1. How long have you been part of the CRC Music ministry, please share a little about the journey?
Tsidi: I joined the team in Bloemfontein in March 1997 and I remember Merldy joining the same year in August! How is that for a coincidence, and we are still here today!
So, I joined the church in 1996 and the moment I entered the church and the band was singing a song called “Under the shadow of Your wings”. Right there I knew that this is where I should be, I wanted to sing in the choir, not the mic, but the choir to be specific because I loved the energy and the freedom to praise God just like David did!
Pastor At would go with the other Pastors to the township on the first Saturday of every month to welcome new members, and I was one of them! I asked him if I could join the choir because I love singing and I have been singing since the age of 12, and he said for sure you may join, you will meet my wife, Pastor Nyretta, she is the choir Pastor and she will take you in. However, at the time I was about five months pregnant with Lesedi my firstborn, so the agreement was I will join after the baby and that was exciting!
Lesedi was born December 1996, and then I went for my audition in March 1997. I started singing somewhere around the end of April that year, and I am still singing today!
Merldy: I started serving when I was in my early years of high school. I started as a shy young girl who just wanted to just blend into the background. Not one for the spotlight, but I had to grow and learn how to usher people into the Presence of God and not be timid or afraid. Now, 25 years later it is still my most favourite place to be and will always be, to serve in the House of God – like King David said in Ps 27 : 4 “ONE THING I ask from the Lord, THIS only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”
2. How has Jesus changed your life through the church?
Tsidi: The Lord brought me to a family of believers in CRC where I experienced the love and the support that I needed at the time. I come from an era where blacks and whites were not sharing things, they were segregated, so arriving in CRC, it was a miracle for me to find that we could sit next to each other or on the same seat for that matter without thinking of each other’s skin colour!
Jesus gave me a forgiving heart towards my daughter’s father, towards every white person that’s ever treated me and my family badly because of our skin colour. Jesus changed me from being hard on myself and others to expecting excellence all the time while being gracious, loving and accepting of people and their flaws even though it’s a daily walk. Thank you to Pastor Nyretta for modelling this to me for the ten years that I worked as her personal assistant. God’s love sustains me, I am because He is!
Merldy: I was blessed to grow up around people who walked with God many years and taught me many valuable lessons about walking with the Holy Spirit, and it is in Church that I learnt to find my purpose and meet key people in my life, so many to mention and especially Pastors At and Nyretta Boshoff, who have helped me grow even more than I could ever have imagined.
You could say I became “planted so that I could flourish” – I got saved in kids church at the age of 6, and later when I joined CRC I recommitted my life to Jesus as a teenager and honestly looking back I count myself extremely blessed to be part of this amazing Church Family!
3. What advice do you have for aspiring worship leaders?
Tsidi: That they should never come worship at church for the wrong reasons, they must have a love relationship with God and worship Him for who He is and not what He can give them, for example, “fame”. When you join the music ministry stay humble and God will lift you up!
You will come across challenges because you work with people that might have the same ambition as you, be it positive or negative, but the important thing remains, who brought you here and why do you do what you do, what’s driving you?
Servanthood is never glamorous or pretty, it’s at the foot of the cross! Never think more highly of yourself than you ought to because it’s disappointment will crush you to pieces and you won’t last. Be a worshiper of God and He will make all things work together for your good and even if it doesn’t work out for your good stay true to your relationship with Him, stay at His feet and let Him be your reason for waking up and finding yourself among the saints, worshippers and the destitute.
We are on this earth to make Him famous not for our fame, there is a difference! STAY HUMBLE! No matter how many times you are told you are the best simply say PRAISE GOD because that’s not yours, it belongs to Him!
Praise and worship God like it’s your last day every time you get that opportunity! He made you to worship Him so don’t go skimpy, give it your all so when you leave the platform you need a bed to sleep!
Merldy: Firstly, do not ever underestimate the value of “perfect practice makes perfect” and the fact that you need to do vocal exercises or practice your instrument and practice every possible angle of a song – God deserves the very very best!!!
Singing for Him and being used by Him is the greatest honour and excellence is His very nature! And He created you in His image and nature!! What a thought!! What a tremendous privilege! When you do this, He multiplies your talent and gives you more than you ever imagined!
Secondly, If you are a natural creative you might find yourself wanting to excel as a musician or singer in the music industry, and that is great especially if it is your talent and calling, but the secret of being a Worship Leader is to separate your “career” from “ministry”, because Ministry is servanthood and not to be served. So even as a success in the public eye, bring your talent to the House of God, where you lay your crowns down, God will take you to all the many successes you need to go to, in His own way and His own time.
4. What has been your biggest highlight as a worship leader?
Tsidi: Every Sunday is a highlight for me, as I get to lead His people to the throne room of grace! Even when I am at my lowest I choose to go big with my praise and my worship to Him because when praise goes up, blessings come down.
The people in the church or on television are relying on our leadership and energy to break the chains binding them so we cannot afford to allow what the devil throws at us take away from them entering into His presence!
I love my Sundays, I love Harvest events! To me, it’s a battlefield and we are there to win the lost, truly at any cost! Anytime I get the opportunity to lift His Holy Name, it is a highlight!
Merldy: There are honestly so many to think of but there is no other thrill for me than when we see people come to the altar to receive salvation! You can literally see their countenance change as they say the prayer of salvation and surrender their lives to God!
Another massive highlight is to write songs for the Church and God’s people!
You literally are able to hear what God wants to say and find ways to say it! And put the words in people’s mouths to sing to Him and to prophesy their future! That is a thrill of note! Love it big time!