Influence

 the shape of leadership

Matching Gifts With Skills

A Q&A with Heidi Hewuse

Kristi Northup on February 4, 2020

When Heidi Hewuse became a worship pastor at First Assembly of God in Lexington, Kentucky, she and her husband, Travis (who was the youth pastor), wanted to raise up students to discover their gifts and callings. So they did what they knew to do: They started with the worship team. Being in a church that ran less than 250 didn’t keep them from dreaming big. Over seven years, they took 20 to 30 students to the AG National Fine Arts Festival every year. Now Travis is the lead pastor at First Assembly, and Heidi continues as the worship pastor to develop students and adults alike. 

INFLUENCE: What was it that put such a heart in you to equip students?
HEWUSE:
Even as a small child, I always loved worship. When I was 15, I was given the opportunity by a worship leader to come in after school and learn how to do worship music. For whatever reason, we lost our piano player. Our music minister chose me, even though I clearly was not the best choice. He taught me how to play a chord chart. It had a huge impact on my life that, at 15, he had given me a chance. Now I had the skills to do what came naturally to me, and it opened my whole world.

“I’m looking for people who have a heart for God and for worship.” — Heidi Hewuse

What are the most important things to pass on to a young worship leader?
There are a lot of singers out there, but in the Pentecostal setting, it’s so much more than just singing and playing. The role is discerning what the Holy Spirit is doing in the room. I’m not looking for the most talented. I’m looking for people who have a heart for God and for worship. I want to help them observe the people and have an ear to what the Holy Spirit is saying. Then I just try to help them develop skills to match the spiritual gifting I’m seeing.

On the other hand, you may have a skilled person who seems uninterested in the spiritual. If you invest yourself, walk with them and pray for them, God can spark the fire. It can’t be taught; it has to be caught. It’s the two sides of the coin.

What’s the hardest part?
If you’re going to choose to be a trainer, you have to be willing to let them go. Some will stay, but many will go. You have to have your hands open and let them follow God’s leading. This is a Kingdom effort. It’s not about my church or my ministry, but seeing people pursue God’s dreams for them.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2020 edition of Influence magazine.

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