No More Musician Burn-Out

No More Musician Burn-Out!

My definition of burnout:

  1. You no longer enjoy playing your instrument.
  2. You have stopped practicing.
  3. Accompanying worship has become a chore.
  4. You have lost the desire to learn new music.
  5. For pre-service and postludes you cycle through the same tunes over and over and over.
  6. You’ve lost the desire to improve at your craft.
  7. The music has lost its meaning to you.
  8. You don’t see the point, you’re just going through the motions, worship seems the same every week.
  9. There is no emotion in your musical playing.

Note – nerves and jitters do not belong on this list.

There are varying levels of burnout. It can start with only one or two items from the above list and if left unchecked can progress to encompass the entire list.

The cure for burnout:

  1. Realize that worship isn’t just a performance of worship songs. It’s participation in the living, omnipresent, life-changing presence of God. He is there in worship, every week, and in a very special way and You-are-His-instrument. You are His hands and feet. You matter. People depend on you.
  2. God is moving in every service. He is calling, drawing people closer, answering prayers, revealing Himself, forgiving sins, awakening the lost, softening hardened hearts, blessing, and saving all the time. Tap-into-this-energy.
  3. This isn’t just songs. This isn’t just fellowship. This isn’t just preaching. This-is-an-encounter. This is an interaction with the God of the Universe.
  4. You are a part of His master plan. He created and gifted you for His glory.
  5. Your band is a team. Support one another. Pray for one another. Pray together. Thank one another. Celebrate each other. Complement each other. Cherish your friendship. Be there for one another. Be Facebook friends with each other. Get involved in each other’s lives. Be sensitive. Be compassionate. Be understanding. Be a Christian!
  6. Prepare for worship. Know your song lyrics and how they fit into the theme of worship. Know the scripture readings for the day. Pray. Practice. Come to worship expecting God to move in power. Arrive early.
  7. Avoid routine. Most routines in our worship services are man made. Routines foster boredom and burn-out.
  8. Prepare your heart for worship. You are a servant of the Most High. Be prepared for the Spirit’s filling. Be prepared for your life to change. Expect your life to change.
  9. Look for new things to do with the music. Get out of the rut. Guitarists, there is more to your craft than the first three frets. I assume there is an equivalent for keyboard players, bass players and drummers. Learn. Experiment. Grow.
  10. At our church, the Pastor wishes God’s blessings on the musicians every morning before worship. He does this by approaching the musician’s area and speaking with us privately. This is helpful.
  11. During times of silent meditation in the worship service you are accompanying; pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you in extraordinary ways.

Not a Musician or a Pastor? You can help too. Please express your thanks to the church musicians. These musicians have family and work lives to juggle in addition to their church responsibilities which requires lots of at home practice time and usually mid-week practice time at the church as well. A sincere expression of thanks goes a long way to extinguish burn-out.

Prayers for the musician: