the best I can so comment now!

Ander Chen
Acts2Fellowship Gold – Worship Leader

Look Alikes

Twins? Look a little closer!

JamesMikeLookAlike

Here’s a behind the scenes picture I snapped a while back at a Sunday praise practice. After showing Mike this photo, he finished practice, went home and changed.

Ander Chen
Acts2Fellowship Gold – Worship Leader

Lessons from Leading Praise

Since this is my first post on our praiseband blog, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ander and besides being a member of the Gracepoint Fellowship Church praiseband, I’m also serving on staff in Acts2Fellowship Gold, one of our UC Berkeley campus fellowships, and also lead the a2f gold praise band.

Contrary to what most people think, I’ve never had any dreams or ambitions of being a leading praise. I know that most of you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking “suuuure” but its the truth. I’ve always enjoyed singing but never did I ever dream of being on stage  doing in it in front of a few hundred people. In any case, I’m up there now and leading praise has taught me some things.

Here’s a couple…

1. It ain’t easy: I led praise for acts2fellowship gold this past year and like I told James, our worship director, I appreciate what he does so much more now that I know how much goes into putting together a praise set. I hope you guys don’t think we[praise leaders] just pick songs that we like and sing them. I always apologize to my band because I’m always late in sending them the set. The reason is because I want the words of each song to have meaning and to reflect a message of who God is.

2. You mess up: We had plenty of these this past school year. I can look back at them and laugh it now but at the time it’s nerve racking. I remember it like yesterday: there I was, standing in a dark room of 100 GPB with just the lights on me surrounded by silence. We had just finished a fast song and the band was transitioning into a slower song but which required the keyboardist to change effects on her keyboard. Since this was only our second time, she hadn’t figured out how to program it yet and so she had to scroll through the different effects looking for the one she wanted. Let me tell you, even though it was 30 seconds, it felt like an eternity! I remember thinking to myself “What if i just walked off stage?” Well I didnt, instead I just stood there feeling and looking nervous. Well, she finally did find the effect and we finished the set without any problems but boy was that a traumatic.

James’ response to this story when I told him…

Me: (I finish the story)
James: Hahahaha!

Thanks James, thanks.

Gracepoint Live!

Gracepoint Live! is a theatrical production sponsored by our UC Berkeley college campus groups: acts2fellowship, Koinonia and Kairos Christian Fellowship.  This year, the theme is “Undo”, the topic of wanting to delete the past.

It’s happening this weekend, with 3 showings on Saturday (11am, 3pm and 7pm) at Willard Auditorium in Berkeley. It’s not something to miss, so sign up to reserve seats at one of the showings!

Here’s my favorite promo video from the Gracepoint Live! site. Enjoy!

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"Revelation Song" — Gateway Worship

My apologies to frequenters of this blog.  I know it’s been a while since the last post.  But rest assured, this blog is still alive and breathing.  I can’t say I’ll have as much time to add new posts, as my wife, Soo, and I have recently taken on the role of Directors of the Element youth department at Gracepoint Fellowship Church in Berkeley, which makes me a little busier.  But I’ve been trying to conscript some of our worship team veterans to contribute to this, so I won’t be the bottleneck for adding to this blog… or at least not the only one to blame… (ahem… Susan?)

Anyway, recently I’ve been particularly moved by “Revelation Song” by Gateway Worship.  Watch Gateway Worship lead this song below…

10 points to each person who can contribute biblical references (via comment) from which the lyrics are derived.

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James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Dangerous Beliefs

During our last Gracepoint Monthly for 2008, we had a time where we got into groups of about 10 people from across different ministry groups to get to know each other and share about Christmas memories, and how we celebrated (or didn’t celebrate) Christmas growing up.  One of our drummers (who wished to remain anonymous) shared with me an interesting fact about Dan (Berkley Koinonia staff, and our lead drummer) that he learned during this time. It made me laugh enough to share it with you all…

Apparently, Dan and his brother, Mike, didn’t believe in Santa Claus, which isn’t uncommon. I myself only remember one Christmas as a kid when I thought Santa existed, even then being skeptical in the back of my mind. But, for Dan and his brother, just in case Santa did exist…

[ at this point in the story, you’d normally expect “they set out cookies and milk” or “they set up a video camera filming the fireplace” or “they said they believed so that they could get more presents”… but that wouldn’t be worth sharing, now would it? ]

…they set out traps for Santa.

As this anonymous drummer and I were laughing about this, we imagined what said traps might have looked like (ie. spikes in the fireplace, or marbles strewn across the floor next to the Christmas tree, or massive amounts of fly paper), and then what the young Chiang brothers might’ve done when they caught good ol’ St. Nick. Perhaps a letter addressed to the North Pole…

ransom-note

Believing in Jesus is “dangerous” because it has strong implications on one’s life.  The Chiang brothers’ belief in Santa is dangerous, too… but not in quite the same way.  

Dan, for your parents’ sake, I hope your traps never worked.

Anyway, just an entertaining way to say, “Merry Christmas!!”  It was a great year, guys.  Keep on honing your skills, enjoying personal times of worship and look forward to a new year of doing it all again!

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

My Son, the Rock Star

Every so often, I need to take my son, Jesse (just turned 2 years old) with me to one of the worship team practices, as I’ve been helping out here and there with the college bands (we have 3 now!) and of course our Gracepoint Fellowship Church Worship Team.  He’s also seen our Worship Team in action during our Sunday morning run-thrus a few times. He loves to just sit on a chair and watch.  But if there’s a spare guitar laying around that isn’t being played, he often wants to get in on the action.  Here are a couple of pictures I took during an a2f gold band practice at our North Loop building.

Jesse using his dad's Fender rock star shot of Jesse on fender

And now, some “never-before-seen” footage of the young musician at home practicing.  I’m not sure how he got a hold of one of my picks… nor why he starts counting in the middle… but whatever. 

Note to our worship team members:  Be aware of yourselves. The young, the impressionable, the rock stars of tomorrow are watching…

Gracepoint Berkeley SWS Team Monthly Training

Starting today, we’re having monthly training for those involved with the SWS Worship Team.  Basically, as we grow and have a heart to do domestic and foreign church plants, each of those teams need musicians to lead the worship times wherever we go.  The idea behind these training times is to set aside at least one time a month when people are getting trained by the veterans in each part.  

For each session, the section lead will teach the people attending to do what they know how to do. So the level of training will really depend on who attends to be trained.  The training sessions will be at 8:30pm on the Thursday before the first Sunday of the month.  (So, in the case when the first Sunday is falls on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd day of the month, the training will happen on the last Thursday of the previous month… Yes, a bit confusing, but works out better logistically for our rotations and such.)

I’m posting this because I want to open this up to anybody currently serving in one of our worship teams at Gracepoint Fellowship Church in Berkeley and San Francisco.  So if you are a student and are way ahead in your studies, or not a student and have some extra time, then please find your way to our 2000 North Loop building in Alameda during these times to get trained!

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Point of Difference: Chordsheets

Jonathan Chou (Berkeley Koinonia Staff, and our main bassist) went with his classmates to visit Gracepoint Fellowship Church, Austin last October.  For the Sunday that he would be absent, I asked Kevin Han (Berkeley City College Koinonia Lead, and our bassist in training) to cover for him.  I must say he did a fine job.  But aside from expressing how impressed I was at his playing, I want to demonstrate the manifestation of his commitment (or perhaps anxiety…) by showing his chordsheets that he used for that Sunday.

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Now, I can imagine that most of you seeing this might just respond by thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of markings…” And for many of our newer worship team members, you might be thinking, “I never make that many marks and notes…”  BUT, for those of us who have been around a while, and have seen the chordsheets of our current and previous “bassists”, this is quite remarkable.

I showed this to one of our electric guitarists (who requested to remain anonymous) and said, “What a difference, huh? I don’t remember Isaac’s chordsheets ever looking like this…” to which the anonymous electric guitarist replied, “Isaac?… what chordsheets?”

Point of Difference: Chordsheets

  • Kevin thoroughly marks his…
  • Jon doesn’t need his…
  • Isaac could never find his…

Alas, the bassists in our lives that we’ve grown to love.  Which has the best method? YOU make the call!

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

NewSpring Church

Just wanted to let you know about the “NewSpring Church” link that’s on the worship blog. NewSpring Church is a church in South Carolina:

“115 people met in a small auditorium of the local college in Anderson, South Carolina. Eight years later, we are 8000+ strong, seeing over a thousand saved and baptized, giving away houses and a mini-van to single moms, donating new shoes and coats to needy school kids, filling our county’s food pantries, meeting at two campuses and preparing to launch a third (not to mention an internet campus!), AND building new children’s and youth facilities at the site in Anderson.”

Tim Fitz let me know about their website because they post their services in full on it, including the worship time. What I appreciate from watching these is that they present themselves conservatively, and yet they appear very comfortable doing what they do, which adds a lot to the experience (at least on the videocast).

I get ideas and new songs from them when I get the chance. So if you’re looking for something like that as a resource, you can check out their website. As far as I can tell from their website, their doctrine is sound.