A WORSHIP LEADER LOOKS AT 40

The most recent episode of the Average Worship Leader Podcast is all about turning 40. (Which I did a few weeks ago...) So far, no mid-life crisis has set in, but I will admit that the past few weeks have been a little weird. There's been a lot of reflection and analysis and goal setting and the podcast this week is all about that.

Thought it might be helpful to either simplify those thoughts over here on the blog (or maybe make them more complicated, who knows anymore in this crazy internet world, right kids?)

These two or three weeks of soul searching have reminded me that my time (on earth, with my family, at my church, with my team, etc) is finite. I'm realizing that I won't lead worship forever and owning up to that has clarified some stuff for me.

I want to be more intentional about INVESTING IN THINGS THAT LAST. This is not easy. In fact, I think most worship leaders are backward on this concept. We tend to invest our time and energy into the very things that won't last. I don't know why we do this - but we do. This sort of investment can only happen as a by-product of honesty. When I'm honest with myself, I have to own up to the stuff that's not going to fade eventually and I need to be pivoting toward things that will endure - a commitment to God's Word, investing in my little circle of family and friends, being generous, being forgiving. Those are things that will make an eternal impact. Those are the things people will remember. They may not remember ME, but they might remember what God did because of how I lived.

Here are some specific things I'm doing to be invested in the eternal.

Simplify social media. I typically do a social media disconnect once a year and it's always good for my soul, but I want to do more than that this go around. I like social media a lot and I think it can have some unique benefits to guys in my position. Because of that, I'm trying to rethink my whole social-media life strategy. I want to simplify my output and my value for it.

Make more music. I have an EP coming out in late November. And when January 2017 hits, I'll start saving money for another one. I'm trying to write and record as much music as possible. I honestly could not care any less about getting artists to cut my songs these days and it's not like I'm going to have a worldwide recording career. But I do love songwriting and believe that a song can be one of the most powerful weapons for change we've ever seen. So I want to make more of them.

Take more creative risks. I don't believe God's done with me. And that means that I'm open to whatever he wants to do in my life. When God leads me to creativity and risk, I want to jump headlong into what He's saying. I don't want to be afraid of making things that feel out-of-the-box or "off brand." Plain and simple, I'm wanting to be obedient.

Hang out with my wife more. Maybe that sounds dumb, but Kristen and I are in what seems like the busiest two years of our lives. Truth be told, most of our busyness is due to God's blessing, so we're not complaining! But we're still figuring out how to balance a marriage and jobs and kids and a house and a dog. (Okay, the dog's not that hard to handle. But you get the drift.)

What about you? You ever intentionally simplified your life? What did you do? How did it go?