Some years ago, I was beyond frustrated while serving in a church where I felt I was running on a hamster wheel. Week after week, I would “lead worship,” but it never seemed to elicit the response I hoped for. The people stood bored, uninspired, and generally apathetic, hands in pockets and arms folded. I was rarely thanked or encouraged, and it seemed I was wasting my time.
At the same time, I would travel to lead worship for conferences and concerts where my band would be paid well, fed well, put up in nice hotels, and constantly thanked and praised for our great work. When we led worship, people raised their hands and voices and sang loudly. Afterward, we would sign autographs, sell CDs and T-shirts, and take pictures with our “biggest fans.” I wanted more.
One day, in the middle of an argument with my wife over the whole thing, I shouted, “All I’m ever going to be is a local church worship leader!” As soon as I heard the words leave my mouth, the Holy Spirit began his work of conviction in me. He brought Ephesians 5:26-27 to mind to remind me that the church is the bride Christ gave himself up for, rather than a stepping stone for my own fame and glory. John 10 reminded me that the church are his sheep and they need a shepherd, not a rock star.
I was undone.
And then, because of his kindness, God used the wrecking ball of Psalm 46:10 to tear down the walls of strife I was experiencing from working toward the exaltation of the wrong name. Finally Ephesians 1 comforted me as an adopted son of God, who was purchased by the blood of Christ and blessed beyond comprehension.
Until that moment, I hadn’t realized that I had been searching for worth in things that could not give it, for satisfaction in broken wells. I was subconsciously using people to find validation, trying to create a better identity than the one I had been given in Christ. When people didn’t cooperate with my plans, I became frustrated with them, rather than humbly serving them as their pastor.
Read the entire commentary–especially if you are a worship leader and either have or desire a performing stage other than your local church: Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars – The Gospel Coalition Blog.