Keep Your Focus on the Congregation

1As a preacher’s kid and someone who’s been leading worship either as a volunteer or paid staff member since I was 12, I’ve had the opportunity to see the inner-workings of many church staffs, with all of the good, bad, and ugly stuff that goes on. It helps me understand why so many people who start off in ministry with eagerness and expectation end up dropping out confused and disillusioned.

Whether you volunteer or are paid on a church staff, you know what I’m talking about. On church staffs there are politics, power plays, and power blocs. There are certain people who are just plain difficult. There are emails that hit you from out of nowhere and leave you whiplashed. There are glaring areas of neglect that go on being neglected for years. There is mismanagement. There is competition. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel.

In order to stay sane, you have to stay focused on the congregation. You can’t let staff “stuff” distract you from your primary role of helping the congregation worship Jesus. You have to be able to put on blinders when necessary and not allow all-too-common church staff distractions to have a detrimental impact on your Sunday morning leading, and thus the congregation.

Living in D.C., you hear politicians use the phrase a lot that they “work for the people“, as in “the people” who elected them. I think worship leaders should have a similar creed. You work for the congregation.

And, let’s face it, your congregation doesn’t care what your title is, or who is upset with who, or what email got sent to what person, or what heated conversation took place, or who got the blame for breaking the copier machine. They really don’t care. They’re just hungry for something satisfying. And you can show them Jesus in all his goodness. Stay focused on feeding your congregation this Sunday, even if that means ignoring a lot of things swirling around you Monday – Friday.

3 thoughts on “Keep Your Focus on the Congregation

  1. Jason Sneed June 19, 2013 / 11:12 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! I needed this today!

  2. S. Leonard June 27, 2013 / 5:34 pm

    It is teachings like this that make me struggle with what and why we are “so-called” worship-leaders. David was one thing: a worshiper of the Most High with ONE DESIRE…(Psalm 27)
    As the church becomes more and more like the “world” we keep asking WHAT & WHY is it so? The church gropes for more of its own satisfactions to be met and seldom is it asking about the heart of God to be known, comprehended or felt! His presence CHANGES the heart of a man/woman but we keep making excuses for the unchanged heart of the church because we wont take the time to be where God is and let Him change us from the INSIDE OUT! So we settle for different colored carpet and new marketing plans or different style music to soothe the dryness of our unquenched souls while our spirit should be communing with God’s, first and foremost! (Isaiah 59; 2 Timothy 2:12 ESV)
    2 Timothy 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us

    OUCH!

    How can ANYONE with any bit of God in them read that and just shuffle on without realigning to seek Him and not the wills, ways and preferences of man? Even if its our grandma or our spouse? God still should be superior to ALL IF He is God in all of our life…right?

    Especially, now when we are talking about a “so-called worshiper,” NOT A SONG-LEADER but a worshiper that has been pressed up against the chest of God and KNOWS HIS HEARTBEAT, right???
    I’d like to hope for such…but not all are cut out of that same relationship for you CAN ONLY LEAD OTHERS WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN BECAUSE YOU KNOW THE WAY TO GET THERE AND YOU HAVE ACCESS!!! You are NOT UNCOMFORTABLE OR ASHAMED either!!!
    Where are these Psalmists? NOT THE ENTERTAINERS but worshiper/psalmist who does this BECAUSE GOD IS GOD!?!

    So, I read stuff like this and the FOCUS is the congregation first and NOT GOD FIRST and therefore the outcome will ALWAYS be LESS than holy, LESS than ON FIRE, LESS than full of His Presence because He said He would not share that glory or that praise with another…(John 4:21-24, Isaiah 42:8,
    We have so watered down the ways and means of worship and praise that there is little to lead by example because we are so consumed with the idiosyncrasies of drowning is 6inches of stagnant waters rather than teaching by example HOW to swim and be free of this worlds was and means by SWIMMING IN “the Living Water of Life!”
    So few Worshipers that lead with this revelation and thus have created a hungry flow of believers that are worshiping THE CREATOR and NOT THE SONGS, STYLES OR SCENERY…how about the presence of God???
    Exodus 40:34-35 ESV
    Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

    How sad is the state of our fleshed out churches…

    • Jamie Brown June 27, 2013 / 5:44 pm

      Hi there!

      I appreciate your comment and your enthusiasm (although your last line might be a tad too fatalistic for my taste), but I don’t think you understand the point or the heart of my post. I’m not saying (and did not say) that worship leaders should worship their congregations. I’m saying (and said) that when worship leaders who work on a church staff are distracted by church-staff politics and frustrations, to remember that their role is to serve their congregation and point them to Jesus on Sunday morning. I’m sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. You and I probably agree with each other, you know…

      Jamie

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