Called to worship is a segment on my blog that highlights the lives and ministries of worship leaders who are making an impact in Kenya, Africa and beyond. The idea is to interact with worship leaders whose faith and stories inspire us to be better ministers. Here is my interview with Lamar Minne on making disciples of all nations.

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As far as visions go, Lamar’s is straight from the heart of Jesus: Creating discipling cultures for worship teams where spiritual gifts are called out and used for ministry. Lamar is in the internship and leadership development program at Nairobi Chapel where she oversees the worship teams.

Nita: When did your ministry begin?

I come from a family of two siblings and have parents that really love God. I was brought up in a very Christian setting. My mum has been a worship leader for the longest time and is even considered a worship pastor back at our home church. She has been serving for more than twenty five years in the worship ministry. My dad is an elder in the church, back home in Deliverance Church, Uganda and he plays the drums. I grew up around that kind of worship setting. My schedule was school during the week and then worship practice with my mum. They realized that I had picked up a love for singing from the time I was little. One of the first gifts I remember receiving was a karaoke machine. That’s how I got introduced to worship as a ministry. I remember telling my mum that I really want to join the worship team. She told me that when I turned twelve and completed Sunday school, then I could join the team. The first opportunity I got, I joined the team and I’ve been in worship ministry ever since.

Nita: Who was your greatest influence?

I think my mum tops it. Also, a group that served in a worship team called Heart of David. They really allowed me to pour out my gift. When we would have concerts I was probably the youngest of these people and they would allow me to lead songs, lead a dance group. One of the members Enoch Ikiriza, came up to me and said, “I think you can really write and record music and so we are going to start recording music for you.” He set that vision…that it is possible and we went to studio and started recording. Unfortunately, that was around the time that I came to Nairobi to college so that dream at that season kind of died, but just the fact that someone so talented and knowledgeable would believe in me and want to explore this gift really pulled that out.

Nita: What challenges have you encountered in worship ministry?

The biggest challenge for me is probably remembering what worship is actually about. Constantly being in the space where it’s not about me or even the team I am serving with and it’s not about how good or not good we sound, because there’s a flip side where you worry so much about the lack of excellence in the team. I remind myself that God wants to meet His people and He wants to use me as an instrument. He wants to use the spiritual gifts He has put in me to minister to His people and that has nothing really to do with me. It has everything to do with Him and His power and what He wants to do.

That has been a real challenge for me. Probably because worship is the one thing people have told me I have done well. It started defining me and so when I’m ministering being able to turn my mind off and saying even if no one came up to me and told me I did a good job today, I’d be able to say “God, this is your thing and I will do it according to how you want me to do it and it has nothing to do with me as a person because my identity is in you and not in my gift.

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Nita: Any encouragement for those getting into song leading?

Stay in the presence of God because your gift will only take you so far. What happens with a lot of worship leaders is that they are running on their gift more than they are running on the presence of God. But you get to a point where it doesn’t matter how talented you are, you will feel the emptiness. You will minister and you will know that it’s a lie. As much as you harness your gift, do even more spending time in the presence of God and just learning from God what worship is.

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Nita: You recently held an event at Kijiji Café, what was the vision behind it?

I went through a season where I was very discouraged about being a worship minister where I became self-conscious about my gift so I stopped singing for a very long time. My life was school and then once in a while I’d do worship, but that dream of producing my own music and writing songs had been put on the shelves. I was going to do my International Business degree and lead worship once in a while.

Through the process of joining Nairobi Chapel and meeting other musicians and God stirring up that dream again, I got to that place where I realized I did want to go to worship school and this is something I wanted to pursue full time. There was nothing in me that would have said I want to do a gig with my own music and invite other musicians to sing, but I realized I needed to raise money for school and put myself out there so that people can see that this is something I am doing seriously.

Nita: How can people support your vision?

One of the biggest ways is to contribute to my going to school. I am in the process of enrolling into Victory Bible College, Tulsa- Oklahoma to study worship. I started a go fund me page which is available and I invite anyone to contribute on that platform, through M-Pesa or Nairobi Chapel. Another way is for people to come alongside me and support me in my music journey…the opportunity to minister at different gigs so that people know who I am, not only as the worship leader at Nairobi Chapel, but Lamar who has a ministry she wants to share with the world.

Nita: What is on your playlist now?

Ntokozo Mbambo, Khaya Mthethwa, Tasha Cobbs…

Nita: What books are you reading?

The power of praise and worship- Myles Munroe, How to succeed at being yourself- Joyce Meyer