There are two major causes of burnout. You can summarize them as not focusing 100% on God, but for the sake of study I'd like to look at two possible manifestations of that:
1) Condemnation - the feeling that we're just not good enough. Yeah, I can play really cool stuff, and the presence of God always manifests very strong when I lead worship, but if the people actually knew the REAL me, the struggles I face (and lose), if they knew what was REALLY in my heart...
If we had to bet, I'll bet my money on this being the biggest one. I am still contemplating the example of a worship leader who quit his career while it was on the way up, because he felt "I couldn't be the me people needed me to be, that I wanted me to be..." and his life went downhill after that.
(Of course God restored him and rebuild his life, but I don't think God wants us to go through THAT kind of pain.)
2) The Fear of Man - this burned ME out. And had me running away and avoiding the worship ministry for a couple of years. You can read the story here
Well I am in this situation right now Junjie. I am "taking a break" from our worship band since last month. I told my pastor when I made this decision that I really don't feel like I am burned out but it was more of an overwhelmed me. It was a combination of a current stressful full time job at a hospital (I am on call at night a couple times a week and every 3rd or 4th weekend which prevents me from being at Sunday services during work times) and being part of a band with some members not giving their 100%. There were commitment issues and I didn't get any excitement out of a few when I do scripture readings. Therefore I thought that some of the guys were there for the wrong reasons. The load was too much for me that it took the joy of serving in the band as a worship leader. The good thing was, every Sunday, the band always sounded great and none of the internal struggles was evident.
Since my "taking a break", It's been weird worshipping with the rest of the congregation and not being up there with the band. My wife and I have visited a new church down the street and we love the reception of the people, the awesome praise/worship team, and the pastor who I see regularly at my local gym. So I am torn and praying a lot. Glad to find WTR online!
I guess my situation is slightly different from what you mentioned but I do agree with everything you said my brother. Any advice?
Just remember, you are NOT the mediator between God and the rest of the band. Only Jesus is. Their commitment issues are worrying, but you are not going to fix it. You can't, only God can.
Just wondering, how much do you believe that the Word of God could do good work in the lives of even the unexcited few? Personally, when I do Scripture readings (in a worship band practice) it's ultimately for ME. If the rest are blessed, that's great, but my main reason for doing it is not for them, it's because I need it myself.
So that means that even if some are un-excited, I've preached myself happy. :)
"The good thing was, every Sunday, the band always sounded great and none of the internal struggles was evident."
Yeah, we see the faithfulness of God for his people. :)
Final point: usually when people take a break from the worship team they are disturbed to find that everything goes on perfectly fine without them. And that may be a bad blow to the ego. Just be aware.
I did have the realization prior to taking a break that God will take care of the band and everything else. No disturbed emotions at all. I'm more at peace with myself and am continuing to pray where God will place me. I do wanna plug in eventually with a worship team either with my church or the other church down the street. Hey, I'm having thoughts of going to two churches regularly? What do you think? I guess this is a new discussion I can start here in WTR. Peace!
I know this guy who goes two churches regularly. He attends a church where he and his family are greatly loved and ministered to, but he was taken out of that church's worship team. So he also goes to another church where he is allowed to serve on the worship team. And he goes there for the purpose of serving.
Well, he can afford the time, and the pastor of the second church is very welcoming of his contributions to their worship ministry even though he isn't an official member of that church. :)
I am a drummer now, but up until the last few months, I was heavily involved in running sound and other tech things for the past 5 or 6 years. I became burned out. By that I mean I lost the passion to serve in those areas. I became VERY passionate to play drums. The thing that led to my burnout was "man". While I am not perfect, there are several "passion crushers" at my church. People who criticise my gifts and abilities. While some would say I was the best sound person we ever had, others who are recognized to be experts in the field criticise and say that I made poor choices about setting up the equipment, etc. These things over time became too much of a drama to me. Pastors started to agree with the critics because of their strong opinions. OCD sets in with the Sr. Pastor and all of a sudden I am no longer good enough. It might be just me and my pride, so I ask God to give me a humble heart. That's what I call a source of burnout for me.
All of what I said is number 2 of what Junjie said above. Trying to please everyone and be perfect.
"While some would say I was the best sound person we ever had, others who are recognized to be experts in the field criticise and say that I made poor choices about setting up the equipment, etc."
My reply to anyone who dares to criticize people in the worship team usually goes along the lines of "You think you can do better? Rehearsal's at 8pm, Saturday, be there and show us what you've got..."
I'm fuming as I read about what happened to you, Dan! :(
I feel for you brother Dan! We do have "passion crushers" at my church. Don't we wish that these PC's would instead be more encouraging of our God-given gifts? WHO DO YOU THINK THEY ARE REALLY CRUSHING!? Not you my brother. Peace!
To Junjie's list I'd like to add #3) Not recognizing the need for Sabbath Rest...I grew up as an MK (Missionary Kid). Fred (not his real name) was one of the other folks my family worked with in ministry. Fred's take on things was that, if we weren't doing, doing, doing, we were wasting God's time and the ministry opportunities given too us. My dad tried to counsel him on the need to take some time for rest and renewal, but it didn't seem to sink in until it was too late. The last I saw of Fred, he had hit the wall, destroying his marriage in the process, and had to leave the ministry, and was dropping off some mission property at my folk's place. I've used that as a cautionary tale to myself on several occasions. God will pour out springs of renewal for us, but we have to stop long enough to take a drink.
Thank you brother for this thought. Yes, I am definitely taking a Sabbath Rest! I have had more time immersing in the Word. I do it every morning with a devotional and I definitely have the fire back in me! As i mentioned above, I have attended Wed evening services from a new church closeby and yes I'm on fire! Dude, I am taking a drink from the springs of renewal! Thanks again! Peace!