Praising the Lord | The Heritage Singers 2021
“Let every thing that hath breath Praise Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 150:6
Praising the Lord is at the heart of the Heritage Singers’ mission. Also important is their two-fold mission of ministry and recruitment. Peter Holloway, the team leader, explains, “We minister through song, word, and interaction. Our goal is that our ministry be our recruitment.”
This summer, Peter Holloway, Thomas Holloway, Emily Kinstedt, Aleisha Beachell, Sarah Rogers, and Micah Gillespie had the immense privilege of traveling as a singing group and ministering to others through their God-honoring worship. In response to the value of traveling as a singing team, the members expressed the importance of being able to experience other churches, other pastors, and their ministries. Thomas Holloway explained how they were around individuals most of their trip, and they were able to see themselves in a whole new way and learn more about themselves. Emily Kinstedt emphasized the value of learning more about your voice and the songs they were singing. The songs took on new meanings as they continued to sing and center their attention on the message each song holds.
When you rehearse the same songs in preparation for a tour, like the Heritage Singers, the focus is largely on the pieces’ rhythm, tonality, and technicalities. However, Sarah Rogers was encouraged to find that as they were ministering to others through their songs, the songs were ministering to their hearts as well. She remembered how exciting it was to be able to go to her fellow singers and express what the pieces were teaching her. She responded, “this phrase stuck out to me, and I understand what it means now.” When they performed, the Heritage Singers had the time to put their focus on the messages of the songs. What a joy it is to see how the music you have sung for years or rigorously studied for a short while can still minister to your heart as you minister to others. Also, Aleisha Beachell emphasized how “the meanings of the songs changed throughout the tour.” God’s word is always sufficient for any area of your life, and the Heritage Singers saw this truth play out throughout their tour.
The Heritage Singers learned so much over their tour this past summer. Aleisha’s most influential truth she learned was, “Trust; not only in my fellow members but also in God.” She explained the thoughts they had, wondering how they got through a service but learning to see how God carried them through it all because of their ministry. Emily mentions how the impact of being immersed in public speaking and learning to “extemporaneously speak” was a huge part of her learning experience over the summer. Additionally, Sarah expresses how “you learn a lot about yourself and when your patience runs out.” Learning together as a group takes your focus off of yourself and onto the other members of your group. Shifting focus helps you to be able to recognize and better help the needs of your team.
Maranatha’s mission is “to develop leaders for ministry in the local church and the world ‘to the praise of His glory'”. When you are enrolled at MBU, you cannot escape learning how to make that your mission as well, and the Heritage Singers saw the influence of their time thus far at Maranatha play out on their tour. Peter conveyed that one of Maranatha’s ministry focuses is in the local church, and being able to experience serving through music prepared him and the Heritage Singers to fully engage in their music ministry and minister to the hearts of those that heard them sing. Being secure in the mission of MBU and making it their own, the Heritage Singers were able to significantly impact those they ministered to. Spiritual growth is vital in all areas of life but sharing in that growth as a group was a privilege for the Heritage Singers. Emily expresses the comfort it was to know that her team members were praying for her and the joy it was to pray for her team and pray together as a team.
Not only are summer tours a great chance to grow spiritually and personally, but they also are a wonderful opportunity to have fun! The Heritage Singers had a great time making a big breakfast for each other, eating avocado toast, playing spike ball, performing for their vlog camera, and, most importantly, drinking coffee!
Maranatha strongly encourages its students to become involved in ministry. Even though it may sound scary or out of your comfort zone, when God brings you an opportunity to serve Him, prayerfully consider it. It will change your life.