H.O.W It All Started

H.O.W It All Started

The H.O.W initially started off as an idea for a worship band back in 2012. At that time, I had just entered high school. I was just a freshman with dreams and goals. During my freshman year, I used to go out to different church events to go play music. Sometimes I went to play piano. Other times I went to lead worship. Ever since my freshman year, I always had this idea in the back of my mind to start my own worship band. I was lucky enough to have the means to find musicians for the band. Every church I went to had at least one talented individual that had similar interest. Unfortunately, forming a band was harder than I thought.


None For One, One For None!

I find it really peculiar how my hunt for musicians unfolded. It started to feel like a really challenging game that I had to win. See, when ever I found a musician that was willing to start a band with me, I couldn’t find the rest of the players in time. So, let’s say I found a really good drummer, I would struggle to find a bass and guitar player. Sometimes I would find a really good bass player, but I lacked a drummer and guitarist. This went on for another four years. I came across so many amazing musicians, but never at the same time.


Name In The Game.

One of the other issues I faced when I was trying to form the band is that I was not prepared at all. I was young and therefore did not plan ahead. See, even if I somehow was able to put a worship band together, I didn’t have a name or a plan. I was lacking everything a band needs to function. I didn’t have any songs because I had not written any yet. I didn’t have a place to practice. I didn’t have music gear. I didn’t have a logo. I had nothing. All I had was an idea and the courage to follow my very vague dream.


Error, Missing Spirit.

The bible says anything that dwells in secret will be made public (Luke 8:17). I’m not proud of my past, but I know that it will serve as an example to others. When I was younger, I had a passion for music. Every time I went on that altar to play or lead I felt really excited. It got to the point where I only focused on music. I lacked the presence of God. It was all about playing for me. I never read the bible or prayed. I was spiritually dead. You will not succeed unless you are in a healthy relationship with God. I never understood that until now. All my dreams and goals could have been accomplished sooner. All the struggles and delays could have been avoided if I had just set aside at least half an hour to seek God. I never did that.


But Do You Believe Me Now?

I think we can all agree that the young generation is the most challenged. We can’t blame society for believing that. We can’t blame the world for labeling teens. During our teen years, we get introduced to all sorts of temptations and desires. Hormones start kicking in. Our curiosity grows. It’s common to see a young person do stuff without thinking of the consequences. When we see a young person showing wisdom and following their dreams we acknowledge them. We motivate them. We believe in them. We help them achieve their goals. In my case everything was mixed. When I was young I wanted to follow God by pursuing music. I believed in all the promises God made me. I believed when the rest of the world doubted. I used to play a special song every time my church had a youth event. I had accustomed myself to give a speech before I start to play my song. I stood in front of my church and I told them that one day i would accomplish my goals. I stood up there and showed them how much I believed in God. But every time i participated in any way everyone would doubt me. My entire church shut me down. Instead of believing in me and encouraging me, they tried to take away the faith that I had. All the other youth mocked me for believing that one day I would have my own worship band. They laughed at me for saying that I would one day change the world through music for God. Countless times I had to go home questioning God asking him to reassure me that he would fulfill all his promises. I went home asking God, “when will I prove everyone wrong?”


The Man With The Plan.

I have a lot of faith. I believe in the impossible. In fact, I have so much faith, God spoke to me saying he was impressed with my faith. He showed my faith to my pastor’s wife during the worship and she broke down crying because of the amount of faith that I had. This faith helped me achieve the promises that God gave me. I struggled to find musicians. But I kept believing in my dream. Eventually the day arrived where I met a guitar player that would change everything. He was so amazing. We patiently waited for more musicians to join until we finally got the band together. I had this weird mentality when I was a freshman. I came up with all sorts of crazy band name ideas. Some felt really generic. I tried “Revolution” and “Nu-Birth.” Some of the names I came up with were pretty extra in my opinion. “The Extraordinary Descendants of God” and “The New Generation Dream Force” were a few. I remember one day I went up to play and I was telling my church what I would name the band and they laughed at me. The names I came up with were so ridiculous, they teased me for it. So I went out into the church lobby and sat down by myself and I prayed to God these very words. “God, please, I need a band name. I need something new, something different. I need something that will make an impact. I need something the world has never heard before!” During this moment, I had my phone out and was reading an article about worship bands. The word “Heart” and “Worship” were used multiple times. These words seemed to come alive. They stood out to me. Even though these two words were buried deep in the paragraph, these words penetrated out of the page. In that moment, I finally got a band name from God. The H.O.W (Heart Of Worship). Not long after, I left my church to begin the next chapter of my life. On my last day, I spoke with my pastor about leaving and the reason behind my decision. See, I had finished all the plans that God had for me at that church. If I would have stayed at that church I would never grow. I was being held back from achieving my dreams. I could not live out my full potential in a place where they doubt and shut down dreams and goals. These were the last words I ever heard from my pastor. My pastor for over 13 years. “You will never make it out there in any church because you are leaving in bad terms. You are rebellious and disobedient. You are not allowed to leave. You must be put down and serve your punishment sentence.” Normally, when a christian has to be put down out of service for committing a sin or mistake, they are given a specific amount of time to serve. During this time, they have to repent, reconcile with God and any other person, show obedience, and be patient. Discipline can range from one week to one year. The most common amount of discipline is three months. When ever I would get in trouble, my pastor would take me down and humiliate me. He would never give me a certain amount of time for my discipline. Many times before, he would take me down for months without any hope of getting back up. I always went up to him to ask when would I be able to go up and serve again. But my pastor had pride. He had the audacity to replace you. When I would get taken down, it was never done right. The last time my pastor ever took me down was because I used the church’s sound system. See, I used to come early to church to be able to practice on my own. I was not able to afford my own musical instruments, so church was the only place that I had access to musical instruments. I had been doing this for over 5 years. In fact, I practiced at church so much that the pastor gave me the keys to the church. I spent more than 13 years of my life at this church. I grew up there. I invested so much time and effort. All I ever got in return was doubt and humiliation. I was not going to let my circumstances take away the dream that I had been fighting for. I decided to move to a new church where I gained double the amount that I had lost at my former church. God began to open new doors. I began to seek God and encounter him in a new way. I began to focus and gain new knowledge. I started to write songs and create music. We practiced so hard and prepared ourselves for our biggest event. We had the privilege of performing at my high school. We stood in front of 2,000 people with dreams and goals. That moment was more than just an event. It was proof that young people can accomplish their dreams. Without faith, I don’t think I would ever see my dreams come true. Always believe and never give up. Your dreams are possible like they were for us. I learned a very important lesson. One that I hold very close to my heart. I never understood why I had to suffer so much. I always had to fight for the things that I wanted. I always thought that maybe I was being tested by God. Or maybe this was God’s way of punishing me. I was wrong. See, God did not allow all these things to happen to me because of punishment or to test me. He allowed this to happen to me in order to be able to show me all the bad things that church and the world did to me. God does not want me to do these things. God specifically told me that the day I lose my humility is the day that I will lose everything. Everything made sense. He was preparing me for the future. He was preparing me to be the leader that I never had.


If there is one thing you can learn from my story it would be faith. Believe in your dreams even when all the odds are against you. When God makes you a promise, he never fails. If you focus on the reward, nothing will be able to stop you.Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).


The H.O.W (Heart Of Worship) Project – A Dream, A Band, A Company!

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Florentino Castellanos
Florentino Castellanos 67 posts

Florentino Castellanos, or Tino for short, is the Founder of The Heart Of Worship Project. Florentino is a self taught musician since the age of 7. Florentino has been serving as a worship leader for over 5 years. Florentino graduated from Musicians Institute, Hollywood with a certificate in Audio Engineering. Florentino's dream is to build up Churches, Leaders and Creatives. Florentino is known for having an incredible amount of Faith in God.

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