WHEN THAT PLAYER LEAVES

We've all be there.

We've all had THE PLAYER.

THE PLAYER is that person who shows up who has astounding God-given talent, can play whatever you ask and instantly gels with you and the rest of the team.

With a player like this, you might sometimes think to yourself, "Wow. I think we're, like, a GOOD band now." Songs come faster and the congregation responds. Your whole sound changes with a player like this because you're able to chase ideas never before attempted.

So, what do you do when a player like that leaves?

It's heartbreaking. You don't want to be angry, but...you're kinda' angry. You don't know what it going to mean for your band. You can't imagine how you'll fill that spot with someone else. Here's some stuff to remember:

SOUNDS CHANGE

Go watch a video of your church worship from five years ago? Pretty different, right? Watch a video from ONE YEAR AGO, and you'll even see a difference there. Because sounds change. The way songs are written and recorded change. It just might be there's another player perfectly suited to where your team is headed in the future. In fact, sometimes losing a player and rethinking your sound pushes you ahead of the musical curve. Many of us get complacent with our band each week. Sometimes losing that pro-level musician is just the kick in the pants we need.

CONGREGATIONS CHANGE

If we're honest, the easiest way to lead worship is with the same team each week. Your "A-team," as it were. But an ever-changing band may just be the perfect thing for a growing congregation. Having a team that looks different every couple of years is encouraging to your church - it shows growth and it reflects the trajectory of most normal people - things change.

GOD KNOWS WHAT WE NEED

I've played with some amazing drummers in my ministry life and a whole bunch of them have moved on. (Guess I'm just too mean!) But the thing that God has reinforced over and over to me is that He knows what I need as a worship leader. Sometimes, he's sent a better drummer. Sometimes he's sent one who was worse and I had to work way harder to communicate and train that player. Sometimes we've gone into a percussion phase. And you know what? Each of those new phases has been good for us. God knows what we need.

NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO

It's sad, but there's a good chance that your congregation doesn't get as upset as you about losing players. You can instantly list off every awesome thing that drummer or guitar player did on Sunday, but for most people, it probably didn't register. They might think, "The band sounded good today," but unless you're having your star player do a bunch of solos, your congregation often misses 75% of all the awesome stuff that band member is doing.