ORLANDO, Fla. — Worship leader Steffany Gretzinger spoke about motherhood and her initial concerns about balancing a family and devotion time with God in a panel discussion at the Deeper Worship Intensive last week.
Known for leading thousands in corporate worship, Gretzinger became a mother a few years ago and told the pastors and worship leaders gathered at gospel singer William McDowell’s second annual Deeper Worship Intensive that she loves to show her 5-year-old daughter the beauty of worshiping God.
Gretzinger was asked to share her thoughts on the topic of raising children who will not resent ministry as she devotes her life to the work of God. Singer Nicole Binion, who also was a part of the panel, said, “Your kids will love what you love,” and Gretzinger completely agreed.
"I'm a pastor's daughter. I'm 35, and it was clear to me that my daddy loves Jesus more than anything,” Gretzinger revealed. “He would be the first to tell you that he wasn't perfect, but I remember the worn-in holes in the stairs from knees in prayer. Now, I know that's not everyone's story, and the beauty is, there's a better bloodline.”
The singer said her father told her she was beautiful “every day” of her life and his encouragement made her who she is today.
“I know that's not everyone's story," she said, "but as leaders, as parents, I want to be a parent to a generation. I want to mother a generation because the difference is, an incredible leader can point you in the right direction, but a mother and father will walk you all the way home,” Gretzinger told Deeper Worship attendees.
The "Love Never Fails" co-writer became well known for creating hits for Bethel Music, a worship ministry that formed as an extension of Bethel Church in Redding, California. The church became a global voice in worship music and Gretzinger led worship for them until 2019 when she moved Nashville, Tennessee.
Gretzinger was married in 2013 and admitted that she “cried” before her wedding because she didn’t want to love anyone as intensely as she loves God. She revealed that marriage helped her expand her capacity to love and then a year later, God saw fit for her family to increase with the birth of her first child, whom they named Wonder.
“I wanted Jesus to be everything. So I remember when I was about to have [my daughter], Wonder, I could feel my belly, I still cried and I said to the Lord, 'How am I gonna love you with less time?” she asked.
Despite her concerns, Gretzinger said God has used her daughter to draw her even closer to Him.
"That tiny profit has led me back to Jesus every day since she was born. We get distracted and that baby will turn around and look me. Just the other day she said, 'Mommy,' she took me by the face and she said, 'it doesn't have to be perfect. You're here, that's what matters,'” Gretzinger shared.
“This is not me bragging on me as a mom, this is me bragging on the presence of Jesus, and the kindness of a Father who walks with us.
She continued: "He's walking us all the way home if we'll pray to Him and be more aware of what He's doing than all of the other eyeballs. The eyes that we find in secret are the ones we'll find in every crowded room. The voice we hear that comes out of the silence and the stillness when no one's there, is the voice we will hear above the loud cries, above the shouts, above every other voice. I can hear that baby across the room in a room full of people.”
Her daughter often witnesses her mother’s devotion to God and Gretzinger stressed that she doesn't back down from exposing her child to the truth of the Bible or the move of the spirit.
"I think there's a tendency to dumb things down for children, but they get the whole thing. We take Bible stories and we diminish them, we leave parts out, but it actually makes sense to them in their innocence,” Gretzinger explained.
"When I felt like I was being a terrible mom because I felt like, ‘what am I missing?’ The Lord said [to me,] invite her in, invite her into everything,” she added. “I believe we make time for what we love. We make time for what we care about. If you need coffee, you will make time to go get it.”
The “Good & Loved” songstress said that as she “yields” to God, her daughter naturally follows in her own way.
"He'll do the work that you can't in your children, and in your family. If you need healing in your marriage, I've already had one. Unless you take it to the altar, you won't find it spending more time in therapy than you spend on your face before the Lord. That won't save your marriage and it won't raise your children,” she warned.
Gretzinger concluded in tears saying that she is still new to it all but she’s “learning.”
“I'm so young in this, but I'm learning and trying my best, and every moment of every day to stop in the middle of everything and say, 'I yield to you.' May she [Wonder], say that that's exactly what I did. That she would rest in something I never got to walk in because it was so wholly consecrated. That she would know Jesus, deeper and more wildly than I ever knew how on this side,” she added.
The Deeper Worship Intensive took place in partnership with North Central University. Each session began and ended with worship led by various artists, including Gretzinger, McDowell, his protegee Trinity Anderson, Travis Greene, and David and Nicole Binion, among others.
The conference hosted attendees who hailed from North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa who were awarded a Professional Education Certificate in Worship Leadership signed by the president of North Central University after completing the course.