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“I Won’t Sing that Worship Song.” – the Ex-Pastor

April 26, 2012

(Part 5 of “the Ex-Pastor Series.” Click HERE to view the entire series list.)

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My Sunday mornings as a pastor…

Awake at 4:30 am.

At the office by 5:30 am.

Last minute prep at till 9:00 am.

Pray till 10 am.

10:30 am, game on.

As the music began, I would move to the front, raise my hands and pray for the church like any good pastor. I would sing out with reckless abandon and hope God would impact this small crowd, just one more time. I was in my element. Preaching was what I was made to do!

Not anymore… I noticed last Sunday during worship there are certain parts of the song I can no longer sing. Why? Because in the depths of my heart, I know they are not true. No more raising of hands. No more reckless abandon. No more praying for the church. It’s just not there in my heart. Let me explain…

Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow you.” Many of you may know that Chris Tomlin song (if not, you can watch it HERE) and it is a great example of the state of this ex-pastor. Frankly, I can’t sing those lines. Why? Because it’s no longer true. I can’t guarantee anymore that when He goes, stays and moves, I will follow Him.

But (and a big BUT, before you count me as lost!) I can sing the verse! “All Your ways are good.  All Your ways are sure. I will (try to) trust in You alone. Higher than my sight. High above my life. I will (try to) trust in You alone.” I still know that God’s ways are good and sure. I still know that He is high above my sight and my life and I will do my best to trust Him alone! But I can’t sing the chorus (for now). I’m just not there anymore.

Even Jeremiah and David, at times, despaired of life and said some pretty honest things. However, they always seemed to finish their rant by re-adjusting their focus on the all-knowing, all-powerful, and awesome God.

Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow…”

Ask yourself, will you? Really? Do you know what that means? Be honest…

However, when all else fails never stop singing the awesome majesty of the living God. Eventually that will set even the most wayward person on the path to peace and the ability to once again sing, “Where you go. I’ll go. When you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow.”

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(Part 5 of “the Ex-Pastor Series.” Click HERE to view the entire series list.)

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2012 3:04 pm

    Well, it’s not like he’s one of those mechanical rabbits at a dog race, going in only one place at one time. He’s like the ocean and we are all submerged and surrounded by him. He has ripples and waves of movement that I believe we can be an active part of in any capacity at any time. Like in Esther 4:14, if we choose to abstain from following Him, His will will still be carried out regardless of our involvement.

    But if it helps at all, there are verses I can’t sing too. “You give and take away, my heart will choose to say blessed be your name.” I don’t really feel grateful that I’ve experienced loss, and I can’t say at any given moment I am willing to push that hurt aside.

    Also, I’ve never understood what good ‘dancing on injustice’ does. I’m looking at you, Delirious.

    • April 26, 2012 3:13 pm

      Michelle, Good word. Thanks for the comment. I’ve felt the same way about the songs you pointed out as well. God is much bigger is much more amazing the we could ever imagine. He also is faithful even in the midst of us sometimes losing it! Blessings, Matt

  2. Julie Burgess permalink
    April 27, 2012 4:13 am

    I think I understand where you are coming from, Matt, and what you are saying. But, isn’t faith and growing in obedience and surrender kind of like “faking it till you make it”? I don’t mean just going through the motions, or just being fake…but more like when you don’t have the faith or find it hard to be obedient or even recognize God’s will, that you keep pressing on, keep seeking, keep knocking? I don’t know, for me, by singing those verses, I’m telling myself what I know God wants for me and reminds me to continue to pursue the prize.

    • April 27, 2012 7:36 am

      I see where you are coming from Julie. Definitely a great insight. Always pressing into God whether through “fake it till you make it” or focusing on God majesty can get one a long way. Thanks!

  3. bob permalink
    April 27, 2012 3:28 pm

    I’ve been there. Still am sort of. Just tired, and I don’t care about what other people have to say about God and trying to make their words my own. But it’s good to know the lowest you can fall is being amazed at God. Sometimes the most honest thing I can say to God is that I really don’t care all that much…but that I wish I did.

    • bob permalink
      April 27, 2012 3:36 pm

      Also, having led a lot of worship times, I can say if you focus for too long on the worship songs rather than on you+God+bible, it just slowly starts to dry things up. Those worship songs and the words they contain are just an overflow of you+God+bible, and sometimes you have to just strip it back and forget about the songs. And not to be mean or anything, but when the overall quality of the worship music is on par with the latest Disney boy-band with tired old words about my life being a ‘work of art’ etc…well you know what I mean. St. Augustine felt the same way, minus the Disney part. :-)

      • April 27, 2012 6:31 pm

        Bob, Great comments man and very insightful from someone who has led worship before.

        Peace,
        Matt

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