If you’ve been a subscriber of our YouTube channel or follow us on social media you might have noticed we haven’t posted anything since our visit to Asia at the end of last year. It’s not that we haven’t been doing anything (quite the opposite actually!) but we’ve been intentionally quiet for a while, and here’s why.
After coming back from our Asia trip we took some time out for Christmas and to spend time with friends and family. We all felt pretty drained after a busy year, which ended with releasing the Discovery album, doing a UK tour and quickly followed by a 3-week missions trip to Asia, all the while making weekly videos on YouTube and keeping on top of all the social media for both Set Sail and the band.
After some time at home, I (Jonathan) began to realise that it’s very easy to slip into the mode of just working hard on ministry stuff while forgetting the heart of it and the reason why. I was reminded of the passage in Matthew 7 where it describes people pleading with God saying “we did all these amazing things in Your name” and Jesus says “I never knew you”. These have always been challenging words to me, and I think particularly when it comes to ministry, we need to people who spend time simply being with Jesus, getting to know Him, speaking to Him and hearing Him speak to us. It’s out of this place of relationship that ministry and work flows. That’s how it always started for us - the band, Set Sail, Gather, these things all came out of just spending time with Jesus and feeling him challenge us to step out and try something.
I spent some time in the new year watching the One Thing conference in Kansas City. They called this conference a ‘reset’ as they were taking time as a ministry to put things down for a season and just wait on God and listen to what He was asking them to do. I felt really drawn to that because I was feeling the same thing with Set Sail. Some of the speakers at the event Francis Chan, Mike Bickle and David Sliker began to share about the verse from James 1:19. “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” and how this generation is very much wrapped up in social media, constantly posting about ourselves, our opinions and everyone can be very ‘quick to speak’. But James calls us to be people who are quick to listen. People who will spend time hearing God’s word, listening for his guidance and leadership, listening to the voices of others around us, taking time to hear people’s stories, and being slow to speak.
I realised that while uploading a weekly YouTube video is a good thing for building subscribers and is a good ‘growth strategy’, it’s doesn’t leave much room for listening and allowing ideas to develop. The trouble with posting every week is that it got us in a position of having to think “what are we saying this week?”, and there was just an expectation that we need to talk about something or show something cool that we’re doing. But sometimes I believe we can speak when we don’t need to, we can run ahead trying to do things in ministry that God never actually asked us to do. We’re making ourselves busy with so much work and God just wants us to sit with Him and be His friend. And still to speak, yes, but to speak when God gives us something to say.
And so, we’ve intentionally not been uploading Set Sail videos recently. And the idea is that we want to spend time listening to God, hearing his word for us and the things he wants us to share. And rather than upload every week, we will upload when we feel like we have something timely that God wants us to share.
We’ve been feeling more of a draw towards documentary style content too. And rather than just posting vlogs of us saying ‘here we are doing this’, we’re going to try and focus more on telling other people’s stories, sharing short thoughts on the creative process and the world of art and faith. So there may not be as many videos this year, but we hope that the ones we do upload will be more meaningful and developed than something we just scrape together every week because we need more ‘content’.
Thank you for being patient with us, I know several people have been asking what happened to the videos and I felt like it would be good to explain the reasoning behind it.
We still have a lot that’s going on with Set Sail, and if you want to know more about that you can join our prayer newsletter on our support page which goes out each month and gives an update on what we’re doing and how you can pray for us.
p.s. while thinking all of this through, I ended up writing the song Something Real in the new year. It captures a lot of the feelings behind what I’ve shared here, so if you haven’t heard it yet, I’ll share it below.