Archives For For Worship Leaders

Passion, Pride, & Pretense

Ryan Egan —  March 27, 2012 — 8 Comments

I found out a while ago that I am, in fact, Norwegian.  My blood grandfather was full-blooded Norwegian.  That might explain why I find myself drawn into and at home in the Lutheran church.  That might explain why I tend to be a bit more “stoic” and “melancholy” at times.

But, I am an artist.  I’m also a performer.  I’m also part Irish, which pretty much throws all of the above paragraph out the window.

Is It Passion or Performance?

All of this leads me to a question: is it possible to be a passionate follower of Christ, more specifically, in my case, a passionate follower of Christ who happens to be a worship leader, and not show intense emotion?

I was evaluated by a dear friend and trainer and one of things he told me is that I needed more passion and more enthusiasm.  Is that me?

Throughout my high school and college life I’ve always performed.  I was in theatre, band, choir, musicals, you name it.  I can put on a different self fairly quickly.  The question then: is that a dangerous place to be?

Can Performance Become Genuine Passion?

When I get up to lead on Sunday morning, do I “put on a different self” and force myself to act with more passion and enthusiasm to help lead the congregation in that way or does that become a show or a pretense?  Can this type of passion be learned and nurtured and become genuine?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, and I’d love your help. Do you deal with this situation in your own life and if so, how do you address it?

I Love You More Than Ministry

Ryan Egan —  February 14, 2012 — 6 Comments

Marriage and Ministry Blog Tour

“If you have to explain to your wife and children why you were gone again, and the explanation is ‘because of ministry’ – something is wrong.”

The words above, paraphrased from something a friend and pastor said during a short message I was able to hear last month, rocked me.  They didn’t rock me because I was necessarily falling into this problem, but because I knew I had that potential.

Ministry has the opportunity to consume.  This can be a good thing, in a way, when we are consumed with an overwhelming desire to see souls saved and those under our leadership equipped and encouraged.  However, it can be an incredibly dangerous thing when we are so consumed with ministry that it consumed our thoughts, time, resources, energy, and mental well-being.

For those of us who are married, and especially married with kiddos, being consumed with ministry becomes even more dangerous.

I’m not a pastor (yet?), so I can’t even begin to imagine the toll ministry takes on the marriage of a full-time pastor.  However, even the limited amount of time I spend as a volunteer leader in the church has sometimes created strain on my own marriage.  So how can this be defeated?  A few ways come to mind for me:

  • Always be consumed with God and His Word.  This is one thing where consumption will never be harmful. I have a long way to go hear, especially in modeling it to my family.
  • After God and His Word, be consumed with your spouse.  Invest in your relationship.  Ask if ministry is taking a toll on your marriage and be ready to hear, and accept, truth.
  • Show your children that you are consumed with God and with your spouse.  Then, love and invest in them.
  • Show your congregation that you are first consumed with God, your spouse, and your children.  Model a Biblical portrait of family ministry before church ministry.  Your ministry to your family is one of the highest ministries you can have.
  • Take a break.  This is completely acceptable and even necessary.

I love ministry.  But I love my marriage even more.  God, give me the strength and wisdom to keep it that way.

Question: How have you worked with your spouse to prioritize how your relationship is balanced with your ministry?

One of the key components to being a worship leader who makes an impact is to be sure that you are spending regular time worshiping God in your personal life as well as corporately.  I’m realizing that I’ve been lacking in that area lately and would love to see a picture of what others do.

What do your personal worship times look like?  Structured/unstructured? Prayer/music? Extended Scripture reading? Share in the comments!

Image of a man holding a canvas in front of his face with words "Not creative enough"

Something got my wheels turning.  I am placed in a strange juxtaposition of two different cultures.  The culture I serve, my home congregation is a beautiful and wonderful place; a place I so enjoy serving, but I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface of how to be creative.  We’re making excellent strides there and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

On the other hand, the online world of church creatives that I daily take part in is a place of bold innovation, extreme creativity, and fresh thinking that, at times, might even be offensive to some within my congregation. Continue Reading…

Image of the hour before - what happens the hour before a worship service

For many church leaders, the hour before a worship service can be lovely or ludicrous. For me, the hour before depends on the week before.

If the week before has gone well (that is, communication was efficient, people prepared their part for the service, and my heart has been regularly fed in God’s word) then the hour before is always lovely; a time to get ready for corporate worship, enjoy the company of my fellow church members, and look forward to the Spirit of God moving in worship. Continue Reading…