If you have been worship leading for a while, then you are going to face this at some point… it’s Sunday morning, it’s early on and you do not feel well, however you have a responsibility to the Lord, the Pastor and the church to be leading worship, and doing it skillfully. Now, it doesn’t matter how long you have been leading, even experienced worship leaders confront days like this! So I would like to cheer those of you who meet the week in, week out, every Sunday, 2 or more services that we very much require to make sure does not turn into a tedium!
When you are Worship Leading You Just Can’t be Flat!
There are many reasons why, when we face the potential of worship leading, we can feel down. It can be as straightforward as coming off a late evening, feeling worn-out, feeling sick or just being very tired, right through to having major events disturbing our sense of joy, things like marriage trouble, the a friend dying, or more commonly a fight with someone in your band just prior to when you are going on. Trust me, this last one happens more often than you would think!
In my case, because I travel and minister all over the world, jet lag is a big one. At times like these sheer tiredness can leave you feeling fatigued, lackluster and a bit down or miserable when it comes to leading worship.
Uninspired is often a good description, and as you look around at the others in the worship band, you might recognize that many of them struggle in their skills, and they are looking to you for inspiration… something you feel completely incapable of giving! Maybe they too are fatigued and lethargic. Perhaps being down and flat is infectious!
What Can You Do About It?
When this happens to me, I pray and asked the Lord to assist. I realize that, when we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor 12:10). I realize again that this whole vocation of worship leading is not about me, and how I feel, it’s about Him! I step back and take a good, extensive look at myself, and realized that in truth I am merely a servant, not a singer, not a guitarist and definitely not a star! I recognize that, no matter how I feel inside, I am required to change my way of thinking and continue to serve, no matter what the price.
If you do this, ignoring your own feelings , then the Lord will start to move with magnificent power, firstly in your own heart, and then in the hearts of the singers and musicians. Whether we use our hands, feet or voices, all of us above all use our hearts, and this is the appropriate attitude to worship leading as a servant.
If you rely fully on the work of the Lord, from the very first song you could feel the presence of the Lord, and His delight at our change of heart, and at our choice to do our best no matter what we felt at that moment. In our weakness, He shows Himself strong, and we are rewarded with a magnificent and very intimate time of worship leading.
So, fellow worship leaders, I write this highly frank, open and graphic article to motivate you, and to tell you that, even if you are feeling downhearted, fatigued and uninspired, you are not alone. All worship leaders feel this at some stage, all of us labor to keep the flame of inspiration burning bright, and we all need to be reminded that worship leading is never about us and our talents or enthusiasm, it is, and always ever will be, first and foremost about HIM!