Steffany Gretzinger is a worship leader from Bethel Church in Redding, California. I found her while browsing Jesus Culture youtube videos. All worship leaders have talents and all worship leaders have flaws. I favor certain worship leaders over others, simply due to technique. I had a dream about Steffany last night. In the dream, I was at a coffee shop sitting a table away from Steffany. I overheard her talking about God and worship. I laughed and smiled because everything she said matched my own personal worship philosophy. In the dream, I said, "She is just like me. It is shocking how alike we are!"
I love her technique, which combines intimacy and invitation. She is good at "nurturing worship": a term I use to describe spontaneous worship that heals the ills and fears of the congregation. Her worship reminds me of a mother who ushers her children to a safe place. She isn't afraid of physical adoration either. She kneels, waves her arms, jumps around, and uses stage space to dance. She finds the perfect spontaneous lyrics to suit the atmosphere and current instrumental selection. She doesn't settle for a good performance; she wants an encounter. In short, I am impressed by her calling.
I also admire worship leaders from IHOP (International House of Prayer), such as Matt Gilman, Abbi Bennet, and Justin Rizzo. I am an avid supporter of IHOPKC; their programs trains young intercessory missionaries with excellence and creativity. Actually, I wanted to enter their training program, but despite my efforts, the timing never seemed right.
Luckily, I received some training through the IHOP in Fort Wayne. Ben Bouwers (the director) used IHOPKC's structure, but allowed us to deviate from that structure. Every worship/prayer organization caters to the strengths and talents of their singers and musicians, so every approach is unique.
Both FW and KC went through some changes and turnover. Both of these organizations feel different now, so I haven't attended prayer sets as I once did. At first, this broke my heart. My devotion was white hot in the beginning, but due to unforeseeable setbacks, my passion became focused elsewhere: specifically toward Bethel and Jesus Culture.
Bethel Church feels like home, even though I am simply experiencing the community via web-stream. Community is important to me, so I can't sever my ties with my hometown church at present. Nevertheless, I am hoping to say goodbye to my current prayer group and eventually connect in Redding. This move will probably not happen till I graduate. (Unless I find a summer internship.) I know I could be very happy living in the area and perfecting my worship technique.
Usually, I approach change with trepidation, but I have an unexplained peace. Even if I never move, it is wonderful that such beautiful and dynamic worship is accessible through the Internet. God is such a faithful giver. I have the hope I will meet Steffany in person, so I can at least tell her, "I am just like you!"