Bridging The Divide – Rhiannon Peters
Reflecting on our most recent LIFE Conference, I am truly humbled by, and also incredibly proud of, the unity we have achieved within our Creative family. It saddens me that it’s commonly expected and accepted (both in the church and in the secular marketplace) that musicians, vocalists and production teams don’t relate well to one another. In fact, in some settings the environment can be outright toxic.
This need not be the case and most certainly should not be the case in the church. We have been created for relationship with our God and with one another, and I fully believe that we (the church) should be leaders when it comes to modeling healthy relationship. So important was this to our God that Jesus issued this commandment as He prepared to go to the cross. “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” John 13 v 34-35 (AMP)
Unity does not happen by mistake. It comes from years of intentional pursuit by all parties involved, a continual laying down of our own individual (or in some cases, departmental) wants/needs/agendas and (paraphrasing Romans 12 v 10) a commitment to preferring one another in love.
If you recognise this an area that could do with some work in your own life/team/church, a good place to start is asking yourself “What can I do to invest in building unity?”.
When I first began serving on team I was young, shy and could have easily gone through an entire Sunday of singing without having conversed with any of our band or Production team. Isn’t that strange? I can’t begin to imagine how we were all on the same page for those services if we hadn’t spoken to one another! Very early on I made a decision to push past my own lack of confidence and adopted a principle my parents had taught me from their time on team. At the end of every serving Sunday they would make an effort to stop by each person involved that day and thank them. “Thank you” – even when I didn’t feel like it, even if one of us had made mistakes, had a bad attitude, or my mix hadn’t been great that day – Those two simple words became the foundation for many of my relationships within our team.
I also learned how to coil cables (it’s not hard but I am none the less proud of my awesomeness at it) and committed to staying late to help our Production team with packing down our extension services and conferences. This wasn’t an expectation placed on me but rather an initiative I took many years before I came on staff because I was genuinely keen to show our guys (the vast majority of them also volunteers) that I valued them and the time they were investing in making our Sundays and events great. The reality for our Production team is that some conference pack downs see them working right through a Saturday night and rolling straight into Sunday services having had minimal (if any) sleep. Spending this time with them gave me a greater appreciation of all that they were doing offstage to make what I do onstage possible… and the banter was always top quality.
The byproduct of building those relationships has been trust. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the people I’m working with on and off stage have my back, and I have theirs. It sounds like a lovely sentiment but there are some very powerful keys to that which I will cover in my next blog (spoiler alert!).
No matter what your area of expertise/involvement/service is and what your current challenges are, I encourage you to always remember that you’re on the same team, shooting for the same goal. In the creative world we actually need all our expressions to function together to achieve the best result. Imagine a beautifully shot and edited video with no audio; or a state of the art audio and lighting rig with no worship team to put on stage. One without the other makes the whole thing redundant.
The commitment to pursuing unity truly is worth every bit of your investment, for where it is God commands blessing (Psalm 133 paraphrased).
Central Worship Pastor