Posted by Paul Baloche and Kathryn Scott on 7 October 2014

Paul: So, Kathryn, what do you know now that you didn’t know when you started? 

Kathryn: When I started out I hated the way I played piano—I always figured I’d only get to keep leading worship until I was found out and people realised I was a fake! But God can use you as you are; there’s something unique on you that needs to come to the table. So don’t worry about the stuff you can’t do. Who you are, and what you can do, is exactly what the people around you are waiting for. So if I could go back, I’d tell myself to take a breath, have a cup of tea and a wee bit of chocolate, and allow the Lord to be Himself, and let me be me.

Paul: Before I lead I often pray, ‘Lord, give me confidence in who I am in you—at the risk of being boring.’

Kathryn: Yes, it’s such a gift. I love the risks you take, they’ve really helped me.

Paul: I find that I want to encourage the next generation of worship leaders, but I end up learning a lot from them myself. What do you think some of the challenges are facing young worship leaders and songwriters?

Kathryn: People talk about ‘finding your voice and your sound’, but I think that we can get a wee bit distracted by that some times. Authenticity is the key; always keep it about Jesus, about your relationship with Him, go deeper into scripture—then that sound you’re looking for will come naturally as the Lord pours it out of you.

Paul: You’re so right. We need to be faithful where we’re at. You and I have had the privilege of belonging to some smaller churches, where there’s much less pressure on us to perform.... 

Kathryn: Thank goodness!

Paul: …Yes! I’m grateful for the fact that they gave me grace to step out and make mistakes. I think that young worship leaders should bloom where they’re planted; be faithful and serve, do children’s church, go to the old folks’ home, look for opportunities to serve, and serve, and serve. There’s no manual or book because there’s no one formula.

Kathryn: I could not agree more.

Paul: And when the next generation have their hearts set on moving to Nashville, getting a band and jumping on a tour bus… I want to tell them that’s not the way it has to be. Although there are a few that are called to that, we shouldn’t make it our ambition. It’s sad when people forsake the wonderful opportunity to serve the community where they are.

Kathryn: And, you already have the full attention of the father. There’s nothing that you can do, seen or unseen, that will make Him notice you more. So lean in where He can see you and let Him decide who else gets to see.

Paul: Do you feel like there’s some unhealthy baggage that those in their 30s and 40s might be in danger of passing on?

Kathryn: Well, I’m about to turn 40, and I’ve been thinking that we can hold on a bit too tight to the way we do things. We need to ask ourselves, ‘is the way we lead still serving the vision we had at the start?’  ‘Does this unlock hearts in worship and make space for God to move?’ If it doesn’t, let’s change it. Let’s not get so attached to the way we do worship that we miss out on the point. Those models are only there to serve. Once in a while, look at how you do it and ask God, and others, if what you’re doing still helps people to connect. And it if isn’t, change it. It’s not a personal criticism of you, but a sign that you’re open to God still moving. Oh, and I think that we shouldn’t ever disqualify ourselves because of our age. Until we pop our clogs, we’re not past it!

Paul: As you look to the future, what’s the unique potential that future leaders hold?

Kathryn: I’d say don’t lose the feeling you have when you begin—when you believe that the world is your oyster; that you can do anything. Pressures and disappointments will come but don’t let all those voices be the ones you trust.

Paul: Yes. We need to never forget the basics, stay in the Word. I know you have an app that you follow…

Kathryn: I do. It’s 'Bible In One Year' and it’s brilliant!

Paul: What other recommended daily requirements are there for worship leaders?

Kathryn: Recognize that the way you’re wired is a gift. I’m a terrible reader, which is why ‘Bible In One Year’ has been such a help to me. But where I really connect with Jesus is when I’m out walking—so I make sure I set aside time to do that regularly. For others it might be running, or playing guitar or reading—wherever you feel His presence and you get filled, go there often. And for those that have babies, especially moms, the season of diapers and bottles and no sleep, I want to encourage you that it’s the direction of your heart that the Lord’s after, your worship looks like looking after that little person. This season will pass. Loving Jesus on purpose is the deliberate direction of our hearts. And hang around people who encourage and inspire you in your faith—not only is it extraordinary fun, it fuels your heart for the journey. 

More like this

When The Spirit Pours Out

Unemployed and homeless, Seymour did the only thing he could. He prayed. Others joined him to pray too. Within weeks the crowds gathered around him were too big to fit into the house. And then the truly remarkable thing happened: the Holy Spirit turned up the power.

the Friday pickle - should worship leaders be teaching their congregation how to sing songs from other cultures?

I’ve sung ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ in a Ugandan village without any electricity,  heard all kinds of Delirious songs filling the air of Mumbai slums and listened as ancient-looking Aboriginals blasted out ‘When I Survey’. But every time we worship...

The Friday Pickle: five reasons you should be singing Kumbaya

It’s hard to think of a more derided, less respected worship song than Kumbaya. Which is precisely why we think you should be singing it.... 1. Kumbaya is not, as the common wisdom goes, a tambourine-heavy predecessor to Hakuna Matata, Always...