“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”
- Psalm 40:1-3

It feels weird to write about myself, but here goes...

Music has always struck a chord in me. From listening to my parents’ records when I was a small child, or grabbing the large wooden spoons and and playing the pots and pans on the kitchen floor, to the elevated sense of purpose I feel now every time I take the stage to lead God’s people in worship to Him.

I started playing drums in elementary school and continued playing with rock bands through college and beyond. The church I went to as a child didn’t have drums, so when I stepped into a church in 1996 that included drums and electric guitars, my entire perception of church music completely changed.

Immediately, my bride, Wendy, and I sought out a church that we connected with. That church was North Hills Church of God in Phoenix, Arizona. We had just moved from Michigan and were ready for whatever God had in store for us. I quickly volunteered to join the band and enjoyed being a part of a team, learning about how God works through music, and deepening my relationship with Christ. My wife and I were re-baptized at North Hills in 1997 (we were both baptized as infants) and we began to allow God to fully engulf us and lead us.

In 2002, we built a new home in Peoria, Arizona. In order to invite our new neighbors to church, we felt led to become members of the church right around the corner, Christ's Church of the Valley. Again, I volunteered to join the band as a drummer, and was again learning and being mentored by exceptional worship leaders and pastors at CCV. Wendy and I had both just read The Pupose Driven Life, and were ready to really start giving back and ministering to others. Two kids later, we decided it was time to come back home to Ohio to be closer to family.

Being a self-employed graphic artist, we had flexibility regarding where we wanted to live and chose Warren County (northeast of Cincinnati). We found a growing church with great people, Crosspointe Community Church. But instead of playing drums, I felt led to play guitar and sing. I had taken guitar lessons while in Arizona, and even wrote and recorded an unreleased album of original songs where I played all of the instruments. After a while of temporary worship leading at Crosspointe, they asked me to be their main worship leader.

The next place God led us to was River Hills Christian Church. After a short period of enjoying the time off and integrating with the church, it didn’t take long for Wendy and I to want to serve. I helped re-start the River Hills Men’s Group, and we began hosting and leading a Community Group. I also started drumming, singing and leading worship on occasion. I then began leading worship about once a month for several years, and then, when they launched their East Campus in Batavia, led pretty much every week at one of the campuses. Now that the East Campus has become an independent church, I am now back at the main River Hills campus leading once per month, but I feel a calling to lead more and to be a director of a team of people focused on leading people to Christ through worship.

The bottom line is this: I haven't always been a Christian. I was selfish, immature, and was off-track. I certainly still struggle every day with being all God is calling me to be. But I know that God has rescued me and is leading my steps. I'm looking forward to where God is calling me to next!


Tom Lempner | Worship Leader | Cincinnati Ohio