One of my first “big” gigs was leading worship at a DiscipleNow weekend for a friend of mine named Brent. He had been at his first church for a little over a year and brought us in for his big youth event. I booked a drummer and a bass player and even asked a friend to play electric guitar! I was pumped. I worked up all the sets weeks in advance and just knew it was going to be the start of a very successful worship leading career.
It was a disaster.
We were too loud; we played songs they didn’t know; In addition to that, the senior pastor was awful. He was inappropriate and arrogant and, at one point, was quite suggestive to my wife. My friend felt terrible. He apologized constantly and kept telling me how great we were doing. I was miserable, but felt bad for Brent. So we kept our heads down and endured the weekend.
Weeks later, I was back at home complaining to a mutual friend about the trip. He had been in ministry for a long time and knew that Brent was struggling. After listening for awhile, he finally spoke up.
“How long has Brent been there?”
“Almost two years.”
“Yeah, it’s almost time for Brent to move on.”
I didn’t understand what he meant, so I asked him. His answer was nonchalant, as if everybody knew this fact about ministry. “Nobody lasts more than two years a their first church. Everybody leaves after two years. Your first church is just too hard.”
Most worship leaders hate conflict. When ministry starts getting a little too though, we immediately go to that list in our heads. You know the list I'm talking about...the list of other church other jobs that seem so much better than the one you currently have.
But here's the challenge - your people are wanderers, too. A lot of people in your congregation are quick to exit if stuff gets weird or convicting, and they need a worship leader who knows the value of sticking it out. Somebody’s gotta’ stay and invest in the church - it might as well be one of the ministers! Having wanderlust but staying faithful is like a worship leader superpower - it gives you a unique perspective that allows to you see gaps in the way your church connects with people. If you know this about yourself, you can be a better worship leader - and minister - because of it.
Some of you are struggling right now. Maybe your church is in identity crisis; maybe you're mad. maybe you're bored. But before you rush off, stop and asked the Lord if this is the exact reason why He put you there. Do wander...lead!