Working and Playing Together

The McClures on strengthening bonds with God and others

Individualism often takes center stage in our world today, and the biblical principle of collaboration can sometimes be overlooked. Yet, as Paul and Hannah McClure, renowned worship leaders, recently shared in an interview with Family Life Radio, collaboration is not just a good idea—it’s a God-ordained one.

Their insights offer a refreshing perspective on how to navigate the complexities of working together in various aspects of life, from marriage to ministry.

Paul McClure emphasized the importance of being “open-handed” with ideas. “It’s something we thankfully don’t run into a lot, but I think it’s being open-handed with your ideas because co-writes with people are not open-handed are zero fun,” he said. “We can, as artists, treat our art as very sacred and special, which I think is important. But sometimes we can just hold it too tight.”

Being open-handed in collaboration allows for a free exchange of ideas and paves the way for God to do something extraordinary. It’s like the story of the loaves and fishes in the Bible. A small offering, when given freely, can lead to miraculous outcomes.

Paul McClure also mentioned how God has often taken their ideas to new heights when they’ve collaborated with others. “God takes an idea we have and we get with another group of people, and it furthers the idea farther than we could have ever taken it,” he shared.

The McClures

“There’s so much beauty in collaboration,” Paul continues, “and so I think most of the writing we do is co-writing just because other people have strengths that you don’t have.”

Growing Through Collaboration

Hannah talked about the emotional aspect of collaboration, particularly how experience makes it easier to share ideas without the fear of rejection. “The more you do it, it feels like the less precious, high stakes it is,” she said.

The act of collaborating, especially in a faith-based setting, can sometimes feel like a high-stakes endeavor. We hold our ideas, our contributions and our talents as precious gifts from God. And they are. But as Hannah points out, the more we engage in the sometimes uncomfortable act of collaboration, the more we grow in our ability to contribute to God’s work effectively.

A Win for One is a Win for All

Paul said, “That’s the way Jesus built the church, is that there’s different strengths for different people. And so Hannah and are so melody driven. We write with a lot of people that are very lyrically driven, and I think it’s just been a beautiful thing we’ve unpacked.”

The McClures

One of the most poignant moments in the McClures’ interview was when Paul shared advice from a counselor who said, “You guys need to get to a place where a win for one of you is one for both of you.”

This is a beautiful reflection of 1 Corinthians 12, where the Apostle Paul talks about the body of Christ. “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12:26 ESV).

In any form of collaboration, whether in marriage, ministry or daily life, this principle can serve as a guide to navigate the complexities of working together. It helps to overcome any sense of competition or jealousy, which the Bible warns against.

By focusing on the idea that a win for one is a win for both, allows us to foster a more Christ-like attitude of mutual support.

Personal Growth Aids Collective Growth

Paul also touched on their personal journey. “Hannah and I have been dating since I was 16; Hannah was 15. Twenty years we’ve been doing this thing together.  In the early days we definitely had a lot more issues around doing this together.” He said as they’ve grown healthier as individuals, their collaborative efforts have also improved.

The McClures

Personal spiritual growth contributes to the health of the community. As we grow closer to God, we become better collaborators, better spouses, better friends and better members of the body of Christ.

The McClure’s insights into collaboration offer a roadmap for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of working together in a God-honoring way. Their experiences remind us that successful collaboration is not just about combining talents but about combining hearts in a posture of humility, unity and mutual growth.

So, as you walk your faith journey, remember that collaboration is central to the gospel message. It’s how Jesus built His church, and it’s how we continue to build His Kingdom today.

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