Surrendered: An Interview with Worship Leader Tayte Weatherly

Tayte Weatherly has been leading worship in her church since the age of 14. She has served two Victory Life Church campuses in youth and adult services, Victory Life Academy’s Chapel band, and multiple worship conferences. Her commitment to sharing the love of the Father and a passionate heart of worship has led her on a life-long pursuit of the presence of God being made manifest through His people.

In 2016, this pursuit led her to begin her first Worship Life Group.  This group provides an environment in which members participate in an extended time of worship, during which the gifts of prophetic ministry, healing, and prayer are lovingly encouraged and practiced by its members.

Q- What was your vision for starting a worship life group?

A- I have a really good friend named Jesse Hanks. The idea was actually hers in the beginning. She came to me and her vision for it was very simple. She wanted a time of worship for people who were hungry….people who wanted to go deeper, who weren’t afraid to put a lot of time aside for it, and not in a hurry.

Q- How did you begin?

A- We started meeting in the first place I ever led spontaneous worship, in the chapel at Victory Life Church in Durant. I started leading spontaneously while a sophomore in high school there. So, where we held the life group was super special to me because it felt like a reawakening of that first love. Spontaneous worship was a big part of the vision for the life group from the beginning.

Q- How would you describe spontaneous worship?

A- Spontaneous worship and prophetic worship are different. In spontaneous worship you’re not prophesying, you’re just loving on God in your own personal and unique way. Prophetic worship is God loving on the people in the room. You’re just used as a messenger. You go back and forth between them throughout a worship set. You’re always loving on God and then He’s pouring that love back into you [through prophetic songs]. Spontaneous is loving on God in your own words, on the spot.

Q- What is it about this aspect of worship that you love?

A- I love art and God loves art. He loves when we’re creative. I think the creative element of it caught me from the beginning. I’m also a super affectionate person and it was a way for me to release affection for the Lord like I never really had before. And [it was a way] to be emotionally vulnerable with the Lord. I love the vulnerability of it because it’s a huge risk! You’ve never sung these words before! It’s kind of a sacrifice that you give the Lord because it costs you something. It costs you being comfortable sometimes, and it costs you being safe.

Q- What do you think is the role of spontaneous and prophetic worship within the Church?

A- I’ve found that it is a huge facilitator for other ministries, like healing. Prophets will share more when there are prophetic worship leaders leading. So, it’s a huge facilitator for the supernatural really.

Q- What do you see God doing in your worship life group?

A- In my worship life group there’s no line between the stage and the audience. We all want to be there. The worship leaders don’t want to be there more than the people attending ’cause no one comes on a Friday night and worships unless they really want to worship. Because of the hunger in the people, there’s no distinction between the person leading and the people receiving. We’re both being vulnerable with the Lord. I would love to see more of that in the Church [as a whole], where we don’t expect the worship leader to be more excited than us. We’re both going after the Lord.

Q- Last year, you moved from meeting in the chapel to meeting in Janell Martin’s home. What has that transition been like?

A- The change between the chapel and the home was exactly what we needed. It seemed to fit the style of worship we were doing better than an auditorium or a sanctuary because it was very intimate and it felt like family worship.

Q- Your group experienced a lot of growth in numbers after the move, how have you grown as a worship leader since?

A- I didn’t expect having to grow as much as I did in flexibility and in facilitating ministries…learning to honor them. For example, recently I felt the Lord tell me to pause while singing. I didn’t necessarily want to pause. It was a beautiful moment with the Lord and I wanted to keep on singing, but He told me to pause because someone else in the room had a prophetic word. So, I just honored the Lord and paused. Sure enough someone did give a prophetic word during that time of silence. Learning to leave times of silence is something that I didn’t expect to have to learn how to do. That’s been a real growing experience.

Q- You’re learning to flow with group members who are stepping out in their gifts. How do you flow spontaneously with your team of vocalists?

A- I think you have to sing with a person for a long time to figure out the right flow and again, it takes a lot of honor. Someone might get a prophetic word and you have to let them sing it out, even if that wasn’t what you were feeling in the room. I’ve heard it called honoring the point. It’s like a pointing dog that points at something and before you see it, you just trust that the point knows what he’s talking about. You really have to develop more relationship with prophetic worship leaders because there’s a lot more trust needed.

Q- How do you flow spontaneously with the instrumentalists on your team?

A- I believe that instruments also prophesy. David prophesied with his harp and demons would leave Saul [1 Samuel 16:14-23]. I think that instrumentalists are just as important as singers in prophetic moments. As a leader you have to be very observant to the sounds that are going on around you because an instrumentalist can be catching a new sound, a new song and you might have to encourage them. I think it’s big to understand that you don’t just have prophetic songs, you also have instrumentalists coming up with melodies that can release power in the room.

Q- How has leading in a life group setting effected the way that you lead from the stage?

A- I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in life group that’s helped me leading from the stage is that sometimes God wants you to restrain yourself if it’s right for the moment. We have to remember that the people in the congregation are God’s kids and He’s very careful with His kids. I’ve learned to be very careful and really try to hear the Lord’s voice as well as I can. When He’s telling me no, I stop. When He’s telling me yes, I go. That’s something I’ve become better at because of life group.

Q- What kinds of challenges have you faced as a worship leader?

A- I think you have to fight comparison no matter how long you’ve been leading. We all have different strengths. There will always be someone who has a better range than you. There will always be someone who can do things with their voice that you can’t. The enemy will try to get you to waste your time comparing yourself with them instead of listening to what the Lord is saying to you. The main thing is listening to the voice of the Lord.

A- How do you overcome the struggle with comparison?

Q- Getting the Father’s perspective…seeing that person how He sees them will help you to celebrate them instead of seeing them as competition. When I see someone with a better voice than me or someone who is a better prophetic worship leader than me, I encourage them to go farther. It’s about not staying stagnate and not having the attitude that, “I’m the only person who can do what I do.” Letting people pass you, letting people exceed you, and actually being excited about that, that’s the Father’s heart.

Q- How would you encourage others who are growing as worship leaders?

A- Time alone with God. You can’t replace time alone with God with anything else if you want to grow. The more personal time I have of just worshiping the Lord, the better all of the times of worshiping on a stage are.

Take Away:

  • Spontaneous worship is about loving on God.
  • Prophetic worship is God loving on His kids.
  • Honor is a key component in flowing in the gifts of the Spirit.
  • When you see others the way the Father does, you can celebrate them.
  • You can’t replace time alone with God with anything else if you want to grow.

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