Hey guys, I need a little encouragement and prayer.  I think you may find my story somewhat amusing.  Ok, so I moved into a completely different city away from my family and friends in order to take a job that God led me to.  That first year of teaching was one of the hardest times of my life.  I am unable to drive, and praising the Lord for healing my eyes... so just hopping in my car and driving the 3 hours to see my family is out of the question.  Last January, God spoke to my heart very strongly to walk to a specific church in my neighborhood on a Wednesday evening.  I met several people, and the service was nice.  The following Sunday, God put it on my heart again to go visit that church.  Again, I threw on my walking shoes and headed to church.  :)  It was wonderful, and I knew without a doubt that it was God's place for me.  I submitted myself to the pastor and God's vision through him.  Within 2 weeks, I was singing and playing keys on the worship team.  2 weeks later, the pastor announces that he and his family are leaving the church!  I had only begun worshiping with the team, when the Pastor, Worship Leader (who was also the youth pastor), AND the ENTIRE Worship Team LEFT the church!  I was still new to this church, and they were asking me to be their worship leader.  Trusting God, I accepted the position.  Praise God, now we do have a wonderful Pastor.  He and his family are such a blessing, and We agree concerning worship.  There is no limit to the Presence and Glory of God that we can enter into when we worship Him.  In the past few weeks, and especially today, I have really had to battle discouragement.  It seems as if we keep going backward.   There is such a heaviness during worship that seems to hold people back, and they have become very apathetic, complacent, and just kinda watchers.  How do we enter in when I'm pouring out my heart, trying to lead them, and they don't want to go deeper?  Also, I shared with them about a mission trip that we will be taking to minister to children who have cancer in the hospital, and that we need sponsors.  It is very inexpensive ($17), but no one.... not even one person stopped at the table to sponsor a child.  So many just glanced and kept walking.  I set up the table again today and had the same result.  Honestly, I do love them and want to serve them, but I was hurt.  I have poured so much into this group of people the 10 months that I've been there.  Like so many of you, I'm not on a church payroll, and I haven't been paid anything for the work that I do.  It's not about money for me... it's about showing people the love of Jesus and leading them into the very throne room of God.  Something is wrong though when not one person from your church is willing to back you and help with even a small offering to sponsor a child, and you hear more and more "The drums are too loud!" or "I can't hear....whatever" lol I'm sure you guys are all too familiar with those complaints.  I'm asking God to show me if I'm supposed to stay or go.... really, It's just getting to the point that there is more discouragement than joy.  :(  Your prayers and/or comments are greatly appreciated.  

With love in Christ,

Darlene 

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Hi Darlene, Thank you for sharing this. I don't have any magic answers but I can promise you everybody on every worship team in every country has experienced discouragement and frustration at some point!  The circumstances sure seem like you were put there for a reason, so don't give up the day before the miracle.  You have been an encouragement to me just by writing this. You have  a worshipers heart! 

Thank you so much Diana.  :)  God bless you.

The worship leader's job is to stand and lead the people into His presence. The reality is that this is often a battle. Just because it's hard, it doesn't mean that God doesn't want you there - in fact it's probably the opposite. Someone has to stand for the people to see them changed, to see them hunger for God. that is the Worship leader's priestly Levitical role. We are called to be people who change the atmosphere, not people who are driven out by the atmosphere. This is the calling of a person of God. Stand, fight, lead. You are the one who is called to change and stand for His presence.

We cannot be led by people's response to us. We can only be led by Him. If everyone left when it got hard, nothing would ever change anywhere. I know this is hard if you are on your own, but I know that one person standing for Him and what he is doing can change churches or even cities or nations.

Hang in there. Churches that have had a change of leadership often struggle for a while, and it sounds like this one has had a drastic shift. If you feel God has called you there then keep doing what He's asked you to do and you will be part of the answer.

Thank you all so much for your strong yet confirming and encouraging words.  I sought God concerning this yesterday, and He put it on my heart to start having intercessory prayer for an hour in the sanctuary before services.  Pastor was all for it.  He will be coming, and as people come in early, they are welcome to join us.  I believe that God is about to do a major work in this church!!!

Blessings,

Darlene

Our church has an intercessory prayer group that meets and prays every Sunday morning.  It started out

being for the church services but has expanded to where people can request prayers for individuals or

various other things.  Keep us posted how it all goes!

The Lord gave you specific leading and directions that got you to that congregation. 

I would not consider leaving until you have a clear direction away from it.

Losing that much of the senior leadership of any organization is difficult, and IMO it is more hurtful in a congregation as we not only work together but are bound spiritually to each other. It takes time (in some cases a LOT of time) to recover.

It may well be that the Lord put you here to invoke HIS presence (which is healing) for this time.

Very true David.  It's just been a rocky transition, but I believe that God is going to bring us through stronger than we were before.  Kinda reminds me of the time when Jesus instructed his disciples to go to the other side of the sea.  The circumstances said no, and they struggled with their faith that the Word of the Lord would come to pass.  In the midst of the storm, we all need a little faith reminder from time to time.  Thanks for sharing bro!  :)  Blessings!

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