I have been with a certain church for almost ten years. I have been the Praise and Worship Leader for over a year. It is a small church with an average attendance of 20-30 people a week. We used to have 100-150 people. That church just hasn't grown and actually has shrunk. I haved served and lead in several ministries. I took over Praise and Worship when the last leader left with, no notice. I have only been playing guitar for about 2 years. I took over without experience, with a social phobic background, but a love for God and a desire to serve where needed. I am mediocre at best musically speaking, but I have a heart for worshipping the Lord. I am tired, in over my head and overwhelmed. I have filled the postion, but no one has stepped forward to take my place. We have a very talented drummer and two talented guitarists/vocalists who say they are not ready to lead. But I think I am ready to leave. I am not growing spiritually anymore and I need to. Any advice??????
Wow. The responses here are many and the advice sound. I appreciate all the feed back(one of the only times feed back is a good thing and I say that from a sound tech's perspective). My wife and I continue to pray and I ask God to show us direction and some insight as to what his will is for us. I will be medically incapacitated for the month of September and I have made arrangements for the ministry. A month to reflect, pray and maybe rejuvinate. My pastor has asked me to use this time for just that. So God is basically making me take a sabbatical due to my health. God does have a plan and this may just be a part of it.
Thanks for all your comments and may Christ continue to uphold you with his mighty hand!
Amen! To GOD be the glory! Isn't it amazing how the LORD will confirm His answers and His direction with & through the people of God! I love it! Be encouraged Gerald... I'm wishing you a speedy recovery, time for renewal--yet excited to know how the LORD will continue His work in you.
Just recently, three weeks ago I stepped out of the music team after 19 years with the same church. This was something that I wanted to do over the last couple of years, it wasnt my time yet. It was always through the tough times when the door closed, this time it was at ease, you could say peaceful. It is also Gods timing.
Through hardship; its a time of growth and drawing closer to God. If we leave to soon or through a time of hardship then we havent really grown.
The time you are going through could be a time of growth for the church spiritually and naturally. Stay with it, press on, God is your strength. Leaving is an easy way out, God will bless you for your faithfulness. Later down the track you will say Im glad I stayed.
Through my hardest times of leading worship is when the presence of God was the strongest.
People leaving the congegation is out of your control and people leave for different reasons. Talk to your pastor. Create a new culturer of worship: As it is in heaven culture
I agree with the comments about getting the other members to start leading. When they say they're not ready, they probably mean they don't want to take over. The deal is, don't tell them they're taking over (even if, in your mind, they eventually will!). Just ask them to lead a song or two per set, then move them up to leading the whole set while you're still there. Before long, they'll begin to feel comfortable in the role and will be able to do it while you sit out for a break.
As an aside, a dwindling church family is very discouraging, and may be the bigger reason why you're feeling overwhelmed. You really should talk to the pastor about that issue...hopefully he's got some kind of plan!
I would say that unless the congregation starts bringing rotten produce to throw at you, you're good to go (or stay as the case may be). To prep the weenies* who aren't ready to step up, have them lead one or two songs each Sunday. Ease them into the idea of being a leader.
Sorry Rick, I didn't read all the way down and see your comment. Now I see my comment sounds like a repetitious redundancy that keeps repeating itself to reiterate a point that's already been rehashed all over again.
I am encouraged by the wise words of many. I am strengthened by my faith in God. I have two more Sunday's before I begin my medical absence, but the cogs and wheels are turning in my head already for my probable return to lead worship. I am praying that the Lord rejuvenate my strength and rekindle the passion I felt on the first day I began as Praise and Worship Leader. I am already recruiting new singers from within the body of the church who I wanted to bolster the Praise in my absence. Some are pretty good. Some are new Christians and some are lifers. Maybe they are part of the permanent solution.
If God's plan is for me to stay at my current church (and I have yet to determine if it is) I certainly cannot go on business as usual. There has to be new life breathed into my ministry. Having said that, I will boldly ask all of you, what would you do in my shoes should I return after my medical absence?
Question #2: What do you know now, looking back to your early days in the ministry, that you wish you knew then?
Question #3: I live in Mid-Coast Maine, close to the Ocean(as close as I can afford). It is a beautiful place to live and visit.We live about 10 miles from the Brunswick Naval Air Station(BNAS) if you want better proximity. Who would like to come visit for a few days, lead Praise and Worship on a Sunday, and meet new people? Bear in mind, we sing Contemporary Praise and occasionally I like to slip in some old stuff. Our drummer is fantastic, our bass player is good(also is our Pastor) and my female back up singer is fantastic on her 12 string and blends nicely to my song lead. Then there is me. I am human. I have a fifth wheel(very large) that can accommodate several bodies so you could stay there as our guest and my wife is a fantastic cook. So then, is God calling any of you to call upon me?
The Bible exhorts us not to get weary in the well-doing. I am happy to see that you are seeking answers. However you appear to be laying the blame on yourself as a "worship leader" as that is the center of your subject. On the surface one could too easily conclude that you are the cause because that is how you set up the situation. Grace & peace be to you. You are stumbling under a heavy yoke that was not designed for you. Worship is the current word for the more archaic WORTHSHIP. Our worth was established by Father and His only Son, sacrificed in our stead.
The difficulty with answering your questions is that we of the online generation are so detached from each-other. These are face2face issues. With whom do you have a close accountable relationship with? Who is your best friend, and are you both willing to speak truth to each other, receive truth, and act on it?
Having been both the zealot and the observer I can say only that the quantity, the numbers of people are not the defining quality of a church. Nor is the music the defining quality of worthship. The quality of the relationships with Father, with each other and with the community at large are. The small size of your congregation is a distinct advantage (REJOICE). You can, despite your admitted introversion, find some deeper relationships. If not there, then in your community. Most of the growth in our church is always at the expense of another church. However, most people have become Christians because of their relationships with other Christians. Yeah, many may have formally "said the prayer" and yielded their lives over to Father after a poignant sermon or a soulful song, but they would not have been there if they were not invited or at least curious about one of their Christian friends. Few people jump over the precipice without someone they can trust within arm's length.
True WORTHSHIP is befriending the unlovely, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, advocating for the helpless because that is what has been done for you. Doing what you see Father doing. The result is a stronger breathing of the Spirit in you, a replenishing of your strength instead of the constant drain of burdens you or the church may place on your shoulders.
The pat surficial answers: No, hang in there, God will provide a lamb. You are insecure about your ablities. What are your opportunities for growth spiritually and musically? Take music and singing lessons (the best always do). Jam with someone better than you.
The unanswerable: Why is the church fumbling. What changed? A drop from 100 to 20 is significant. What is the time frame? 10 years? 5 years? 2 years? Who remains? What keeps them there? Where are the other people now? Ask your pastor. If he is a hireling, all he can/will do is blame it on someone else (maybe even you). But if he is a true pastor, he will have been asking himself the same questions, draw in close and seek the answers with you.
Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I have been considering moving on to a more intense worship experience. The church I attend is small and getting smaller and at least half the members don't want contemporary worship and often don't attend when the praise band is playing which is once a month at my church. I am a trained musician (singer/pianist) who feels like my spiritual life is being stunted. There are those of us who understand that in order for a church to grow and bring in young families you have to have contemporary music. The others are content to sit back and let the church shrink away. I have been wondering if it is time to move on as well but the church is a beautiful church with wonderful acoustics. I have my music studio at my church and I live three blocks away. For so long I have felt like an employee rather than a member of the congregation. I have done a lot of praying, asking God to lead me in the direction he wants me to go. I don't always get the answer I want but Gods reasons make me stronger in my faith because they test me. I was also uncomfortable speaking in front of people, God decided I should be a choir director at a public high school. He put the job in my lap and I took it. I'm not afraid to speak to people anymore although I'm still more comfortable singing than talking. Pray about your situation every day. Do what you feel God wants you to do. He will fill the position if you step down. If you stay get help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Talk to your pastor about it. Trust your intuition and listen for Gods voice. God Bless You
Kari, churches are not speed boats; they are like supertankers - they take miles and miles to make a simple turn in direction. Come to think of it, supertanks move faster than most churches...
Your reasons for staying are: great accoustics, close to home. etc. Those are human preferences (still valid, though). Your reasons for wanting to move on are: more intense worship of our God, personal spiritual growth, a desire to be a part of God's work of reaching the world around us.
Seems like an obvious choice to me...
My feeling is that you should be bold. There is much to be done out there for the kingdom and so little time to do it. And God has given you a vision for greater things. May His peace be with you.
Being willing and being called are two different things. There are many of us who have stood in the gap to fill a vacancy that appears. We weren't necessarily called to it but we love the Lord and we were willing to step in where we were needed. Sound familiar?
First: what is God telling you?
Second: What does your pastor have to say on the subject?
Third: We should also seek the counsel of Godly men. If you are what is their input?
Ultimately you can choose to put the decision in God's hand. He knows what he's doing.