Interview with Genevra Collins – Part 1 – Prophetic Musician Series

I’m excited to continue our interview series with musicians and worship leaders in the house of prayer. For the first interview in the series, check out my interview with Jordan Marcotte. Today I am sharing part one of an interview I did with my friend and worship leader, Genevra Collins. I was fortunate to get a moment of her time while she was taking a break from recording her debut EP, Falling Awake. More on that later, though…

I first met Genevra shortly after moving permanently to Kansas City. She needed a bassist, and a mutual friend had heard that I played and was looking for a team. She gained a bassist, I gained a team, and we both gained a great friendship! Genevra is a worship leader, singer, and an everything-ist musician in the house of prayer. She has filled many roles here at IHOPKC, but primarily serves with our inner city ministry called HopeCity. She also helped with the launch of a house of prayer on the east coast, and we’ll get to hear her talk about that in part two of the interview.

Sierra: Hello Genevra. Thanks for letting me interview you today. I’m excited to hear your heart on topics that are so dear to my own. So, let’s start from the start. Why are you at IHOPKC? How did you get here?

Genevra: My first experience with the prayer movement was in 2003 at a onething conference.  I heard Mike talk about God not just loving us but also “liking” us.  He spoke about our love being real even though it was weak and immature.  He portrayed to me a God I didn’t know, but was excited to find out about.  In 2005 I wanted to be a part of the prayer movement and started my journey to the Zadok House of Prayer.  I was with that house of prayer until 2010 when we moved to IHOPKC.

Sierra: The love of a God who enjoys us has been such a revelation for many of us in the prayer movement. What is it Mike Bickle says? Lovers always outwork workers. That is especially true of our demanding schedule serving as worshipers in the house of prayer, in the long hours and in the mundane day to day. When did you feel the call to leading worship?

Genevra: Mostly it was out of necessity; my youth group didn’t have anyone musical.  We loved to worship though, and CDs just didn’t cut it.  I knew I wanted to help facilitate worship and began to teach myself how to play the guitar.  Once I started, I didn’t ever want to stop.

Sierra: I hear you there, girl! There’s something about the ability of the entire congregation going somewhere together in live worship that just can’t be mimicked through a recording. Being there, in the moment, with what the Spirit is doing right then and there. It’s addicting! Well, Genevra, it looks like you didn’t just stop at guitar. I most often play on a team with you leading worship, but I’ve been on sets where you’ve been playing drums, bass, singing… Even a little piano here and there! You clearly wear many hats at IHOPKC’s inner city prayer room, HopeCity. Describe how you prepare for a harp & bowl set. How does this differ when serving as in all of these varying roles?

Genevra: The role I’m playing definitely makes a big difference in how I prepare.  The sets I lead I usually prepare new songs I’ve written, or songs that are new to the team.  I also like to tweak the outlines and spend some time talking to God about where we are going to take the passage.  As the worship leader your team wants to follow you where you lead them.  That being said, you need to know where you’re going.

Sierra: That’s a good way of putting it. Do you plan out everything you are going to play, or is there an element of “feeling out” what the Spirit is doing?

Genevra: I feel like it’s important to have a plan.  It actually helps everyone follow the Spirit if there is some structure in what we do.  For example, I’ve been using an outline with pre-constructed cycles. (editor’s note: cycles are selected worship songs leading in to chord progressions with spontaneous singing and then antiphonal singing around a selected passage of scripture. Look for an upcoming post explaining this in more detail.)  It helps the singers know what they are going to sing and they can really dive into the passage.  When we are all together it gives us all an extra boost of confidence that opens up our hearts to really hear His voice better.

Sierra: When you’re planning out a set, how do you choose what songs to play?

Genevra: I try to consider my musicians and room engagement.  If there are a lot of people that want to worship, I want to help them get there. I will play things that they know and things that would help them engage.  If I’m playing with young musicians, it’s important to me that they can follow along. As a worship leader it’s my job to meet every one where they are at even if that means I can’t always play my favorite song.

Sierra: That is great advice for leading. It has been so helpful for me when you’ve cast clear vision for where the team is going! When we all know where we’re headed, we tend to get there together, and it’s lead to some very sweet moments. How does your preparation vary when you’re singing on another worship team, as opposed to serving as the worship leader?
Genevra: If I’m singing for an intercession set, I usually bring a long a journal and write down thoughts during the set.  I even keep a little book of old choruses that others have done.  I would encourage singers write down choruses they like and pull them out on their own sets.

Sierra: How do the musicians and singers come up with those melodies and choruses? What advice would you have for someone wanting to learn to make prophetic music?

Genevra: I would say to practice hearing from God, encourage your team to do the same, and practice, as a team, waiting on God.  Experiment with songs; add space so that you can expect the unexpected.

Sierra: That tends to vary a little between singers and musicians, reaching for melodies or words. What would you say is the most important thing to consider as a prophetic musician?  

Genevra: Listen to the other musicians, so often we can miss something because we are to busy listening to our own cool riff or beat.  When we really learn to listen we can anticipate where something is going and give life to the music and serve the singers.

Sierra: Those sets end up more fun than the ones where all the musicians are doing their own thing, anyways – even if it’s a very cool “own thing,” it has to go with what everyone else is doing! How about the most important thing as a prophetic singer?  

Genevra: Be bold, your voice will sound much better if you believe in yourself and your voice.

Sierra: And as a worship leader?

Genevra: Encourage your team and build them up as much as you can. Praise the slightest improvement and make errors seem easy to correct. Keep in mind most worship teams are giving you their time.  Show them your respect by communicating your thankfulness for them and show them Jesus every chance you can. You will find in the long run you will get a lot more out of them with honey then with vinegar.

Sierra: As a member of your team, let me be the first to thank you for practicing what you preach!

That’s all the time we have with Genevra today, as she is still in the studio finishing up the recording process. I’ll be speaking with her again soon to go in to further detail about shepherding a worship team, building the house of prayer, and maybe I can get her to share some of the details about her upcoming EP release!

Make sure to subscribe to updates (up on the right sidebar) so you don’t miss part 2!

For more from Genevra Collins and to pre-order her new EP, Falling Awake, head to genevracollins.com

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  1. […] have a longer post for you this week. Keep checking back, though, because part two of my interview with Genevra Collins will be coming […]


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