all i can say is this: picking up my guitar after not touching it for four years is not like riding a bike.
background: i played acoustic guitar for years, on and off, to lead worship for junior highers (i was a hack; but we always said that energy was more important than musical ability when it comes to leading junior highers in worship). one day at my last church (lake avenue church in pasadena), i felt the need to rock a bit more, and asked someone to teach me how to barre chord. then, a few weeks later, i grabbed rob bell (then a high school staff assistant at lake ave, while working on a degree at fuller), another great guitar player, to help me pick out an electric guitar. when we got to the store, they had two limited edition fender american standard stratocasters: one in ‘burgandy mist’ and one in ‘sea-foam green’. i was leaning toward the green one and asked rob for his input. he said (and i quote): i think if you buy the green one, you’ll wake up one day and ask yourself, “why did i buy a sea-foam green guitar?” so i got the burgandy mist strat, with painted headstock, rosewood fretboard, and a few other minor extras.
my rocking got louder and more animated, and i had a great time leading the junior high worship band for a few years; and subsequently playing in the same down here in san diego. many have accused me of having a ‘pink’ guitar. but i must insist: it’s burgandy mist. don’t cross me on this!
somewhere along the line (about four years ago), it became obvious that the back-up rhythm guitar player in our JH worship band was both more available than me and WAY better. i stopped playing.
four years went by, two JH pastors, several incarnations of the worship band. now, we have two very sweet JH girls leading worship. and they’ve been so fantastic. but we all agree (them included) that it’s time for a bit o’ rockin’ again. so a few of us (alex from YS, our former JH pastor, is going to lead and play acoustic) are, in the words of john belushi/jake blues, “putting the band back together”. but i suck. really. my fingers have no callouses; my hand cramps up when i play barre chords; my strumming patterns are nasty.
i have to remember: energy (well, and actually worshipping) is more important than musical ability when leading JH worship!