Homespun Harmony: When Family and Ministry Collide
By Becca Leander Nicholson (The Sonflowerz)
“I could never do that” were the words I heard as I sat down across from a record executive. He had just flown in to meet us and see what we were all about. When we shared our story of the way our ministry has operated as a family serving alongside one another, it was obvious to me that we were doing something unique. That day I realized that families who choose to serve together are a rare find.
It’s commonly thought that in order to keep the peace in a house full of different personalities and ages, the solution is a more separated, “compartmentalized” lifestyle.
We’re now fifteen years into the family ministry model and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. But, it was going against the grain to say the least.
When my sister and I felt the call of ministry, our parents were all in. Whether it was meeting a practical need to record our songs or buy a trailer, or a spiritual need of finding friends to pray for upcoming tours – as Elissa and I navigated our calling we were never alone.
Siblings serving together need to be surrounded by support and guidance, especially when our youth and inexperience can leave us questioning our direction and path.
Now we need to rewind a bit. Our so-called “family ministry” started long before the stage. As a kid, I remember watching my parents lead their small group in worship while we played with kids our age in other rooms of our house. I was a night owl and oblivious to the fact that prayer would sometimes continue after midnight. And though I was preoccupied with friends and games, seeing Mom and Dad work together as a team left an impression on me.
Because of this, I believed from the beginning that God made families to minister together.
It took some time for God to show me this (I am, after all, the typical youngest child wanting the center stage there is something called “the sibling advantage”. A secret weapon! (We all need at least one!) I know Elissa so well, sharing a plethora of experiences, traits and even the ability to translate what she is saying when it doesn’t make sense to someone else. I can use it all to my advantage. Accomplishing what God has set before us starts with seeing that.
And…Didn’t Jesus choose two sets of brothers to be His disciples?
Serving begins with our families…at home…when we get on each other’s nerves! Only once we have God’s heart for each other we will be prepared to serve together.
How does it work when you have multiple ages and personalities involved? Who will lead and how do you assign roles? There has to be an order to something if it’s going to succeed. This is the most challenging part of ministry, whether you are related or not. No doubt, God knew what He was doing when He divinely placed your family together. You can guard your unity and effectiveness through purposeful prayer. It signals to God that you are dependent on Him and not your skills. It will be through prayer that you receive wisdom for going forward.
God sees beyond our flaws and bent towards having it “our way”. He knows when we combine our light, the wattage multiplies. He desires a hopeless and dark world to be awakened to the True Light. His solution might be closer than you think.