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Interview with Tim Sanders

Tell us about yourself?

I’m from Long Eaton, a town in-between Nottingham and Derby where I live with my wife Becki and our children Eva & Levi. I run a design & print business in Nottingham working with music and comedy promoters. In my spare time I’m a volunteer at Long Eaton Oasis Elim where I head up the music team and love being among God's people. I’m a bit of a genealogy nerd, play a bit of squash and write silly stories for my daughter.

What got you into music and musical worship?

Mum and dad were always heavily involved in music at church growing up, so an instrument was never far away. One of my earliest memories is arranging a pile of Redemption Hymnals to form a makeshift drum kit which I’d bash during the meetings.

Through my teens I played drums a lot in church and loved the dynamic of a church full of worshippers. Then when I was about 15, me and my 4 guitar chords were asked to lead worship at our youth group. The first time was a bit of a disaster! I’m so thankful though for the great friends and leaders who’ve encouraged me along the way and given me opportunity to grow.

You’ve been serving at your local church for many years, How do you keep this fresh?

This is a tough one. It’s hard to stand before church and come up with something totally fresh each week, especially when your heads been buried in spreadsheets or night feeds for the rest of the week.

I’m often reminded of the scripture in Luke which says, ’What you say flows from what is in your heart’. Many of us could probably blag our way through a set running through the crowd favourites, but what God requires from us goes much deeper. Reading scripture and worshiping freely throughout the day gives us the foundation, inspiration and fresh vocabulary from which you can minster from on a Sunday.

Don’t be disconnected. Get plugged in to the vision and flow of your church, get to know the stories of the people you’re serving. Also, don’t be discouraged, remember that worship doesn’t all hang on us and our performance. If you feel like you led a ‘bad service’, just continue to love God and the people you serve.

Speaking of fresh, spare a thought for Chesney Hawkes. He has sung ‘that’ song night after night for over 20 years whereas, we have generations of hymns and songs, the testimonies of the saints, songs of the spirit, different voices and instruments and God-breathed scripture we can embrace - church really is such a creative place to be!

You’ve headed up the Gathering Band since the first Gathering, what has been your highlight of the leading the team?

So many. It’s been such a privilege to be a part of Gathering Band, I’ve met some amazing musicians and singers who have became great friends and have taught me loads along the way.

Being a part of Gathering Max at the N.E.C. Arena was a real highlight. I remember leaning on a drum stool at the back of the stage and watching hundreds of young people run to the front and respond to the gospel.

Recalling it now, I can still hear the sound of the plastic chairs recoiling, such an amazing day.

Whats your top 3 songs to use in corporate worship at the moment?

  1. Great Is Your Faithfulness
    Great truth, works across the generations.
  2. Be Enthroned
    Good song to open up a meeting and set the focus.
  3. Great Are You Lord
    The words floor me every time. Simple but powerful song.

Whats ahead for Tim Sanders?

I’m in the process of recording my first solo record. My friend has cleared out his kids’ playroom and set up a studio there so me and a few guys from our church here have been getting together to record in the evenings. It’s been lots of fun. After that, what spare time I have left will probably be spent painting my fence!


Questions: Whats your top 3 songs to use in corporate worship at the moment?  Leave a comment below.

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