Most of us don’t begin a new worship ministry position believing we will only stay for a couple of years. Our intentions are noble to plant our lives for the long haul. But after we exhaust our two-year worship package of ideas we often get bored, our worship gets stale, our congregants get restless and we get busy looking for new ministry opportunities somewhere else.
[Today’s post is written by my friend and counterpart from the Kansas-Nebraska Convention, David Manner, a frequent contributor to this blog]
The forced termination epidemic reminds us that the choice to stay is not always ours to make. Christianity Today published a recent article indicating that nearly one-fourth of all active ministers have been forced out at some point in their ministry. But when staying is within our control, aren’t we called to do something about things here instead of hoping they will be different when we move there? And if we don’t do something to break patterns that are contributing to our short tenure here, won’t they follow us there? Maybe it’s time to improve rather than move.
- Intentionally rededicating our focus and energy here instead of constantly dreaming about there.
- Leaning in instead of coasting.
- Going to conferences, reading books and meeting regularly with other worship leaders to learn new concepts to try here, not to save for there.
- Starting a new ministry without leaving our old one.
- Owning our deficiencies and surrounding ourselves with those who can help us manage those deficiencies.
- Initiating and implementing long-term ministry goals.
- Trusting that God knows where we are and what we are going through.
- Spending the same amount of time developing new relationships and healing old ones as we are spending on ministry job-placement sites.
- Learning a new instrument or taking lessons to improve our old one.
- Praying and agreeing with Jesus’ prayer, “Yet not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
- Enlisting a coach or mentor to hold us accountable and stretch our thinking.
- Rebooting, reawakening, recommitting, reimagining, reinvesting, reinventing, remodeling, refashioning, reforming, recalibrating, refurbishing, recasting, reworking, reinterpreting and restarting every morning like it was the very first morning of a new ministry.
Even when another place of ministry seems more convenient, appealing, challenging, fulfilling and rewarding we must be reminded that God did not promise we will always be happy, revered, loved, appreciated or followed. So until God releases us to go we should focus on improving here instead of moving there.