(photo courtesy of Randi Anglin). This weekend Seth Godin learned a “shocking” truth that many of us have known for a long time: that ministry can be tedious, boring, and uninspiring. It can become “just a job.” As a matter of fact, it will.
Unless you are proactive against it.
There is a lot of pressure on ministers, particularly on those that are involved with music, to please people. Musicians are often hard-wired to seek confirmation and validation from others. I know I am. In ministry, this can even feel right. We love others, we serve them, we bless them, we may consider their tastes and preferences above our own. In return, we really hope they like us. If they do, we feel good and think that this ministry gig is not so bad after all. But this system is unsustainable. It’s too people-focused and eventually someone is not going to like the way we do something. We burnout.
What to do? There’s an interesting expression in the Bible that I try to remember: ministering to the Lord.* It’s good to minister to others, being a worship leader requires it. But what’s most important is that you are ministering to Him. And don’t think you can do both at the same time. It’s not that easy. These acts are sequential, not simultaneous.
I believe that the most important thing you can do as a worship leader is to first be a worshiper. Are you focusing on Him? Are you taking time for quiet reflection and prayer? Are you reading the Word? Are you worshiping Him on your own? Alone? Are you meditating on the Word? Are you letting the Word speak to you on it’s own terms or are you just using it to plan your next church service or to write a song lyric?
It’s tricky out there. Guard your heart.
I also struggle with this. What do you do to keep your music ministry from becoming “just a job”?