Our Neighbor, Chris S

I was born in Glendale Heights and I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. I’m 25 years old and graduated from Trinity Christian College in 2012, studying theology with a minor in psychology. My parents are Mark and Sharen and they also attend Bloomingdale Church. I have a brother, Brent, and sister, Lisa.

I started playing bass for my youth group at Bloomingdale Church when I was a freshman in high school, and during my junior year started playing both guitar and bass for Bloomingdale’s main church services. When I went away to college, I played and sang in Trinity Christian College’s Outcry worship band, and became part of the chapel planning committee. I helped lead contemporary worship services, planned traditional/blended chapel services on campus, and was also in choir. That helped me a lot with harmonies.

During my time at Trinity, I did an internship at Bloomingdale Church with a former worship director, Dan B. He taught me a lot about leadership in a worship leader context, and had a lot of valuable insights on how to plan worship services to grow individuals’ personal faith. Another influential leader in my life was Mark Taube, who was the worship director at our church before Dan. Both of them were influential in my life in letting me know it’s not about the songs you write or art you create—it’s about sharing the life you live. So that’s probably the most influential thing I’ve learned—is that it’s not about me or my songs, it’s about my entire life being sacrificed toward Christ.

From a historical perspective, songs have been sung at church since the beginning—you see hymns and songs of praise all through Scripture. I also think music is a way people connect with God. There are also special things about creative expressions like dancing, visual paintings, and art that are important in the church. Being more academic about it too, there’s a false idea that sometimes a heart-filled expression can be more meaningful than an academic response, but if you have a head without a heart that’s wrong, and if you have a heart without knowledge of something that’s wrong as well. As long as you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior and are living your life as an act of worship—a Romans 12:1 sort of idea—then whether you’re at your job or singing in the shower, meeting at church as a community, those are all acts of worship.