We’re going to venture down a very existential, but very valid and necessary topic. Does what you do matter? I think it depends on the day, doesn’t it? When you get e-mails or phone calls from congregation members sharing their concerns, e-mails or phone calls from those involved in your music ministry making complaints, you may answer no. But, on the contrary, when you have the choir work really hard on a piece, or your worship band prepare a song, and you get comments from the congregation saying how much that really encouraged them and it is something that will stick with them throughout the week, your answer may be yes.
Why are we going here? It’s a question we all ask at some point or another. If you’ve never asked it, you’re a rare breed and you’re quite blessed. Even though we are serving God and His people, and deep down, we do know that our role matters, we are human and don’t always feel like what we’re doing matters or is making a difference.
If you would have asked me that question any time before 2 years ago, I would have struggled to answer yes. Serving in small churches with limited or no budget for resources, not great instruments, limited participation (because there weren’t that many in the congregation to draw from), or a praise team that didn’t want to listen to any input I gave, I didn’t feel like I mattered. But yet, deep down, I knew that wasn’t the case. For the last 3 years that I served at my previous congregation, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there long term. So, every day, I prayed that God would either lead me elsewhere or give me the strength for the day. And believe, I looked at plenty of alternatives, whether that was going back into teaching full-time, doing something completely different or something, just so that I could be doing something that I felt mattered. But, yet…….God gave me strength each and every day. And when I was told that my position was going to be cut to part-time if I stayed for about 8 months, I was relieved. It was an answer to that prayer. It gave me an endpoint. And sure enough, on the day I was supposed to be part-time at that congregation, I started at my current congregation.
So what’s different about where I am now? Support is a huge part of it. Resources are a huge part of it. It’s a combination of a lot of factors, but primarily, it’s me. It’s my attitude in realizing that I am actually capable, and that God has called me to do something that does matter. In the past, I didn’t look forward to getting out of bed in the morning, because of the struggles I would face. While where I serve isn’t 100% perfect and won’t ever be, I look forward to getting out bed in the morning, and seeing what God has in store for me for the day. In the past, I would have to psych myself up for rehearsals, put on a fake smile like everything was great. Now, it’s genuine. I love Wednesday nights. They’re long, they’re exhausting….but they’re fun.
You may have read that previous paragraph and said, well, that’s not where I am. I could walk out of the church and no one would notice. Of course, that’s not the case! You have value to the church you serve, but asking the question of does what you do matter can be a beneficial one. Because if it is time for you to go elsewhere, God can use circumstances to give you that push. Or, those circumstances can strengthen you and prepare you for something even better in the future. If God would have led me anywhere else in the previous 3 years from when I started praying daily…..I wouldn’t have been ready. I wouldn’t have learned the lessons and had the experiences that I had that I needed to prepare me for what I’m doing now.
So……does what you do matter? I hope and pray your answer to that is yes. If not, start praying. Having conversations with your spouse, trusted friends and seek counsel. You can always send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pray for you, and give you what encouragement and advice that I can.