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Thursday
Jul072011

Daniel Amstutz: CBC's Way to Worship

Daniel Amstutz, the Director of Charis Bible College's School of Worship and the School of Healing. (Click to enlarge)Charis Bible College of Colorado continues to expand its third-year Ministry Training program. The third year has been specifically developed to further equip those students who have been called to an office in full-time ministry (Ephesians 4). Among the available course offerings, or tracks as they are called, are the School of Ministry, School of Worship and School of Media. Each of these tracks is led by a well-seasoned minister or team of ministers. As the third year offerings increase, the Lord continues to bring quality leaders to oversee each department. In the case of the School of Worship, CBC has been blessed to welcome to its staff, music ministry veteran, Daniel Amstutz, whom some refer to as a "Father of Modern Worship."

Daniel was raised in a Christian home as one of five children, and the son of a Baptist minister. He remembers the day he was born again when he was five years old. Daniel speaking in Greely, Colorado in 1978. (Click to enlarge)"I prayed with my Mom in the kitchen of our home in Montana, and received Christ at that time," recalled Daniel.

He knew from a young age that the Lord had called him to a life of ministry, but it wasn't until Daniel's latter college years that he realized his call to music ministry. As a young man, Daniel developed his musical skills to the extent that he was accepted to audition for several prestigious positions and collegiate-level scholarships across the country. Among these auditions were one for the Fisk Memorial Scholarship at the University of Colorado (CU), and one for a position at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. After auditioning for both, he was awarded a full scholarship to CU, Here Comes the Son, Daniel's first album release. (Click to enlarge)which he and his parents viewed as a confirmation from the Lord of His provision. Daniel graduated from CU with a degree in Vocal Performance.

In the mid 1970s, after graduating from CU, Daniel began writing and publishing music while he was leading worship for his dad's church in Alamosa, Colorado. He then recorded his first album while working as a music minister with Faith Ministries Fellowship in Greeley, Colorado. "My first solo project was called Here Comes The Son, recorded in 1981, and it was all original songs—most of which I wrote during the sermons, and would sing at the end of the service as a part of the altar call," Daniel and Praise & Worship artist, Don Moen, at CBC's Better Way to Worship Conference June 2011.
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said Daniel.

Over the years since his first release, Daniel has recorded several other projects, including his second solo effort called, Inside Out. In 1983, while Daniel was the worship leader for Bob Yandian's church, Grace Fellowship in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he and his worship team recorded Heart to Heart, the first of five live recordings he was a part of at the church. "At that time we were one of the first churches to record live praise and worship," Daniel said.

Daniel leading worship at CBC. (Click to enlarge)After the initial recording at Grace, Daniel began hosting an international worship gathering called, The Local Church Music Seminar, which drew hundreds of attendees. "People came from all over to receive teaching and mentoring in what was the beginning of the contemporary worship movement—although at the time we didn’t know that's what it was," said Daniel. It was then that many people, including his peers, began referring to Daniel by the nickname, Father of Modern Worship. "I was just trying to hear from God and obey," stated Daniel humbly.

Since the late 1970's, Andrew and Daniel had occasion to minister in the same places, and each became aware of the other's ministry. Over the years since their initial meeting at The Rocky Mountain Faith Minister's Conference held in Daniel and his wife, Tracy (green shirt) ministering together at CBC's Better Way to Worship Conference.
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Greely, Colorado, the two have maintained a friendship. Looking back Daniel said, "Every time I heard Andrew minister, it was so full of revelation and yet somehow so practical. He really ministered to me. I really could not be doing what I’m doing, and teaching what I’m teaching, without what I have received from Andrew."

When the suggestion to include a School of Worship as part of CBC's third-year program came forth and began to take hold, Daniel ministers to a couple. (Click to enlarge)there was some question as to who would lead. As roles were being considered last fall, Andrew recalled Daniel's influence in the music ministry, and called him to ask if he would consider being a part of leading CBC worship once a week or so. "That developed into more of the 'or so' and pretty soon I was asked if I would like to teach in the night school—and then the day school—and then when they found out that I had already written much of the worship school curriculum at Grace Fellowship in Tulsa, they asked me to put together a proposal to lead the CBC program." In January 2011 CBC welcomed Daniel to his new full-time position as Director of the School of Worship.

Daniel makes his point with contagious exuberance at a recent meeting.
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Daniel has ministered through his music in many places and in many capacities through the years, and now he has found his home at CBC. Just as Andrew has found A Better Way to Pray, Daniel has found a better way to worship. His revelation of what it means to praise and worship the Lord from a New Covenant position in Christ is being well received, and is sure to stir up the world of music ministry—again.

"It's a real blessing to have Daniel as part of the school. I think it's a Godsend. It's just awesome. He's got such great vision," Andrew said.