There’s no setlist posted for this weekend because I didn’t lead. Part of my role at Seacoast Community Church includes taking Sundays off. Crazy, right? Our church highly values teamwork and rest so our teaching pastors rotate preaching and I rotate leading worship music with my friend, who also happens to be my predecessor as the worship leader. I know, I know. This kind of set up sounds like the bees knees for most church leaders, and it definitely did for me at first. In actuality, it played out much differently than I expected.
I woke up in a funk on Sunday morning. The first thing that I did was look at the clock and think, “Huh. Usually, I’m at church right now.” I think that’s when my fears and insecurities started creeping up. I started questioning what I was supposed to be doing that morning if I wasn’t leading worship music. However, my dear wife knew exactly what I should be doing; going to church. She was super excited about it. As an introvert, she was ecstatic about being able to sit through a church service with her husband simply as congregants. I, on the other hand, as an extrovert and consistent leader within the church was dreading it. I haven’t simply sat through a church service in a long time so I was nervous.
After dragging my feet through our morning routine, we finally got to church. Late, I might add (but for those of you who know me, this is no surprise). I spent the almost 30 minute drive to church talking to my wife about feeling unsure of myself. After walking through the worship center doors and I beelined to the tech booth to check on my volunteers. They started giving me the rundown of the service before and the current one, which made me feel a little less uneasy. I had a role; I was still seen as a “manager” for the service and could weigh in. It felt normal. Still, a part of me knew that I shouldn’t have been in the booth. Seeing my wife patiently waiting for me to find seats with her was my reminder.
We found seats in the middle right side of the room. What felt like a hundreds of eyes watched us as we got settled in our row and joined in the singing. I looked at the stage and saw people that I’d been playing with for the past few weeks continuing to do so without me. They were doing great. In fact, I quickly realized how much they didn’t really need me to lead God’s people in singing His praises. I felt disconnected and unneeded.
As the service went on, the feelings continued. I didn’t know the people that were sitting around us. I didn’t really know anyone in the room at all for that matter and they didn’t know me. That freaked me out. To calm myself down, I took out my phone and started responding to work emails (instead of listening to the sermon). I returned to my “manger” role. Working made me feel more comfortable and less alone. Doing my job, what I’m used to doing, created a sense of identity. Still, I knew that wasn’t why I was there so eventually I put my phone away and engaged with the rest of the service as best I could.
By the end of the service, my fears and insecurities had taken full control. Having a Sunday off was a nightmare. The whole experience shed light on a lie that I had come to believe; I had tied my identity to what I do rather than who I’ve been made to be in Christ Jesus. My heart was filled with jealousy, insecurity, comparison and anger.
Through it all, I’ve discovered that God brought me to this church not only to teach His people through me, but to teach me through them. I’m not sure what exactly it all entails, but I’m ready to find out. To be continued…
Side Note: I realize that this post may bring up some questions or cause you to feel the need to do or say something. My intention in posting this “unfinished” story is to encourage some of yours. No one has life figured out. There are some lessons that we have learned and others that we are learning. This particular post is about something that I am still learning. I know truths about God and who I am in my head, but am in the process of believing them in my heart. That’s where the life change happens. I’ve only been at my new church for a little over a month so I fully expect these feelings to change overtime as God continues to work on my heart and minister to my family through His people.