Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Sam Evans, Pastor and Worship Leader at Planetshakers Church in Australia. A portion of the interview was in the Daystar September newsletter, but you can read the full interview right here!
1. How do you juggle being a mom, wife, pastor, and touring in a band?
A number of people have phrased this question over the years regarding juggling my various roles & responsibilities but I have never seen my life in terms of juggling or switching from one priority to another. Instead I have seen it all as one. I don’t try and divide my time between one person or one task and another, but see it all part of one calling. Otherwise, I am always trying to keep tabs on how much time I am devoting to one thing or another and trying to make sure all of these responsibilities get equal amounts of time. This puts great pressure on you to make sure you are giving everyone enough time and focus. I simply take each day as it comes, trust God for the strength, wisdom, power and ability to fulfill all that I need to get done and constantly look to Him to fulfill everyone’s needs and my responsibilities.
There are seasons in which some things require more focus. If my children need me more because of what they are going through then they will get more attention from me. But then I don’t feel bad about not giving another area my focus. If I have to tour around the world, then that will get my focus for a few weeks. It really is seasonal and I will change things up depending upon the season. One of my constant prayers has been, ‘God please let the people in my life feel loved by me, even when I’m not with them.’ God has been gracious to answer this prayer too. I’ve always made sure that my communication with the people that are most important to me has been open, honest and encouraging. This I believe has helped me to do all that I do with great success as people have felt the love and care that they are looking for.
But it must be said, I also work very hard. I don’t believe anyone really achieves anything great without hard work. There have been many moments of fatigue and self-sacrifice but it is all worth it to see my family, my church, my colleagues and the people who love to worship with us loved and encouraged.
2. How do you stay humble through it all?
That’s easy – I’ve always known that it’s never been my talent or ability that has got me where I am today. It’s all been God, God and more God every step of the way. I’m just a girl from a broken home who had a broken heart who God smiled upon to do what I do today. I cannot take any of the credit.
3. How do you prepare to lead worship?
I prepare for leading people in worship by being a worshipper of God and having a constant connection and communication with God. I’m always talking to Him, asking Him things, reading His Word, or reading someone else’s story or words of encouragement to give me insight into who God is. In this I’m getting to know Him more, and the more I know Him the easier it is to lead others into an encounter with Him.
4. Where is your favorite place to visit on tour? Why?
I love Europe. I love the food, the architecture, the history. I also love Israel. There is something so spiritual about going to Israel, walking where Jesus walked, and absorbing the rich heritage that is mine. And did I say that I love the food there too? I love good food.
5. Which worship leader has had the most influence in your life?
Believe it or not it is my husband who has influenced my worship leading the most. When I first started getting to know Russell, he was leading worship at youth and at church. He was the first to show me how to follow the leading of Holy Spirit and to be sensitive to His presence. He was also the one to inspire me in prophetic worship as he would often lead us that way. In fact, I still think he’s the best worship leader I know, even though he doesn’t function in that way anymore. You get a glimpse of this gift whenever he does altar calls at the conclusion of his preaching.
6. If you could teach us all one thing about worship, what would it be?
That your Daddy loves you and your Daddy is bigger and stronger than anything or anyone else in this world.
7. Tell us a little about your song writing process. Where do these songs come from?
The songs I’ve written have usually come from a melody that has been going over in my mind and I slowly put words to. I usually sing these into the recording device on my phone and work with someone like Joth to turn them into a reality. Lately I’ve been collaborating with others and this has meant I’m sitting in a studio with people, thrashing out lyrics or melodies, working and reworking until it all comes together. That has been a fun process to be able to work with others who have the same heart and who are themselves creative. I think it has expanded my own creativity too and pushed me to extend myself.
8. While on tour you are experiencing expressions of the church all over the world. What is something you’ve seen globally that you’re excited about?
I’ve been excited to see an outward expression of passionate worship of God. We are seeing in places where people who would have been restricted by religious tradition or cultural behaviors break out and start to shout their praises to God, or dance and lift their hands and become very uninhibited in their worship to Jesus. Where this has happened, it has also corresponded with great miracles, where people are experiencing spontaneous healing, freedom and salvation during the worship, as people are returning to worship as described in the Bible. I believe in giving Jesus the worship that He asks for in His Word and as we have lead people in this and they have responded, we are seeing powerful moves of God.
9. Your new album #LetsGo releases this month! What does “Let’s Go” mean?
#LetsGo means so many great things to me. I believe that every believer has been gifted by God to do something great for Him. One person may be a great encourager, someone else may be generous, another person kind, and someone else might be great at baking cakes! Whatever that gift is, everyone was created with purpose. The Apostle Paul uses the illustration of the body moving together, everyone having a unique role within the body to help that body function well. However, many believers don’t believe they have significance and think one gift is superior to another. But just like in the human body, if one part of the body of Christ isn’t operating properly it affects the rest of the body.
Imagine if every believer got a hold of their God-given calling and, without fear or insecurity or comparison, just got up and did what they were supposed to do. Imagine how powerful that body would be. Just like a finely tuned and trained athlete accomplishes great things, is admired by others, is attractive and even influences others, imagine the affect a glorious body of Christ would have upon the world. They would all be clambering to church to see how they could be involved and have what we have. Without vision people are lost, unhappy and unfulfilled. To me, #letsgo means we are getting up and going. It means movement, involvement and purpose. And it’s a call for all of us to do something together. There is something so special about being a part of a team and seeing great things happen together. It means a sense of family, of belonging, of unity.
10. For someone who has never been to a Planetshakers concert, what should they expect when they tune in for Planetshakers LIVE on Daystar?
When people experience Planetshakers they will experience the tangible presence of God and be led into their own personal encounter with God. Because of that, they should expect to get healed, or delivered, or set free of that addiction, or find favor in their workplace or whatever else they are crying out to God for. We have had so many testimonies of people watching online and God has touched them where they are at.
11. Planetshakers Church is all about empowering generations to win generations. How does that impact the music and mission of the band?
Empowering generations to win generations is our mission. Our role is to lead people into a personal encounter with God through our praise and worship where they will receive an empowerment from God that will enable them to fulfill their God given destiny. This will always result in bringing people into the saving knowledge of Jesus, thus winning their generation to Christ.
12. What is your hope for this next generation?
My hope is that they will realize how much God, their Heavenly Father, loves them. I pray that they will come home to their Father’s house, and from the safety and security of a loving home environment, they will launch out into their destiny, fulfilling all that God has planned for them. This will do away with striving and stress, and from that place of rest and peace, they will do incredible things for God.
13. There are so many demands on your time, how do you stay focused and prioritize life?
It’s not always easy to stay focused and to always choose the right priorities, but I am surrounded by a group of incredible individuals who work with me, encourage me and keep me focused. We all seem to help each other, really. Their passion is also contagious so if I stick with passionate people they will continue to invigorate me as I invigorate them. I also think my time spent talking with God helps me stay on track and prioritize well. He tells me what needs to be in my focus at any given time and corrects me if I stray.
14. We know traveling with the Planetshakers team has to keep you young, what’s something they’ve taught you?
They have taught me to keep having fun along the way. I laugh so much with the team. I really enjoy their company and I think they enjoy mine.
15. If you weren’t a worship leader what would you be doing?
I probably would still be a primary school teacher (my first vocation) or a stay at home mum. I love my children and children in general.
16. You’ve toured the world, something that most people only dream of – what’s the next dream in your heart that you’d like to go after?
I’m looking forward to being a grandmother. It’s a while off yet but nothing would give me greater joy than pouring out my love on grandchildren.
17. Your new album is called #LetsGo, what is the inspiration behind this new record?
Our last album was called ‘This is Our Time’. It’s really the follow up on that album. It’s a motivation to the body of Christ to be all that it’s called to be and that together we can change the world for Jesus.
18. What are some of your personal highlights/favourite moments from this album?
Writing the song ‘#LetsGo’ with Joth was a personal highlight. It was a labour of love but was thrilled with the end result and to see people really respond to the message within it. The live recording of the album was also a personal highlight with so many beautiful and powerful moments with God.
Remember to tune in on Monday, September 21st at 8:30 p.m. Eastern for Planetshakers LIVE, an exclusive event airing only on Daystar! Sam Evans and Planetshakers will be joining us in Dallas, TX, and we can’t wait to celebrate the launch of their new CD, #LetsGo, with all of you – don’t miss out on all of the fun! For more information on Planetshakers LIVE, visit Daystar.com/Planetshakers.