9 Reasons to Quit Music Ministry… And Why They’re Probably Not Good Enough
At some point in your service through music ministry, there’s a very good chance you’ll want out. I don’t want to be a doomsayer, but if you haven’t had a moment you wanted to bail yet, it’s almost certainly coming.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thrown my hands up in frustration, hung my head in mopeyness or growled to myself as I contemplated walking away.
But y’know, that really doesn’t need to be the end of it! Or the beginning of the end or whatever. As many as there are reasons (some would call them excuses) to back out, it can be dangerous to give them too much credit.
So here are 9 common reasons that may try and convince you to give up, and why they’re probably not good enough…
1. “I’m not good enough”
Ok, fair enough, but by who’s standard? And are you not good enough to improve?
Maybe you’ve had a genuine wake-up call to areas where your skills are lacking. But before you let this reason dictate your decision, there’s an important question to answer…
Is God calling you to serve through music ministry? If He is then you want to be hanging on tooth and nail! And you know, just like the guys in Jesus’ Parable of the Talents if you’ve been giving something you can make it more. And there’s the old saying “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called”.
2. “I’m not holy enough”
This might seem like an honest reason. And maybe it starts out as one. But seriously? Are you forgetting about St Peter? Jesus said to his face “Get behind me Satan!” and later Peter denied even knowing Him – then Pete ends up leading the whole beginning of the Church!
We’re all called to holiness. Which is an endless pursuit. Which means, in a way, we’re never holy “enough” to be finished pursuing holiness – but pursuing it is enough to be serving along the way. If it wasn’t, no one would serve or minister or pastor anything. So the main question is…
Are you called? If you are, go ask God to transform you “into the image that [you] reflect, in brighter and brighter glory”
3. “I don’t have enough time”
When you greet someone with “How are you?” the most likely response is either “Good” or “Busy”. True story.
So we’re all busy. Noone has enough time. But we also all have the same time. And it’s the time God gave us so… I dunno, wanna tell Him He screwed up? I’ll pass.
We all have our reasons and some of us really do have a lot on our plate. So you’ve gotta answer the question…
4. “No one listens to my ideas anyway”
Skip Ross once spoke about a tragic disease, spread in epidemic proportions: PLOM. That is: Poor Little Old Me.
If you’re experiencing the “Noone listens to my ideas anyway” reason, chances are you fall somewhere along the spectrum from PLOM disease to OSIS (Overinflated Self Importance Syndrome). Unfortunately, I’ve had both. They suck.
There are two cures. First, ask the question…you guessed it: are you called?
If you’re not, the cure is simple. Get over it. Move on. Have ideas about something else.
But if you are called…
- learn humility
- ask God whether you should humbly persist or humbly let go
- submit to your leadership and trust God to do His thing
- and remember the prophets had it pretty rough too… “My toil has been futile, I have exhausted myself for nothing, to no purpose.” but then… “Yet all the while my cause was with Yahweh and my reward with my God.”
5. “I get too much criticism”
First off, criticism can be a good thing. It can help you refine what is good and adjust what is not. But you can even adopt an attitude where you can benefit from the negative, malicious criticism if you really try.
Anyway, the same question applies. Are you called?
If you are, then criticism is probably itself a sign you’re in the right place. Remember that “In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world.” Which is not to say that your church community is ‘the world’. Nevertheless, we live in the world.
6. “No one sings anyway”
So what’s the point? Isn’t the music supposed to help lift the voices of the people to God? If they’re not doing it anyway, why bother trying?
God spent a year teaching me a lesson about obedience a while back. So many times that year I felt like the whole purpose of what I was doing was just not being fulfilled – nothing was happening, all my efforts were failing… But every time, I felt a strong conviction that I wasn’t supposed to be there, doing what I was doing for a specific result. I was there, doing what I was doing because God had asked me to. That’s it.
But more importantly… are you called? Is God asking you to be where you are, doing what you’re doing? If He is, you bloody well better keep at it!
7. “There’s too much politics”
True. But running away ain’t gonna solve the problem. But it just might take away part of the solution…
Because if you’re called to be there, and if you’ve noticed this problem, chances are YOU are part of the solution!
And sometimes it can be a delicate game to play. But if you’re there, keeping the main thing the main thing – i.e. Jesus is who we follow and worship and so lets just get on with following Him as close and obediently as possible – then you are much better off there than somewhere else.
Even if it costs you a little sanity…
8. “Christians aren’t supposed to work on Sunday”
Once again – are you called? If you’re not, then sure, it will be ‘labour’ and you should probably quit. But if you’re called, then this is just part of worshipping on a Sunday. Only difference is you’re sitting/standing somewhere different and you might be playing away on an instrument.
The only other thing to say is that if there’s preparation to be done – the little admin-y bothersome pesky tasks that have to be done even though they’re tedious, boring, laborious or whatever – just do it on another day of the week. Yup.
9. “I’m burnt out”
Now this is a legitimate concern. And for most people in ministry, they’ll reach a place of burn out at some stage. I’ve heard people say that if you’re “called” you won’t burn out. Don’t believe ’em. It’s rubbish.
Next week we’ll delve deeper into this topic: how you get to burn out; how you can get out of it; how you can stop it happening again…
But for now I’ll just leave you with Isaiah…
“Youths grow tired and weary, the young stumble and fall, but those who hope in Yahweh will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire.”
Question: So what reason/excuse have you come up against? And how did you push through? Or are you in the thick of one now? You can comment by clicking here.
- Matthew 25:14–30 ↩
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 ↩
- Read Getting Things Done ↩
- Think about what is most important to you and then consider deleting the things that don’t contribute to that. You might also like to get some tips from Michael Hyatt. ↩
- Isaiah 49:4 ↩
- If someone really is just trying to bring you down, you can ask yourself something like “what is it that they could be misunderstanding in my manner to arrive at such a spiteful position?” ↩
- John 16:33. Also James 1:2–4 is good stuff! ↩
- Isaiah 40:30–31 ↩