A month or two ago, I wrote a piece here at WorshipMinistry.com called How to Dump Your Worship Pastor. It was my (therapeutic) response to another Dear Jon email I had just received from a team member (a drummer, no less – it always hurts more when it’s a drummer. Amen?). Apparently, you’ve had those emails/phone calls too. To date it was the most response I’ve received on a post here at WorshipMinistry.com.
We’ve been talking about current reality these last few posts. The “I’m outta here” email is an example of how, at any moment, our current reality changes–often trying to kick us in the teeth.
We seem to have two responses that naturally occur: complaining or fantasizing. For me, they normally happen in that order. Last week, I described those two activities in pretty strong terms. And I wrote that post with the finger (index finger, this time) squarely pointing at me. I’m quick to gripe, then to waste time thinking what if?. And let me tell you the time I can waste with what if?:
Three out of my top five strengths on the StrengthsFinder test are Ideation, Futuristic, and Strategic. That means my brain produces ideas like a teenage boy produces hormones. Most of my ideas have to do with a “better future,” so I take those ideas and strategize how to get there.
(And by the way, my remaining two strengths are Individualization and Woo. That means I’ll figure out where you best fit in my strategy and then charm you in to it. Yeah, people run–including my wife–when I start a sentence with, “I’ve been thinking…”)
I used to rationalize my “different reality” and future-fantasizing as being a vision-driven leader. There’s a time for dreaming of “what if.” But as an escape from dealing with reality, it ruins my heart as effectively as complaining.
The third (and unnatural) response is the “Job Response”:
Naked I came…naked I’ll go. The Lord gives…the Lord takes. Praise the Name of the Lord.
(paraphrased from Job 1)
This response gets to the heart of current reality: God has given me life for this moment. And God has given me this moment. Whether it’s good or bad, His Name is to be praised.
It goes back to God’s glory. When we go toe-to-toe with reality, with Christ-dependence, the end result will always be greater glory for God.
So how do we start going toe-to-toe with our worship ministry’s current reality? We’re going to draw a map. And mapping the unknown means starting with the known. So let’s survey our immediate landscape so we have a clearly locate “You are here.”
To help us with this, I’ve developed a resource to assess current reality. You can download it as a PDF or Word document (if you’re like me and hate handwriting anything longer than your signature).
A warning: it might be worse than you think. But most likely, once you’ve got your current reality down in black and white you’ll realize that what’s been trying to kick you in the teeth isn’t near as ugly as you feared. And then you’ll be in a place to start kicking back.
What are some current realities that have kicked you in the teeth?
How have you dealt with them?