Chris McCall – singer, songwriter and worship leader is a man with purpose. He lives by faith and is seeking earnestly to keep in step with what the Lord wants for him in each season of his life. He called off what would have been his first wedding, sold his house in Orange County and gave up on some big dreams. Just when he thought life was settling down, he felt compelled to give up on his dream band as a musician. This man is willing to do whatever it takes to follow the leading of God’s call on his life.

Born to both Filipino and American parents, Chris grew up knowing his life would be greatly influenced by music. He’s got that kinda chill artist look, complimented with a cool persona that you just have to get to know him to fully see. When you see him on stage playing his “Great White Guitar” – you can totally see his rockstar side. Truth is, he’s really a humble guy whose heart is to make music that connects others to the presence of God.

But it didn’t all start there. Like most of us, he too had great mentors who invested in shaping the man he is today. He recently came back from YWAM’s Fire and Fragrance gathering in Bali, where he lead worship with a great team of people. I was able to catch up with him to find out a little more about the man behind the guitar.


Who is Chris McCall?

I am an American Filipino, who grew up Catholic in Riverside County in a town called Hemet.


What inspired you to choose the path of music?


I didn’t choose music, it chose me – music makes me come alive.


I don’t have any memories of my childhood that didn’t involve music. I was about four years old when I sang with a performing group and then at eight. I was singing with another group in church and I saw how it impacted and changed people’s lives. In junior high I was taking piano lessons, there weren’t many musicians left in the church and I was asked to help with the worship team in some of the services. Ever since then I realized I could use this to pour into people.

After high school I starting playing in a band that played at christian camps and it showed me the power music had to bring people to God and also away from God if it wasn’t rooted in Jesus – music has a lot of power. I realized It’s not just a gift I have been given but a powerful tool that can be used for or against the kingdom. From then I started digging in the Word at about age 21. As a worship leader I believe I need to know what the Bible says. Phil. 4:13 – Is a key verse for me as Paul finds contentment in all  that he does and is able to endure through all things because Christ is giving him strength.


What were some of the challenging seasons in your life?

In my life I have walked in insecurity and in the fear of man because I wasn’t sure if I could do the things I really wanted to do but the Lord reminds me that it’s in His strength I can do all things.

About 13 years ago before I met my wife, I was engaged and the Lord made it clear that I was not supposed to move forward with my fiance’. The engagement was called of and it threw me into a huge disarray. I had a whole plan for my life(,) the way things should work out(,) and when that didn’t happen I was crushed! I was lost… I was in crisis and crying out to God like David asking the Lord for help. I had to cling to God and ask him what was his dream for me. I went into a time of prayer and fasting asking Him, what does He really want me to do?

During that time I realized the Lord wanted me to pour out my life as a simple offering and simply share the gospel. I had a mentor who was an older brother – Daniel, and he was the guy who really walked with me through the challenges I was going through and it meant so much.  He helped me figure out my self-worth, purpose, finances, so many areas. He was the hands and feet of Jesus for me and still is even until this day. He helped me find ways to apply the Bible to my life. Several years after, when I finally met my wife, Lizzi, she had just finished her DTS and when we met, we connected. For both of us we could see why God never allowed the previous relationships to happen. She loved Jesus more than me and that was attractive. Three days later I told her I wanted to marry her.


What’s your perspective on who God is?

There is a sense of awe and wonder that I feel about God. I realized I had Him in a box for so long and I have to take him outside the box continuously. His ways and thoughts are higher than mine.


What’s your advice to today’s youths?

My advice to young people is that there is an incredible adventure that God wants to take you on but to pursue Jesus fully you may have to lay down some of your dreams for a season. Don’t shy away from the struggles and the hard questions. He’s trying to get your attention – take some time and connect with Him.


It’s not about ourselves but us representing Jesus to the world. Chase after Him.


What’s your favourite album?

The Lost and lonely EP. I had been playing in a band and the Lord said I should quit the band because music does not define who I am, He does. At the time I was pastoring in a church in Costa Mesa.  It was the summer of 2015 when I released the album, we purchased our first home in Orange County California, and my wife was gracious to give me six nights while she took the kids to her parents house so that I could make some music. Six nights later I had six songs.  Everything was mastered and released in September 2015. God really used that album. Just after I quit the band the Lord gave me my dream guitar – A Gretsch White Falcon. And the Lord said to me, “you’re gonna use this guitar for my glory so here is your dream guitar.” I quit the band out of obedience and the following November when I was going to India, I was invited to do a t.v. interview. Upon arriving I had four hours to rest then head to the t.v station. I was surprised it was one of the biggest buildings in the city of Hyderabad where they were interviewing me about the album. I thought it was some small show but when I walked in it was actually a news station. They interviewed me for over half an hour asking me about the album and I was able to use the opportunity to speak about the simple gospel of Jesus. It was a surreal experience for me to play my new album and preach the gospel in such a way that I would have never expected. I was able to share about the purpose of life and that Jesus wants to have a relationship with them because He knows them by name. The album was about surrendering and obedience.


Why did you and your family move to Hawaii?

My wife always knew she wanted to come back to Kona after her DTS but surrendered that until God brought it back. God started giving us a deeper heart for missions and He wanted us to activate and GO. At the time I was pastoring a church in California. We were challenging families to start doing small missions work in our community and in 2016, The Call happened with Lou Engle. I’ve always believed in seeing unity in the church and while I was there at the Azusa Now gathering, the Lord said to me “Change is Coming.” I said to my wife – the Lord told me that change is coming and my wife said she heard the same thing. This brought excitement for both of us as we were driving back home. We prayed with some friends and they said “wherever you’re supposed to go, the change is gonna happen quickly.” We then went to the Together Gathering in DC, and then started dreaming and brainstorming. It was at that time that we agreed on transitioning to YWAM Kona.

We sold everything and kept what we needed. I did my DTS January 2017 with YWAM Kona’s Fire & Fragrance school, and the rest is history.  

What’s next?

I see a fresh perspective on missions and hear a fresh sound that’s gonna come out of YWAM Kona. I’m here with my wife and three kids embracing all that God has in store for us.


Author: Teko Bailey

Teko is a graduate of the University of the Nations and serves as a volunteer staff member of the Innovision Studio ministry at YWAM Kona, Hawaii.