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Being a Leader When You’re Down

From Vas-Kennedy Coffie serving in Accra, Ghana

QUESTION: Feeling Down

What do you have to do when you are supposed to lead worship and your spirit is down?

Dear Vas-Kennedy,

Blessings on you and your ministry in Ghana. I’m passionate about this topic. It’s just one simple question, but it’s so profound, and hits on a common need for all of us who lead worship.

Lead from your pain. Lead from your low point. Worship is our response to what we value the most, or in our case Who we value most. For those who believe in God, we have learned from experience that God shouts to us in our pain. The key is to put your spirit in God’s hands.

Surrender is one of the purist forms of worship. When going through pain or discouragement, if you will surrender those feelings and thoughts to God, you will be able to lead worship in an authentic way that perhaps in times of joy you would not be able to replicate. As leaders, this can be a hard thing for us, to surrender our pain and discouragement to God, but it will lead to deep intimacy for us that can spread to our congregation as we join together in worship.

Psalm 30:10-12 (NIV) says, “Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” We as leaders have to work through that process. That’s what surrender brings. That process is our promise, and with this hope, we minister and worship from our weakness.

How about some practical steps:

  1. Ask God to be your strength before you greet your team and/or your congregation.
  2. Realize that your intuition is obscured because of how you feel. Not everyone is feeling weak, depressed or feeling pain at the same time as you are.
  3. Use the emptiness and the emotions you are experiencing to express your statement of faith. 2 Corinthians 4 (NIV): “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
  4. Go to your friends and family for the support, prayer and encouragement they can give you.

I have led from a position of weakness more times than from a position of strength. I’ve never been let down by God when I’ve trusted in Him. He’s always come through. It helps me to remember that it’s not about me, it’s about Him.

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