Joyful to Praise

If I were to ask you to name your favorite hymn, song, or psalm, would you be able to do so without thought or hesitation?  Do you have one in mind now?  Many Christians, without regard to length of time spent as members of a church, can point to at least one tune that serves in such a way that can only be explained as the Holy Spirit lifting us up to praise God.

Redeemer Lutheran has hired a new Music Director and his resume does not disappoint.  With a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance earned in 2013, and a Master of Church Music currently in progress, Jacob Drengler is absolutely qualified.  He also holds three years of professional experience, ranging from assisting the Director of Music as a Music Ministry Intern at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cary, NC, to being the jack of all trades as Assistant Director of Music/Principal Organist at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian, also located in Cary, NC.  While that is satisfying in itself, it is Jacob’s two decades worth of musical experience in his 24 years of age that gives the assurance of his God ordained talents.

When asked when his musical interests started, Jacob stated that he held an appreciation for as long as memory would allow but “started teaching myself to play piano by ear when I was around 4 years old” and began lessons when he was 5.  Considering he was raised in the Lutheran church, with his father serving as Pastor, it is easy to understand how his childhood was surrounded in song and music.  Speaking of his influences, Jacob credits his mother saying he “grew up in a home filled with music and have many memories of my mother singing, playing trumpet, piano, and guitar; both at home and in worship.”; Bob Unger, his first organ teacher whose “organ playing, particularly his hymn playing, was revelatory for me”; and Dr. John Behnke, who serves as his current organ professor and “has also been instrumental in inspiring me not only to play the organ more proficiently, but to pursue composition of music for the church.”

Looking into Jacob’s professional history, it is clear to see that he is comfortable serving all age groups, but is exceptionally proficient when leading youth.  When asked what he would do to lead our youth, he stated that in educating them on what has made Christian music essential to worship over many centuries, combined with where the music genre is now, he hopes to create groups where anyone could fit in.  Similar views were shared when I inquired of his ambitions for Redeemer Lutheran as Music Director where he will strive “to lead a program which provides a means for anyone, regardless of prior musical experience, to make a joyful noise to the Lord.  The role of music in worship is a vital and meaningful one as it seeks to enhance and elevate the praise of God.”

I couldn’t agree more nor be more excited for our new Music Director to guide us to what is sure to be a weekly praiseworthy experience.  As Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”