We took a moment to catch up with Sidney Mohede, Network Pastor of Jakarta Praise Community Church in Jakarta, Indonesia. A prolific songwriter and passionate worship leader, Sidney shares with us his worship style, recommendations for leading worship in other languages and how he balances his personal life and ministry. Be sure to check out his first full-English album entitled ‘The Rescue.”
What are your roles and responsibilities in your church?
My official title is ‘Network Pastor’ in our church JPCC (Jakarta Praise Community Church), so I am the ‘ambassador’ of our church in building relationships with churches around the world, especially within the praise and worship community globally. I am also JPCC’s Worship Advisor, pastoring the ever-growing JPCC Worship team, and I produce the worship projects (live recording or studio) in our church.
Tell us about your church (style of worship, size of church, what church looks like in your part of the world, how the church is impacting the community, etc.:
Our church is very energetic and vibrant, with a lot of young people and young families. Our average attendance is about 9,000 people on Sundays (4 services in two different campuses). Since Jakarta is the capital city of our beloved nation, our church and our worship style reflect that of our city which is modern, cutting edge and bustling with life.
What is the spiritual climate of your city?
Indonesia is an island nation (with more than 17,500 islands) and has a population of 240 million people on which the majority is Muslim. The fact is Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, but since our nation is build on the foundation of freedom of religion, Christianity has seen its rise in recent decades. Jakarta is a modern and vibrant, and people are more open now to the name of Jesus and we have seen a significant rise in Christianity and what God is doing in churches in Jakarta. It’s an exciting time we are living in for our city and our nation.
One word that best describes how you work:
INTUITIVE. I’ve been leading worship for 23 years now and since I was not technically trained in music, everything I have done have always been dependent on my instinct and intuitiveness. I’m just grateful that I’m surrounded with many people who are way smarter than I am that can translate my ‘instincts’ into something coherent in every production or project that I lead.
How do you prepare to lead?
As a worship leader, my responsibility is to know the songs and understand the main purpose of each song that I’m leading, so I can lead these songs with the power of understanding. But at the end of the day, I know that I’m not the one leading, it’s always the Holy Spirit leading us, and that’s where the ‘intuitiveness’ kicks in. So I just prepare my self to the best of my ability and at the same time surrender to what God wants to do within and through me as I lead.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget could you not live without?
Ha! I think my Kindle is something that I always carry with me everywhere I travel. I’m a self-professed ‘book worm’ and my goal every year is to read one book a week, 52 books a year. So I never leave home without my e-book reader! Second place would be my PS Vita. Traveling and touring consist of a lot of waiting, so good books and games are pretty self-explanatory!
What apps, software, instruments, or other tools do you recommend?
I use an app called ONSONG on my iPad to store lyrics and to use during some of my worship leading. When I’m invited to non-English speaking countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan or Korea, I often have to sing the songs translated into their native tongues. So I often rely on the lyrics/translation that I’ve put in ONSONG to help me with the pronunciations. Singing in Mandarin and Japanese is not an easy thing to do for a non-native speaker!
What’s your workspace like?
Our church office is situated on the 37th floor of a magnificent building in the middle of the business district in downtown Jakarta, so I get a beautiful view of the city from my windows. And since I am an avid toy collector, my desk is literally covered by toys and action figures. (I think I just gave too much information here! Ha!)
How do you balance ministry and personal time?
I am naturally a very ‘at home’ person and I love being with my family more than anything. I think as ministers we just have to be aware of the seasons and our time management. All my ministry invitations are under our church’s management and approval so I know that there is a cover of protection in what I do in terms of ministry, and I surrender to the authority of my pastor as well in terms of traveling and invitations. There will be times when I am busy with projects and tours, and during those times I would make sure I take appropriate breaks and vacations with my family to just have fun and be with them. I want my family to know that ministry always comes after them.
What are you listening to right now?
On my playlist now: Rend Collective Experiment ‘Campfire’, Darlene Zschech ‘Revealing Jesus’, Matt Redman ’10,000 Reasons’, Hillsong United ‘ZION’, Israel & New Breed ‘Jesus At The Center’ and Bethel Music ‘Without Words’.
Can you tell us a recent setlist you’ve used?
Go (Hillsong United, Nothing is Impossible (Planetshakers), Jesus It Is You (JPCC Worship), Your Presence is Heaven (Israel & New Breed)
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? How does it affect your leadership style?
I’m naturally introverted but have learned to be extroverted when it comes to leading and mentoring others. Leadership is all about influence, and I knew early on that I could not influence the team and other people if I don’t share portions of my life with the people who I do life with. “A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.” There are portions of my life and my family life that is private, and yet I know the value of being an extroverted person and leading by our visible actions.
What is your relationship like with your senior pastor?
I have an immense respect and love for my senior pastor, Jeffrey Rachmat. I have served under him since we started the church back in 1999 and he’s not only my pastor and mentor, but also a dear friend and brother. ‘A person of authority is a person under authority’ is a principle that I have learned long ago. I am grateful to have him speaking into my life and giving me Godly counsel every time I needed it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
There’s a quote that has been pivotal in my life and the way I see my ministry. The quote is ‘Talents and Charisma can take you to the top, but only Character can keep you there.’ Early on I have learned not to depend on the visible skills and talents alone, but to always guard the inner most parts of our beings, to keep our Godly character and integrity in check, so that I can be a part of something that is long-lasting and eternal. God always sees the heart.
Any advice you want to give to other worship leaders?
Worship leaders: guard your heart above all else, surround yourself with people who can build you and help you to shine for Christ, be bold and lead with your God-given authority and always keep the focus on Jesus. Love God and love the people you are leading.
What’s a useless talent that you have?
I can eat 3 bowls of noodles under 3 minutes. Ha!
Fill in the blank. I’d like to see ISRAEL HOUGHTON answer these same questions.