Monday, February 28, 2011

Worship Leaders Need Community, Part I

Worship leaders are some of the loneliest people I know.

People who make their living, find their purpose, most look forward to standing in front of people tend to feel alone most of the time.


As worship leaders, we know the value of community. Heck, most of us stand on our stages and encourage our people to "plug in" and connect to our church, but we're not so great at it.

Here's why:

Lots of us don't engage in community because it's just too hard. We're fine jumping on stage to play a song or performing in a video or running a sound board for a concert. Because that's what we know - we can do that. And most of us can do that without much trouble. But building some good, honest community with other people is a whole different situation. We're not as good across a coffee table as we are on Sunday morning. We're better at talking than listening. Deep down, we're afraid that somebody's going to finally figure out that we don't have it all together.

Lots of us can fake holiness if we need to. We know what to say, when to close our eyes, what books to quote and the best music to reference. But put us in a situation where somebody might find out that we struggle with lust? No way. Run the risk of a friend knowing that we haven't read our Bible in a week? Not gonna' happen. Build a relationship with somebody who not only knows I'm a wretch but also challenges me to shape up? Um...I got somewhere to be. We don't connect because our image is threatened.

The third challenge may not keep us from engaging in community, but it certainly prevents it from succeeding. Many of us think the connecting with a small group of friends and co-laborers in faith is just one more platform. We name-drop, we over-spiritualize and we over-perform. Connecting with a small group of people is not another gig. Yes, in one sense, you have pastoral care over these people, but you're also just a person who's trying to follow Jesus. Just like those people in your group.

Sound familiar, worship leaders?

It should! That's me and you, gang. So how can we beat the problem? What steps can we take to find community?

Well, tune it tomorrow to the blog and you'll find out!


Liz said...

Todd, I love seeing transparency & openness in your posts. (and posts of Christians in general) In the Church, we (all) struggle with letting down our guard & letting people see us for who we are....admitting our struggles....opening ourselves up and being vulnerable with each other. I don't know how it is at Bethel, but I suspect it's different than it was for us at our previous church. Larry was outright told NOT to talk about the sin areas he struggles was not becoming of a pastor to discuss those things. (eyeroll) Somehow standing on a pedestal & pretending to have it all together was better. (major sarcasm)

So keep doing what you're doing....but I think you're onto the right path--being YOU with your small group, reaching out, letting down your walls. You've got the right idea. Run with it!