Sitting on the bench?

This Sunday I have the awesome privilege of leading worship. It’s a blessing to serve. I deeply appreciate every time I have the opportunity to use the gifts God has given.

A few years ago I had a conversation with a well known worship leader who had fallen. Disgraced,  he was out of ministry. He gave me some advice I’ve tried to remember:

“Every time you lead worship, remember it may be the last time you ever get to do this.”

Do you try to bring your “A”game every time you lead?

Recently, I had another conversation with a young worship-leader-friend. Through no fault of her own, she had been sidelined. Overlooked. She used to be the key worship leader in several ministry areas. But not now.  Now she doesn’t have the opportunity to lead or even be on a team.

Now she’s serving by running the slide show for the same ministry where she used to be the worship leader. Talk about adding insult to injury! So close – and yet so far away.

God gave me some words of encouragement for her that day. And that got me thinking …. about writing this blog post.

Are you are a worship leader, singer or musician sitting on the sidelines, not in the game? You feel called but you have no current opportunity to use your gifts? Feeling abandoned, frustrated, rejected? You are not alone.

I know how this feels. I’ve experienced some fabulous highs and horrible lows in the 20 something years I’ve been in worship ministry. But sitting on the bench when you “know” you’re supposed to be in the game – ugh,  that is the worst.

Well, maybe other things are worse, but can you relate ? Getting “benched” happened to me toooo many times.

“Give me the ball, coach!”

A lot of times, most of the time,  – we will not have the lead roles in life. We will not be the starting quarterback. We will not have the big role in the school play. We will not be one of the “chosen” ones. We will sit on the bench, supposed to be cheering on the others.  There will be times we’re sitting on the outside looking in.

David knew how this felt, too. He knew a lot about rejection. Waiting for your turn. Then having it all and then – losing it all. He lived this.

We have to guard our hearts.  We can not let our thinking come into agreement with the spirit of rejection.

So here’s 7 practical tips for overcoming the feelings of rejection when you’re on the outside looking in.

1. Know that God is with you in this season. We don’t see the invisible moves God is doing behind the scenes. Maybe He’s maturing your character. Maybe you have other skills to develop. Maybe he’s preparing the hearts of others. Know that, just like in every other circumstance in life, God is aware of your current situation. He is on your side. So hope in the Lord.

2. Encourage yourself. David encouraged himself in the Lord. Talk with someone who can help you process your feelings. Stay positive. Write songs about how you’re feeling. David did, and it worked pretty good for him.

3. Be ready in season and out of season. Don’t get discouraged and quit. If God gave you a gift and a passion, He will place you where He wants you to be in His timing. So keep playing. Get strong in the Lord. Worship all by yourself personally. Especially practice the presence of God with your instrument. Be prepared, you never know when opportunity may come.

4. Be available. Be flexible. Look for other areas, other places and ways to serve and use your gifts.

5. Don’t make an idol out of ministry. Die to yourself. Die to your ideas of how you should be serving with your gifts and having your “dream” fulfilled. Let God promote you. He gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.

6. Cheer on and encourage those who are in the place you want to be. Don’t take the bait of envy. Never criticize or bad mouth others. Pray for them. Bless them. Ask God to powerfully anoint them.

7. Count your blessings. Be thankful. Be grateful. Remember the times God has been good to you. And every time you do have the opportunity to serve with your gifts, stop and thank the Lord afterwards.

I hope and pray these thoughts are encouraging for you.

Question: Have you had times you were benched? What advice would you give ? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for reading! The purpose of this blog is to encourage wholehearted worship worldwide.  Partner with us:  Learn More, Donate here.