Written by Mitchell Hartley
Music has been a huge part of my life for many years. It has fascinated me with its ability to tell stories, invoke emotions, and connect with other people who are very, very different from me along with being a way God speaks to His people. I’ve played with countless people, penned many lyrics, and discovered various melodies. Over the years, I’ve learned and grown as a musician and a worship leader. Through everything, music and God have taught me so much and I realized two things that remain consistent, among other things, are the ideas that teamwork is necessary in music, especially in a ministry context, and a team best operates as a family.
We all need other people in life. The Bible makes this clear through many instances, especially with the fact that Jesus had his own group of disciples that traveled with Him. Jesus, the Savior of the world, chose to do life with people on a daily basis, setting the example for us to follow in our lives as well. This idea of community is also very necessary in a music ministry. A worship team would not be able to play and perform together on a stage to the best of their ability if they did not pursue teamwork. With teamwork comes roles and each member knows their role and what is expected of them. This means that along with being gifted with the ability to play an instrument, each person also knows how to play with each other in the best possible way to lead others in a time of worship to God and His heart. A guitarist does not do his own thing and have a raging guitar solo every five seconds because he knows that it would not benefit his team, but himself. That’s where a team best operates, in that space where they know they are not playing for themselves but for others and the One who gave them their ability. They also recognize that they are called to lead in this space as well.
Along with this idea of teamwork being necessary, I’ve come to realize that a team should always have a family dynamic. What I mean by this is that essentially, a family is an intimate group of people who do life together. Adapted to Public Worship, this means that we know what each member likes and dislikes, how each one of us plays, what our skills and styles are, and where our hearts are. This family dynamic allows the team to perform their best each Sunday along with getting out of the way when leading. Public Worship is a family of believers that play music, genuinely love each other, and want the best for one another. Because we know so much about each other, we are able to function as this family. A family that lifts each other up, grows alongside each other, and pushes each other to be their best. We also recognize that no one on the team is perfect, but we each believe in the best form of one another. When we get out of the way, we also allow the people we lead to see the Father through us and to experience Him. We are but vessels telling of His truth and love for others.
Public Worship is truly a family that has impacted my life for the better. Each one of its members have encouraged me during darker times, as well as celebrated accomplishments I’ve achieved in my life. I am grateful to have each one of them in my life and I know because of them and the hearts they have for Christ and His Church, I’ve grown as a person.