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We caught up with henry seeley, lead pastor of the Belonging Co, To talk about his time with Planetshakers and more.
Can you talk us through your Planetshakers journey?
We were there from the get go. Before I came on staff I was in Russ Levants Youth Ministry from about age 16 and really got on fire for Jesus when I was 18 or 19. Then I came on staff a couple of years later which is about 2-3 years before we started Planetshakers Conference. The conference really just started as an overflow of our local youth ministry in Adelaide and we just wanted to do something over the Summer to keep our youth and young adults engaged with God. Quite quickly it began to grow and grow and grow. In the first few years we were having conferences all over Australia. The worship side of things was really just a natural progression.
It was really us just hitting record at conference and trying to capture the energy and the songs and the moments of what God is doing. That’s really where all of that started. I was there from the very start. My wife and I helped Russell and Sam birth that whole ministry. Then we moved to Melbourne with them in late 2003. Started planetshakers church in Melbourne in early 2004. We were there right through till 2012, when we moved to Nashville.
Is there a moment from your time with Planetshakers, that has stayed with you, in terms of the impact that ministry has had?
That would be hard, honestly. I think so much of my life is really shaped in my time, not just with Planetshakers but serving with Russell & Sam and their input in my life. I got saved in their youth ministry. The whole trajectory of my life was radically transformed because of their ministry. So to find moment in the whole of that season with them or with Planetshakers is probably a little hard for me. There’s lots of different things along the way that I just look back and have so many amazing memories of worshiping in arenas full of people and also
worshiping in friend’s houses together. Discipleship nights where there’s just a handful of us. Really so many of those of worship moments did so many deep things in my life I think. One of the first songs that I wrote was a song called ‘it’s all about Jesus’. That was a long time ago now but I think it was a really pivotal song for me in my early days of writing, that helped me really lock in and keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.
That kind of became the goal for me in the midst of everything else we were doing. If I could keep my eyes on Jesus, if I could keep reminding myself that it’s all about Him and because of Him. Hopefully we’re going to stay on track through all of this. So that really for me is probably one of the more special songs.
In 2011 you released your EP ‘Find a Way’, was this a transitional time in your life?
It definitely was. I’d come off staff some time in 2009 and at that point we didn’t really know what the future kind of looked like. I guess in our hearts we really wanted to stay in Melbourne, we wanted to stay with Planetshakers, but I had felt God really clearly speak to me about stepping down from my staff position. It really was a bit of a transitional season over those next 2 or 3 years. As we were really just praying, trying to figure out what God had
next for us. In the midst of that I had an opportunity to tour Australia and New Zealand with Chris Tomlin and with the parachute guys at the time. I had talked about doing a solo things for long time and had never really got my butt into gear to be honest. It seemed like a good time to delve into something like that. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I ended up doing that whole EP in about a week and a half, maybe 2 weeks’ time. We had it manufactured and it literally showed up on the day I was leaving to go travel with these guys.
It was something I wanted to do for a while and I wondered if that might be apart the future or at least a transitional step into the future. It was a fun project for me to do. I’ve always been involved in music. I had a studio in my house which is where we used to do all the Planetshakers stuff and I working on lot of music for other people. So it just made sense to get in and do something for myself.
A special thanks to Henry for taking the time to talk to us. God bless!