The Hour Before

The alarm goes off crazy early. Wait, that wasn’t the alarm. It is my beautiful wife “Hey’s 6:20 can you come help me with the kids?”

I jump out of bed with a feeling that I am way too old before my time. Bones crack and throat feels like somebody slipped liquid sandpaper into my drink last night.

Ok I’m up and now it’s time to get Gavin (3 year old) to the bathroom and get him changed and ready to watch a little morning old school pokemon with the rest of the crew. My wife gets up Morgan (22 months) and gets her morning milk. The older guys, Tristan (10) and Collin (6) come running out a bit annoyed that they missed the start of pokemon.

The epic show about weird animal slavery in a 5 inch ball ends and we all head downstairs to get breakfast going. Breakfast along with all of our meals, as you will soon see here, start with joy and expectation then get periodically sprinkled with crying and frustration. How we make it through meals is a testament to the amazing grace of God.

The meal ends and it’s time for showers and getting dressed. The only problem is while my wife is in the shower my 22 month old daughter has decided she is going to do parkour in our kitchen by opening drawers, hanging from them and catapulting herself over the counter. She had better be in the 2025 olympics! Everybody calms down… I am dressed and the crew are ready to play and enjoy the morning before church.

I leave early and say my “see you at church” to the crew while leaving my amazing wife the task of herding four kids out the door without me. God made her much more remarkable than I could ever be.

I walk into the church an hour and a half early after grabbing a much needed triple grande at St. Arbucks. I am not always the first person there, but usually and today I am. I open the door, turn on the lights and drop my gear by the stage. It’s time to turn on all of the equipment, get the sound running, projectors lit up and bring up youtube. Yes youtube. I like to start off my mondays with projecting and blasting worship. It may be Hillsong, Sojourn, Sara Groves, Matt Redman, and Lately it has been my bro Mckendree Augustus. It gives me some time to soak in God before I get up to lead worship. Time to get in the right frame of mind. Time to lay my cares at the cross so I can be used by Him. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I have to throw up my hands and say “God you are going to have to lead worship today because I can’t” Days where depression gets the best of me or the frustration of Life right in that “hour before.”

Once everything is running I set up all of my gear and tune my guitars while jamming to the worship music blasting through the system.

Then… People start to walk in the doors.

It’s time to start the service…

“take my life and let it be…….”


This post is part of the #thehourbefore series from Rob Rash and other worship leaders







17 responses to “The Hour Before”

  1. Chris Avatar

    I love the youtube idea. I usually like to play music real loud when I arrive on Sunday morning but I’ll try the youtube idea!

  2. Christopher Hopper Avatar

    Man. Lots of good stuff in here.

    -I’m looking to you for what adding the 4th tribe member will do to our already unstable homecosystem.

    -The first bit about prepping your kids and feeding them remind me of a guest post I just did for Dads Can Cook Too (

    -Our Sunday morning out-of-the-house-and-hit-Starbucks routines are nearly identical.

    -I’ll have to check out Sojourn and Mckendree Augustus (if nothing more than for a rockin’ name). I need some new worship tunes.

    Much love to you, man. ch:

  3. Joel Klampert Avatar

    @Chris V: yeah man… I love having the room filled with sound and sights.

    @ Chris Hopper: I just saw your dads can cook thing actually. AWESOME! and by all means if you need any advice on 4 kids… feel free to call :)!!!
    Praying for you bro!

  4. Jeff Allen Avatar

    Dude… I don’t know how you handle four kids. I’m married with no kids at this point. I’m reading this scared out of my mind for kids!!!! At the same time, I can’t wait… Bless you, brother!

  5. Joel Klampert Avatar

    @Jeff ha ha!! too funny bro!. read my other blog best thing ever is having kids! it is scary and wonderful!

  6. Rob Rash Avatar

    I wish you weren’t so boring! 😉 If Sunday’s at church aren’t crazy enough, just hang out at either of our houses! We’ve got 4 kiddos two Joel and I could never do this without my wife!

    Love the way you find time to worship first before leading.

  7. Joel Klampert Avatar

    @robRash So so true man. my wife is the glue and that’s not even a clever saying. I didn’t realize you guys had 4 kids as well… thats great man!

  8. […]  The Hour Before  –  @joelklampert Joel Klampert –  is a designer of Art, Worship, and Community.  His an avid blogger, social media ninja, Speaker, artist, worship leader (at Lifepath Church in RI), creative, conference planner (co-founder of The Forge Conference). Joel is married to the most beautiful woman on the planet and his soul mate. They have 3 amazing boys and one little princess. […]

  9. […] The Hour Before — @joelklampert […]

  10. David Santistevan Avatar

    Joel, thanks for the music blasting idea. I haven’t tried that but think I will this week 🙂

  11. Nathan Sutliff Avatar

    I already think I get up too early on a Sunday morning (thank goodness for the Nazarene Nap that takes place shortly after the last light is turned off ha ha) but brother you are a monster! It’s inspiring to see family as part of your worship routine!
    killer post man thanks for sharing

  12. Tyler Avatar

    Triple grande?!? Wow. I usually have coffee everyday but most Sundays I go no caffeine because I don’t want the caffeine jitters. I have to fight a few more yawns but I probably think a little bit slower (and better) because of it. Good thing we’re all different. I’d have to run a few miles after a triple grande before I could stand in one spot 🙂

  13. Joel Klampert Avatar

    @david: yeah bro I like music to envelope me. I can’t do background music at all

    @Nathan: ha ha… sometimes I feel like a monster when I wake up. I find sunday AM to be very stressful and filled with drama.

  14. Joel Klampert Avatar

    @tyler ha ha!! dude a triple barely even wakes me up, but if I got a quad I am pretty sure I would have to take a potty break in the middle of service. lol

  15. […] The Hour Before — @joelklampert […]

  16. Conner Byrd Avatar

    Ok this is WAY MORE than an hour before! Hahahaha 🙂
    Yeah I miss my Iced Venti Starbucks Doubleshot before church up here in Natchitoches. It takes a bit more coffee to make up for 5 shots of espresso. Love this and so excited to be back in the discussion!

  17. Joel Klampert Avatar

    DUDE!! so so glad to have you back… having this blog back is starting to feel like the old days… not as much discussion but at least some of the vintage guys are coming out of the woodworks

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