written by David Manner
It doesn’t matter if you are a worship-leading novice or aging veteran; you have inevitably looked back at certain services, special events, entire seasons of ministry or various relationships with a deep longing for a second chance to do or handle things differently.
The reality is that it would be impossible for us to go back and make corrections to most of those situations. We do, however, have the opportunity for another chance to get it right when we face similar circumstances in the future. One way to learn from the past in order to influence the future is to recall those events and write down how we might handle them differently if we had a mulligan.
You may resonate with some of my examples but I also encourage you to create your own list…it’s pretty therapeutic.
If I had a Worship Ministry Mulligan…
- I’d make more mistakes because I took more risks.
- I’d learn more people’s names than new songs.
- I’d learn the musical language of chord charts, capos, and cajons sooner.
- I’d take a Sabbath every week.
- I’d make more deposits in younger leaders and withdrawals from older leaders.
- I’d pray for and defend my pastor even when he didn’t deserve it.
- I’d surround myself with those who stretched my thinking and held me accountable.
- I’d leave more things at the office when I came home in the evening.
- I’d read more, study more, learn more and ask more questions.
- I’d ask how it might impact my family before asking how it might impact my ministry.
- I’d learn more theology than musicology.
- I’d learn how to do a variety of things in addition to worship leading.
- I’d take more time and get more buy-in before initiating change.
- I’d spend more time thanking those who invested in my life and ministry.
- I’d have more patience with needy people or chronic takers.
- I’d develop more hobbies outside of the church.
- I’d welcome more divine interruptions in my planned schedule.
- I’d write more things down.
- I’d thank those who protected me from my own stupidity.
- I’d evaluate my year based on in-betweens not big events.
- I’d teach people how to worship when they leave not just when they arrive.
- I’d stay with things longer instead of bailing when things got difficult.
- I’d celebrate the Lord’s Supper/Communion/Eucharist more often.
- I’d focus on music less and worship more.
- I’d schedule large blocks of time to think creatively.
- I’d drink more coffee with senior adults.
- I’d lighten up, play more and not take myself so seriously.
- I’d figure out how to get grandparents and grandchildren to worship together.
- I’d have more “can you imagine” conversations than “do you remember” ones.
- I’d spend more time learning how to be a better leader than a better musician.
- I’d have more ministry friends outside my faith culture or denomination.
- I’d realize that it is never too late to begin doing any of these things.