Natalie Harnett

Using prayer to create unity

“For all our offerings, whether of music or martyrdom, are like the intrinsically worthless present of a child, which a father values indeed, but values only for the intention”

C.S. Lewis:


One of my favourite quotes is this one from C.S. Lewis. It reminds me that God isn’t after our worship music for music’s sake. I’m sure that if all He was after was an amazing song or beautiful piece of music He would just write it himself!

Rather it’s how we offer our music – our giftings, our worship, our songs, our creativity – that matters to our Father. And the way He wants us to offer these things is out of love for one another, out of unity and relationship. (See Matt 22:37-29; Psalm 133; 1 Cor 12)

Therefore, surely love, unity and relationship should be the foundation of how we rehearse, present and lead our worship music. It’s not just about learning the notes and seeking high standards in our musical skill, although let’s keep doing that! It’s also about pursuing excellence in the way we love the other people on our teams.

I’m convinced that the depth of the unity between the musicians on stage directly affects the depth of our worship as a church, as it provides a sure foundation upon which the Holy Spirit can move.

So how do we do this on a practical level? Our worship teams are made up of so many different personalities. We come from different cultural backgrounds, musical traditions, ages, preferences, skill levels... I love this! And we should celebrate our diversity and embrace the kaleidoscope of the church.

However, sometimes it leaves the door open to potential miscommunication and disunity, as we all seek to use slightly different gifts in slightly different ways.

So we look for the highest common denominator: What is the language that we all speak? Who is our ‘mutual friend’?

Jesus! He is our reason and He is our source. So we can centre ourselves around Him. One of the best ways we can do this is by praying with and for each other, and to do this with intention in our preparation time together as a worship team.

It can be easy for musicians and creatives to want to use our whole rehearsal to play and work on the music. Of course it’s honouring to God when we strive after these things; after all, the first thing we’re told about God in the Bible is that He is a creator. (Gen 1).

But before He created, He existed in relationship with himself, so whilst our creativity and excel-lence in rehearsing must be important, I believe that our relationships with each other, on a spiritual level, have got to come first.

About Natalie Harnett

Natalie is the Worship Director at Birmingham City Church. She is part of our Elim Sound Midlands Regional Team and she loves jazz music.

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