the baby and the bathwater

Tools of the Trade
September 9, 2008, 9:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

There used to be a time when, if you wanted to be a worship leader, you needed to have access to a guitar or keyboard to play; you needed the support and guidance of a church leadership to help identify and nurture your gifting; and you needed to live in a community where you want to serve the people of that community.

Now it seems that you need access to a MAC to write your tunes; you need the support and guidance of a record company to help shape and market your songs; and you need to live near an airport to give you easy access to the town, city or country where your next concert is held.

OK, so maybe I’m being a little harsh.

But it does seem to me that there is a huge danger for worship leaders, and also church leaders and speakers, to slowly, but surely, over time, distance themselves from involvement within their own local church. But why does that happen?

Well I think that one of the reasons is that we get ‘ministry-weary’ in our local church: we find that, after a number of years, we find it tough choosing yet another set of songs for Sunday; we get tired of having another Sunday taken up with ministry rather than family; we loose the spark that fires us to pressing into God and what he is doing in our own local church in order to write yet another song.

Compare that with: we find that we can choose a song set that works and then use it in many towns and cities that we travel to without having to work at a new one; we can do our concerts during the week so that we can still relax on Sundays, have our roast dinner and then doze in front of the TV watching the golf; we can use the song we wrote last year again and again and leave the writing of the new songs until we have that well earned rest in Barbados later in the year.

And I can sort of understand that. In many ways, it is easier for me to lead worship at New Wine for a few days in the summer, with it’s big gathering, with it’s sense of anticipation, and sense of ‘new-ness’ than for me to lead worship week in week out at Trinity.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. But the question remains – how do we stop ourselves becoming weary with our local church ministry.

Well I’d like to suggest a few things that I find helpful. These are just what are working for me at the moment.

-Stay connected to your church leadership, and see the bigger picture of what you are doing at your church.

-Have a realistic opinion of yourself and what your ministry can achieve: there is a danger that we overestimate the impact our ministry has on the worldwide church and underestimate the impact our ministry has on our own local church.

-Listen to testimonies of what God is doing in your congregation. Seek out good news stories. Encourage people to give glory to God by sharing the good things he has done.

-Read books that talk about God and not just about worship. Make this a higher priority than purchasing every worship album under the sun and analysing it to death.

-Connect yourself with other worship leaders in other churches that are doing what you are doing. Make this a higher priority than getting to the next big worship conference/live recording.

-Remember you are not in a competition to have the best worship ministry; you are in a battle to see the kingdom extended.


5 Comments so far
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I remember when all you needed to be a worship leader was an altar, a knife and some fresh doves…

Comment by David Gate

I first came to Trinity Easter weekend at the Centaur. I was a beleiver before but never went to church (too stuffy and boring). That was until I went to Trinity, and the main thing that made me come back the next week was the worship team… You guys were and are fantastic, so are the teachings, but first off I really connected with the music, I only wish someone had told me earlier.
Thankyou, you brighten my Sundays!!

Comment by Anonymous

Dear Anon…great to hear that. next time you are here come and say hello – would be great to meet you!

Comment by Neil Bennetts

Hi Neil,

Having kept a seedy eye on your blog from time to time, I was really inspired by this post. I have just taken a bit of time out, due to the “weariness” you described in this post. I am really encouraged by your advice and thoughts, especially as I pick up my “duties” again this week. I love leading worship, and want to always give it my best, but balancing this with allowing God to take control and move is always a real challenge. Thanks for your words which help re-focus. Having a Mac isn’t a sin though is it? 😀

Comment by kevvo_b

great stuff Neil…keep it coming!

Comment by Andrew J. Booth

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