Catholic speaker and musician Michael James Mette, a 35-year-old St. Louis, Missouri native began his career as a speaker and musician about five years ago.
He transitioned away from parish ministry in 2012, when he and his wife, Michelle, 35, decided to provide for their family 100 percent through music ministry.
“At the time I was 30 years old, and all of my experience was in ministry,” Mette wrote in an email to Catholic Herald myFaith. “It was really a turning point for us, a ‘come to Jesus moment.’
MICHAEL JAMES METTE
Catholic speaker and musician
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Parish: St. Anthony in Effingham, Illinois. Effingham is what they consider “home base.”
Genre: Christian and Gospel
Life advice for young adults: I would say don’t be afraid of failure. I have met lots of young adults who are paralyzed into inaction. Their fear of failure frustrates the working of the Holy Spirit. JPII’s first words echoed one of the most often-repeated messages of the Gospel: Be Not Afraid! Young adults, don’t be afraid of failing early and often – you will learn so much along the way.
Michelle and I had some deep talks and pretty much every employment option was discussed – the military, Starbucks, teaching, Apple Store – we felt that God had given me a certain set of gifts and talents that needed (to be) expressed.”
Mette traveled days or weeks at a time, playing as many gigs as he could, and trying to get back home to his family, which left his wife frazzled and a noticeable change in the behavior of their children. They solved that by touring as a family in a 34-foot Airstream, which they recently sold, sharing their ministry with people at parishes.
He and his family have been touring since May 2013, traveling coast to coast through 41 states in the last 18 months. He tries to “provide an environment for people to experience God in a new way,” through concerts featuring testimony, faith stories, video, lights and music.
Today, he and Michelle, and their six children, ages 5 months to 10, tour together in what they call home – a 40-foot, 1984 MCI-9 Crusader II tour bus, with a 6-cylinder diesel engine, 4-cylinder generator, six bunks and two pullout couches.
“It is self-contained and allows us to maintain the integrity of our large family anywhere a 40-foot bus can fit,” he said.
They face challenges in keeping up with booking and scheduling, and even finding laundry facilities.
“However, the biggest challenge we have faced is balance,” he wrote. “Balancing driving and play. Balancing business and family. Balancing prayer and work. Our life is a balancing act and Michelle and I are always trying to listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance.”
SEE HIM IN CONCERT
Sunday, April 26: Coffeehouse performance for high school students in the St. Charles Life Teen Café, 313 Circle Drive, Hartland, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. Freewill donation, select coffee drinks for sale. Wednesday, April 29: Holy Apostles Church, 16000 W. National Ave., New Berlin, with the Holy Apostles Contemporary Music Ministry, 6:30 p.m.