How to Avoid Sleepwalking Through Ministry

How to Avoid Sleepwalking Through Ministry

Ever feel like you’re just dialing it in? That you’re just going through the motions of your ministry like a checklist you can’t wait to finish? Here’s how to avoid sleepwalking through ministry.

Sometimes it’s not even burnout, you know? You’re just tired. You’ve been doing the same thing over and over again for years. While you want to “come back to the heart of worship,” sometimes you just want to wrap it up and watch football. You want to disconnect. You can’t wait for the weekend except for the fact that the weekend is game time and it has become work for you.

But we all know we can’t live in this realm. Worship is too important to dial it in. The Kingdom of God is too important for us to be sleepwalk through Sunday. We need to be on the edge of our seat. We need to gaze in wide eyed wonder. The Kingdom of God doesn’t slow down.

Should we?

I’ve seen this in action as a parent. I have the capacity as the father of my kids to create a healthy environment for my kids to grow, or an unhealthy one. I have the ability to crush the dreams of my kids, throw a wet blanket on their enthusiasm because of my personal annoyance, and foster a small imagination within them focused solely on not screwing up. Or, I can control my emotions, see beyond the rowdy behavior, and foster an atmosphere of learning, love, the Holy Spirit and possibility.

As a worship leader, I have the capacity to create a healthy environment for my church or an unhealthy one. In the same way, we can’t let ourselves get in the way of that healthy environment. So let’s focus on the positives.

A Healthy Worshiping Environment

What is a healthy environment for your worshiping church?

– Songs of objective declaration about the character of God.

– A sound that reflects the culture and the community of people that are gathered.

– A ministry that is submitted to the vision of the Lead Pastor.

A team culture that is more concerned about pastoring people than being rockstars.

– An environment where the Word of God is preached, sung and believed.

– A place where people glory in the cross and not their own holiness.

– A culture of respect where people value each other’s differences and preferences as the people of God.

But how?

Be immersed in the story—the story of what God is doing. Don’t just live off the day you were “converted.” Yesterday’s encounter isn’t enough for tomorrow’s challenge. There’s a new grace and a new mercy for today, but you need to be awake to see it and receive it. Be intentional about obeying God, seeing His power at work and having a story to tell about it.

Sunday worship will always feel strange if you have a disconnected heart from the Kingdom of God. Leading the Bride of Christ in worship will feel foreign if you’re not fostering a fierce passion for the Bridegroom. If the King isn’t your passion, you’ll tend to abuse the affections of the Bride for your own gain.

Maintain a closeness with Jesus and approach each new day as an opportunity to see Him work. Don’t just “make it happen.” Pray it through. Go to war in prayer for the hardness of your heart to be softened—the distance of your heart to be made closer to the heart of God.

So take risks. Step out into the story of God. Let your heart be moved again. Many of us get to a place where our hearts are no longer moved by anything. It’s because we’ve become critics of everything.

We’ve slowly moved away from experiencing beauty to critiquing beauty. We’ve moved away from being the people of God to criticizing the people of God.

So if you’re for creating a healthy environment of worship in your church, comment below. What is your current challenge? Let’s talk about it.

 

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.