Over the past six years Spring Harvest has become a central week for the Through the Waters community. It was through being asked to lead worship in Distinctive (the 11s-14s venue) back in 2014 that we begun to worship together regularly, developing our musical gifts and growing our friendships. Although sometimes we’ve questioned ‘why’, we have continued to be given the amazing privilege of leading young people in worship at Spring Harvest.
Over the years our lineup has altered slightly which has given us the opportunity to grow Through the Waters community. This year however we had some quite significant changes: there was not only a change in venue from Minehead to Harrogate but also because the venue was only in its second year there were considerably fewer young people than we’ve worked with in previous years. Another big change was that we weren’t able to take a drummer with us so Dave (who usually plays bass) traded bass guitar for drum kit and cajon.
We often run tracks when we lead worship (if you haven’t come across this idea check out this video for a really simple explanation) but this year we had a further challenge in that the laptop that we use to run tracks refused to work. As there were only four of us (with the addition of a bassist some evenings – thanks Jon!) we planned to use tracks to fill out the sound, particularly in some of the bigger songs like ‘Alive’ or ‘The Way’. As a result of the tracks not working we were slightly limited in which songs we could do, however we tried to do the best with what we had.
With all of these changes and challenges we found ourselves way beyond the comfort of familiarity. However as often seems to be the case it was in this place that we saw God move wonderfully amongst the young people in the venue! As the venue and team were much smaller than we’ve been used to we found that we were able to take on a much more active role in engaging with young people, spending lots of time in great conversation, playing games, praying and investing in the lives of the young people.
If we had to pick a key song from the week it would have probably been ‘Another In The Fire’ by Hillsong UNITED, it was great to see and hear the young people and team passionately proclaiming God’s faithfulness to be with His people even in the fires and storms of life. We also introduced the venue to our own song, ‘Hearts on Fire’ (which we are planning to record soon). Its theme of dancing like David before God with no inhibitions is one that can be challenging, but it was amazing to see the young people grow in freedom of expression and response to God as the week went on (thankfully none of them went quite as far as David – 2 Samuel 6:14-22).
Over the past six years we have been enormously blessed by the opportunity to worship with hundreds (if not thousands) of different young people at Spring Harvest. God has continued to surprise us year on year, particularly when we know how unqualified we are – this year was no exception!
– Jess Daubeny