Worship Leaders & Pastors: No Whining During Holy Week

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Leading Tips4 Comments

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)

Last night, after our Maundy Thursday Family Service, when almost everyone was gone, I noticed that the light in our Senior Pastor’s office was on.  Don Sweeting will be leaving us in a few short weeks for a new call as President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and I dearly love the man, so it was a peaceful opportunity to let him know how much I appreciate him and will miss him.  Of course, Don and I have never been prone to brief conversations because we’re always rabbit trailing into discussions on theology, worship, and philosophy of ministry.  Don mentioned something that resonated with me.  He said something to the effect of, “Pastors that complain about the extra work load during Holy Week and Easter don’t realize what a blessing we have.”

It’s very true for many pastors and worship leaders that Holy Week and Easter are a tiring set of days.  Depending on how many extra services you have, your preparation, planning, and execution, as compared with almost any other week, is doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled, or more.  And I must admit that I’ve been growing weary of the details of worship planning.  As kind people have been asking me how I’m doing this week, my response has been: “I’m kind of worship-serviced out…not that I’m tired of going to worship services and being involved in them…but I’m growing weary of all the details and the huge labor of planning and administration that continually goes on behind the scenes.”  And I’ll admit, that probably as I would say that, there would be a tinge of whine in my voice.  Don’s words were a good check.  Here’s why.

If your theology of corporate worship is robust enough, you believe that God works a special grace in that context that He does nowhere else.  There is immense and intense blessing that accompanies attendance of and involvement in the corporate worship experience.  This makes sense.  If Word and sacrament truly are means of grace (means through which God communicates and ministers His gospel into our souls), then experiencing them MORE can only be a good thing.  Furthermore, if God has called us pastors and worship leaders to be the vehicles through which He blesses His people in worship, that’s a double-honor! 

So from here on out, as I ramp up to Easter, I’m refusing to complain.  Perhaps there’s an inverse relationship between my body and my soul right now…my body is growing more weary as my soul is strengthened, filled, and ministered to…but I want to try my best to acknowledge that this burden is of the light, “easy yoke” kind, accompanied with SO many benefits which outshine the difficulties.  I will try to learn the lesson of my forefathers in Meribah, so that my heart might not become untrusting and ungrateful.  I will deny the temptation to, when surrounded by a shower of manna, childishly complain about having nothing to eat.

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)

4 Comments on “Worship Leaders & Pastors: No Whining During Holy Week”

  1. Thank you for your words & transparency Zac. I will pray that God will strengthen your body as well as your soul. While I know that your post was directed at pastors & worship leaders, I would venture to say that it also applies to all believers as it is during this Holy Week that attention is drawn to the Christian "Holiday"& us as Christian believers. This past week has presented some significant challenges for me. Through you, the other leaders at CCPC and the power of the Holy Spirit, I have learned to lay my concerns, worries, & anxiety at the cross (although I don’t always do it well). I believe that if I declare that I am a believer, I should not complain, as people are watching. It is my opportunity to make them wonder why I am not complaining. It is my opportunity to show my heartfelt joy & love to others as I remember what my Savior did for me. We have SO MUCH to be grateful for….therefore, I agree with you 100% – no whining, no complaining – let the strength, power, joy & love of our Savior shine through!! GAME ON!

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