Sad news. I handed my resignation to my worship team. I found it increasingly difficult to do a good job with the way things are run in our church. For a long time I did it in the hope that my playing and singing was still a blessing to someone, and with the desire to worship God in all I did, but I have just got burnt out by the whole experience.
Anyone else got burnt out in worship playing or leading? Any thoughts on what happens next?
The same thing happend to me mate ;o) Take some time out, rest, recover, and wait on God. In time He will show you a way forward. There is definately life after leading worship - I know, I got the scars to prove it :o)
Burnt out from a particular position or a calling?
As I begin to mellow out as I get older, I look at worship positions like a job. I may study to be a engineer, and that is my career. I'll most likely always be an engineer. However I'll probably go thru a number jobs before I retire. Jobs, come and go, but for the most part my vocation will probably stay the same. (Pastors for example, leave churches, but continue on preaching somewhere else...) Usually at the beginning, it's the honey-moon period, everything is great and you're excited, motivated and invigorated. As time goes on, you see all the warts, bad blood is spilled, often things are said that can't be taken back.
So you move on. (Or in some cases, some people are lucky enough to move onto something even better, and on good terms...)
So for me, I've held a number of worship related positions (formal and informal) at a number of churches. Did it stop me from plying my trade somewhere else? No. Sometimes it was because I moved cities for job or getting married. Sometimes it was irreconcilable differences.
For me personally, my pattern now is that I take a step back. I find the in-between positions period very valuable and precious. (It's like Moses 40 years in the desert.) I try to see where God is leading me and my family go from there. The bride of Christ, the Church is made up ultimately of imperfect people. The bible clearly describes cases where prophets are not welcomed in certain towns, and it is somewhat the same with churches. It happens.
So to recap, maybe you got to decide are you burnt out from your position or your calling. If you're ready to ply your trade at another place, maybe God was just letting you know it was time to move on. That's totally different from wanting to throw in the towel all together...
I feel that sadly in the one place we should safe in being truthfully and forgiving, satan is most active. In our fellowships we should be able to be honest about life's struggles and support each other. But so often we avoid the issues until the pressure becomes to much.
Being a Christian is not a spectator sport and we are on the pitch and injury happens. But if the part of the team around you is made up of spectators then it's unlikely that you will be supported back in to the main game.
It seems that deep and important sermon needs repeating and repeating: "Love one another".
This may be a prophesy or my gut feeling(I may be wrong):
God will lead you to play for people who will be blessed by your personal understanding of what they too are suffering.
Please let me know in maybe a couple of years time if this is true.
Your brother in Christ
I know what you are feeling, I've been there. I also continued to worship, on my own, at home (I still do) and like you, I hadn't a clue what would happen next.
God opened doors for me though, without me even knocking. It may not seem it at the moment, and it's probably the last thing you want to hear, but you know, it can be an exciting time waiting for the Lord to open new doors, and believe me, He will!
Hang on in there and enjoy some quality time with the Lord. Nothing is ever wasted, and the time you have spend on the worship team will stand you in good stead when the Lord leads you to pastures new.
Keep on worshipping.........just think, He's got you all to Himself!
I had my own period when I wanted to avoid worship ministry. I wrote about it at
And I believe you'll find that this season can be one of great growth for you if you use it wisely on the Scriptures, fellowship with the spiritually mature and of course prayer. Hope to find everything clicking together for you soon! :)
Ian, what does God say to you in all this, should you stay, sit down for awhile orleave?
Many times, this has happened to me when I was younger, it was more likely my stance or feelings got hurt , that was the problem. I needed to learn something, but I am usually slow of the uptake from God. When one day after moving interstate, I met a associate pastor, who mentioned that he and his wife wanted to leave a church but, God indicated to stay there. They felt to just love the people and "dig in" so to speak. After 6 months the bad undercurrent that had upset people came to light. It wasn't the people that the associate pastor thought was the problem. It turned out to be the senior pastor in that case, he moved out and another pastor replaced him.
Sometimes, God will keep you there to help others weather the storm that may be brewing and then release you or up lift you.
God - the coach - will place you on the bench to wait for His plan, and we can sometimes take that personally - please try to relax and see what God has for you.
Burnout, tiresomeness, depression, the feeling of things going in circles, being trapped, dealing with divisiveness, laziness, commercialism, cluelessness, lack of understanding -- these are all a normal part of being a musician and part of a normal part of human life. What we bring into ministry/the church/life is what really counts -- lifting the burned out of the ashes, peacemaking, steadfastly making music with excellence in mind, with the joy of Jesus who rose from the dead!
What happens next is more of life. It may be with another worship team, or playing songs on a street corner with your guitar case open, or helping children in Latvia. Who knows? But more of life will happen, as long as you participate in life.
Only one thing not to do. Don't become one of those folks that sits at Starbucks, or three-quarters back in the congregation (the normal position for malcontents) and says, "I used to be a worship leader, but I got burnt out because blah blah blah". There are way way way too many of these already, and they serve neither themselves nor the church nor God, but remain a source of wistful misery for the music minister at the church who sees what they could be, but won't, because of something that happened long ago.
The Biblical phrase "grow in grace" involves a lot of trouble to get to both the growing and the grace parts.
I have been told that you only burn out if you do things totally in your own strength. I believe that is true, when I think of when I feel I have had enough, it is usually me trying to force my will on the situation. Saying things like, it needs to change or get with the rest of the Christian world, or even, don't like politics in church. I felt that they were important and things could be better if................. was changed or included.
The thing is I am always tired - I am old and older than yesterday, so I have to delt with that. But, I found going back to God and asking Him to deal with the politics and the bitchiness etc was the only way of doing anything, was to do what He wanted me to do in the first place. Get back to basics' and just love God and do that to the best level you can.
We all are accountable for ourselves and what we do and what we think, thtas' it. Do that right and other things willbe taken care of.
I'm not sure that's entirely true. Sometimes a church situation gets stuck, and an individual is powerless to change that. Like my wife says about forgiveness, you need to forgive anyone who has hurt you, you don't necessarily need to go back into that situation where you will get hurt again and again. There may come a point where it is clear that you are wearing yourself out to no good purpose. Is it worth keeping on in that case? Difficult to generalise, but in my case it feels like it's better to take a break than to get really mad about it when I can't change it. I'm not sure it's burn out as such, more a recognition that I'm not achieving anything in what I was doing and need to take time out, and then maybe see where God may use me in future.