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?
When I began being a church musician, there were no "worship leaders" except the organist and choir director (the people sang from a hymnal without any assistance except the sound of the music). In this atmosphere, and with little accountability outside of musical competence, choirs often became ingrown or rife with dissension to the point that they were known as "the War Department of the church." This was a major motivating factor in the move to replace them with worship teams, which were directly accountable to the pastor, small in number, easier to control (younger people in general) and capable of making current-style music -- and enabled the church to cut the music budget (no CCLI then, it was all black-market).
Now that the worship team has become an Institution, it has been seen to have the same interpersonal dynamics as the choir (a worship team is merely a miniature choir-and-orchestra). And just as with choir, the people at large are unaware of the interpersonal difficulties and just enjoy the good music.
But one positive thing I've seen in these many dialogues on related subjects to "I quit" is that even when quitting or released, most have chosen to remain with their home church, be good citizens and uphold the mission of the church, even when their favorite activity was now unavailable. I applaud you guys.
I found a lot of your replies very helpful. It's helpful to know that I'm not alone and also to get various constructive suggestions too.
Hmm, very interesting timing for this topic. I just stepped down from leading my worship team as well, after coming to the conclusion (finally) that I don't have what it takes to be a worship leader in my church at this time.
It was not a question of talent (well, okay not totally), nor did people dislike what I was doing with our music, etc. It just finally dawned on me that in the area of worship music, the place where I wanted to take the church was not where they wanted to go. Simple as that. I just don't have the skill set to make it happen.
Thankfully God has helped me keep away from the bitterness aspect, and I've redirected my time into working with the youth band. And to tell you the truth, what a relief!
Sometimes it just comes down to needing a change. Hang in there, Ian. May God's peace become more real than you've ever known it before.
I've had both good and bad experiences as a worship leader. I totally empathise with you and your feeling of being burnt out. Been there, done that. I'm on the verge of moving on from my current experience, but I don't like quitting. Any advice for one who's behind you in this ??? My previous experience as a worship leader in another country was fantastic but this one just isn't working out for me - perhaps because my expectations have been shattered and, I guess, I'm disappointed to work with people who have a lack of enthusiasm for worship and spend all their time engaging in negative behaviour that just doesn't reflect Christ. Whew!!! Sorry, am I offloading when I'm supposed to be responding to your question???? For you, I would say you've resigned. Move on by going into closet time with the Lord. Seek His face and get His guidance on what to do next. You may be in the wilderness for a while, but God won't leave you there. Stay there until He tells you to move on. He will open doors for your next mission. Blessings.
As I read through these replies, something comes to mind. I work in the business world and my role is pretty hectic and at times, I get frustrated with where they want to take things. But I always adjust and at the end of the day, I'm getting paid, so I shut up and keep my nose to it. But in ministry, if I had to think like that I would quit. Why is that?
In practical terms I'd say most of us work 'cos we need the money to live, and some also have the responsibility of providing for spouses and children. That being the case, then we would see it as being our duty to tolerate being frustrated and get over it for the sake of our family. I think the same would apply to worship situations if it were our main source of income.
I don't know about others but I find the hurting and frustration from worship situations/fellow Christians feels much deeper than from people in the work place. Maybe 'cos work is only a proportion of our lives, whereas 'worship' is our very being.
I just find that churches can hurt you so much sometimes and very often it's a case of leaders 'looking after their mates first and foremost' or it's over some thing that isn't a spiritual issue. Folk get territorial over thier little kingdoms and hang on to them for dear life.
I'm finding after a long period of rest that God is beggining to give me opportunities to encourage & train others, which I am taking up.
The church isn't perfect by a long shot but it's all we got and after all, it is only what we make it.
I think you need to remember that Church is Sunday School for adults and in the playground you get bullied, scraps and hurt. You are learning as an adult to be equiped for all that life has to thrown at you as per "in your personal walk with God". It is NOT the endall and beall that some make it out to be. Those who do tend to stay and PLAY CHURCH - navel gaze; this leads to a useless and uneffective church.
Some who try to protect their ministries unusally have very thin skins and don't love the people more than their ministries. They have forgotten their first love and why they are there.
But the others who know better and love church deeper still, then go into the world; either at work or in their play areas and outreach in their unique way; this can still happen in the church (and does) when we just grow up and stop taking things personally - it's not about us!
Good points Alan.
I know it is not about us, but all the same, 'church people' can hurt you an awful lot. In my case, and it's probably a very narrow minded reason, I expect better from a Christian person and think they should know better, which is why the hurt feels much deeper.
is this a direct response to my post Allan or are you just making general points ?
Hey Phil, well both really - sorry I should have said ineffective not uneffective church lol.
But it's in my experience mainly, growing and stretching me and turning me inside out. I have found this to be true, that people in church are no different to those in the outside world, except they have a better plan - some don't know that yet.
To be honest we are learning about God and how He wants us to live and operate but the church has become fractured and fragmented, not to mention disfunctional. But there is still hope and we must not get wrapped up in the petty rubbish that goes on. As Lorraine said " 'church people' can hurt you an awful lot" and in church we tend to have "thin skins" and be "immature" - we in general , need to toughen up and grow up.