- For some, fear goes hand-in-hand with leading worship. But fear is not from God. Here are steps to help you lead despite fear.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hings that go bump in the night.
Freddy Krueger … Spiders.
Mortgages … Babies … In-Laws.
Responsibility … Pastors … Failure … Success.
Many of us walk in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of mistakes, getting fired, losing our families, not having enough money. I could go on.
As worship pastors, there are many things we could be fearful of. That meeting the pastor calls on your day off telling you “we’re going a different direction.” the congregation member who always holds his hands over his ears and has a dB reader on his iPhone (yes, I have this guy in my church) … the member who always has a better way to do things—fear.
Here’s the problem with fear. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Fear is not from God.
Worship leader, don’t allow the enemy to harvest the seed of fear in your life. You are a victor, a conqueror, and child of the King. The next time fear grips your heart, remember these things:
Take one step at a time.
We walk by putting one foot in front of the other, and sometimes that is all we can do. There have been moments in my life when the thought of making it to 5pm seemed like too much to handle. Meetings when fear gripped me so tightly in its icy fingers I could hardly breath. Days would pass when the end of all that is good in my life seemed inevitable. But you know what? I made it. One step at a time. One minute, then the next, and the one after that. I’m learning not to think about tomorrow. Not to waste another minute of my life worried about what might happen. Matthew 6:34 says tomorrow will worry about itself—I need to live in this moment. Really live. Capture it, take a snapshot and notice all that is good, right, and blessed in my life. You too, worship leader. Conquer fear one step at a time.
Focus only on what you can control.
Many worship pastors and artists are, well, how do I say this … control freaks! At this point, my wife would like to interject an “AMEN!” There are so many things in life we can’t control—yet there is one thing, one big thing we can control—US! Focus your energy and attention on who you are becoming and the journey you are on with Jesus. (Romans 6:6)
It sounds simple, but it is incredibly complicated. Many worship leaders eventually have vocal health problems, myself included. As we … ahem, “mature,” and life begins to stack up, we sometimes forget the basics. Singing is a holistic experience and your vocal health, energy, and ability to lead effectively are all dependent on breath! Take time in your day, especially on days you lead multiple worship experiences, to do breathing exercises and allow your body to reset. When fear has taken us hostage, we often find our body tense and our breathing shallow—notice when it happens and take the time to correct it. Many Sundays you will find me on the floor of my office doing breathing exercises between services. Not only does this reset my body and breathing mechanism, it helps me focus my heart and mind on my true calling—teaching people about loving Jesus.
Worship leader, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you (Rom 8:11). If we believe this, truly believe, how can we walk in fear? We are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37), we are victorious warriors. Worship is battle. The enemy wants to remind us of all we have to fear, Christ wants to remind us of all we have conquered through Him who calls, redeems, and equips us. Fear not, worship leader. Our God is for us!
Brent Dyer is the Worship Pastor at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, a church with three campuses and more than 12,000 members. Brent and his wife Jill have two beautiful children and are in awe that God has called them to teach people about loving Jesus. @brentandrewdyer