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Friday Feature: Shane Hess

Welcome to Feature Friday! This is the section of our new site where we get to gather around, learn from one another, create together and get to know each other. For the next couple of months, we will be introducing you to a different person in our region who is involved in making worship happen.


Today, we are featuring Shane Hess. Shane is a part of the Vineyard Community Church of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania and serves on the worship team.

Tell us about yourself!

I am married to a wonderful wife, Tracie who shares the love of worship with me. We have a 3 year old, Liam. I've worked in environmental testing for nearly 20 years and currently am a senior scientist at Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories.

How do you serve the worship team?

I play drum kit for Sunday services. My wife and I also lead worship at our home group; she'll play acoustic guitar, and I'll play various hand percussion.

What is a book that changed your life?

A book the that has changed my life is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It goes through the different ways people perceive love. It was a real eye-opener for me in the husband/wife relationship.

How did you first meet God?

I'm not sure if meeting God was a one-time experience for me. I was raised in a Christian home by parents who had a falling out with religion and therefore didn't attend church. One summer when I was very young, one of my friends invited to me to their Vacation Bible School. We were asked if we knew we would go to heaven. I remember being walked through the sinner's prayer and thinking “Doesn't everyone know this?” So from that point on, I was "saved". I don't know that this event made any change to my daily life though. Many years later when was 16, I started to attempt suicide but ended up having a stand-off with the Holy Spirit. He stopped me in my tracks. After this experience, I took a friend up on an invitation to go to church and ended up being there just about any time the doors were open. This continued until college when after several incidents, I ended up hurt and disillusioned by churches. I took up the mindset that I didn't need to go to church to have a relationship with God. This caused me to fade away from God for almost 15 years. It was the process of going through a divorce that I saw that even though I had turned from God, He had never turned from me. Then, in the way only God can do, He reconciled me with one of the churches where I had been hurt.

Do you write songs?

I don't necessarily write songs myself but have helped my wife and some others with what they are writing. Being "just" a drummer, it is sometimes hard for me to give voice to the ideas in my head. Since coming to the Vineyard, my perspective about songs has changed a lot. I love the ideas of songs being directed to God and not just about Him and keeping songs relatively simple and accessible to the congregation

What is a worship song that your church is engaging with?

Recently my wife and I started doing "Refiner's Fire" by Brian Doerksen in our small group. Even though it's a little bit of an older Vineyard song, several people in our small group are new to the Vineyard and seemed to really connect with it....The "aquarium" I play in at church sometimes makes it a little harder to gauge how people are engaging on Sunday.

What is something that you like to do outside of your Church?

I play in a band called Think of 3 but when I'm not playing drums I like to take my rifle/ shotgun for walks out into the woods (doing what some consider hunting).

What aspect of worship ministry gives you the most joy?

I love seeing God move among people during worship, knowing that He doesn't need me but chooses to partner with me during this process.

What is the best piece of advice or training event you have ever experienced?

This past year's worship leaders’ retreat was really sweet, and I could write a book on it. But the most memorable thing anyone has ever said to me happened several years ago. I was going through a period where I was very insecure and self-conscious, and it was evident in my drumming. My worship leader told me that drums are weapons of war, they are used to lead people into battle. He wanted me to think about driving the enemy back every time I hit the drums. It gave me a different perspective I hadn't thought about.



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