Five minutes with Kalley Heiligenthal from Bethel Music

Kalley Heiligenthal is a worship leader and songwriter for Bethel Church in North America. She is married to Andrew, mother to little Elsie Sailor, and is based in Redding, California. She tours the US, and internationally, with Bethel Music Worship Nights. 

In February this year, the team toured Australia, visiting five cities in one week, and Eternity caught up with her in Sydney to find out what it’s like being part of Bethel’s global music ministry.

What have you experienced in Australia during the Bethel worship nights?

It’s felt light, it’s felt joyful, it’s felt like a deep hunger. It’s felt like a group of people who have been worshipping for a long time. People who know how to wait on the Lord, who know how to press into the Lord.

Bethel Music is known worldwide for their ‘spontaneous worship moments.’ How do you prepare for leading those spontaneous moments?

When I first began I thought, either it had to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and so it felt really paralysing, like, better not go for it until you’re certain, and you’re certain, and then I would never really sing out because I was never certain that I was certain.

“God’s not afraid to use our voice, He’s not afraid to use our perspective.” – Kalley Heiligenthal

That really changed for me as I talked to the Lord and started to realise that the delight for Him is actually getting to do that together. It’s not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ thing, but actually, me hiding in Him, Him wanting to partner with me, which is unbelievable, to explore what He’s doing, and put vocabulary to it, or melody.

How do you know that it’s the Holy Spirit in those moments, or is it more of a leap of faith?

You look in the Bible, and you have four Gospels, and four different voices, so God’s not afraid to use our voice, He’s not afraid to use our perspective.

“…hardly ever do I feel overtaken.” – Kalley Heiligenthal

So I’ll go into it (spontaneous worship) giving myself that break – He wants it the way that it comes to me. If I have Jesus Christ, the hope of glory, living inside of me, his Spirit is in me, then I have to trust that He’s in there, and He’s speaking and that He wants to bring us to new places.

So, hardly ever do I feel overtaken. A lot of it is this, “God, I’m going to go out on a limb, and I’m going to risk, and I’m going to trust that you’re on the other side. Just like anything, it needs to be faith driven right? That’s how we please the Lord.

So for me, part of the offering, part of the worship is intrinsic in that risk. That God is going to meet me. I think there’s a whole lot of faith in the equation.

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