I’ve been serving/playing too much. I am empty and feel so far from God. I need to take a break.
As a pastor and fellow worshipdrummer I’ve heard this and experienced this in my own life. You try to minister faithfully, but inside you are dry and are feeling like a cracked pot – where nothing fills up to overflow. Instead it just leaks through the cracks, leaving you dry.
(photo via dubmasta)
Unfortunately, this is usually a recurring dilemma as you serve in church. It’s a known fact that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. On somedays though, it feels more like 10% are doing 90% of the work.
I can remember so many times when I felt like I was a zombie behind those drums. I knew the songs, I knew the beats, but my “well” had dried up and I was cracking. I needed to be fixed but I didn’t know how.
5 Things You Need to do to Renew A Heart That is Dry
1. Be honest and willing to admit it to yourself and to others you trust.
The worst thing you can possibly do is pretend that everything is OK! There’s no shame in admitting where you’re at. If you don’t, you will only be fooling yourself and will hinder the work that God wants to do in your life.
Once you admit it to your self and it hits home with you you need to tell some close and trusted people. It always appears easier to just admit it to yourself, but bringing others around you is vital. I found that having 1-3 people that I truly trusted (eg: worship leader, bassist, and pastor) helped me have a solid support system in place. Since they knew what I was experiencing they knew how into speak to my life and my situation.
2. Get to the root of the problem
“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me–the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! – Jeremiah 2:13
Have you stopped reading your Bible? Have you neglected God and stopped praying? Are you living in sin? Are you partying hard on Saturday nights instead of preparing your heart? These are destructive patterns that will destroy your spiritual foundation and your “health” as a Christian.
There are other life-situations that can take a toll on your spiritual wellbeing such as marital problems, divorce, or the death of a loved one. Although some of these might be out of your control, they can also be roots that have caused you to feel depleted. Identifying the root of the problem is important so that you can understand how you got yourself to this point of desperation.
3. Take a sabbatical
This might be the hardest thing for you to want to do since you are so needed on drums (remember the 20/80 or 10/90 principle that we mentioned earlier), but in my opinion, it is necessary. Taking a sabbatical is good and here are a few reasons why:
- It will allow you to be able to “soak” during worship. Instead of giving, you will be receiving. When the ground is dry and cracked, it is softened when it soaks up the falling rain.
- It will free you up to reconnect with God and get things in order.
- It will give you the opportunity to develop solely as a worshiper – that’s why we need to be all about putting the heart before the beat!
- It will give you the opportunity to worship without stressing out over the technical aspect (although I don’t know if that ever stops ;))
- It will give the opportunity for your worship leader/team to experience the need to raise up another drummer. This is especially true if you are the only drummer at your church.
- It will help you renew your passion and will make you a better worshipdrummer.
I would recommend a sabbatical of 1-2 months to allow the proper time for this process. But depending where you’re at, you might need less or more.
4. Learn from the whole experience
Once your sabbatical period is coming to an end it would be in your best interest to map out what you’ve learned. Ask yourself some questions:
- Was it hard to finally admit? Was it hard to some trusted people? Why or why not?
- What was the root/source of my dry-spell?
- What did I learn about worship
- What did I discover about God in the process?
- How can I prevent this from repeating in my life
- What changes do I need to make when my sabbatical is over and I resume playing?
5. Put into practice what you’ve learned
Now that you’ve processed some of what you’ve learned it would be foolish to go back to business as usual. Assuming that your worship leader is up-to-speed on your situation, meet with him/her and let them know about any adjustments/changes that you are needing to make. Maybe it’s that you’ll only want to play 3 of 4 weekends in a month. In the end, only you know what’s best for you and don’t be ashamed to tell it like it is.
—————–[Part of my purpose in starting this blog was was for us to be able to tackle issues of the heart. If you’re going through a dry season I would love to pray for you. You can leave a comment here or use our contact page to email me.]