"Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous" (Prov. 27:4 NLT).
The Influence of Jealousy
Jealousy is something that can eat your whole ministry up from the inside out. Just like the Scripture says, jealousy is much more dangerous than most other issues that can arise in the body of Christ.
It can start small; the feeling that you should have been picked to lead a certain song or that someone else is being favored over everyone else. Then the gossiping starts when people go to the other members of the worship ministry and sow discord there rather than taking their thoughts and feelings to God and going to the person who offended them directly. Jealousy can take on many faces and forms as it grows, and before long, there can be dissension throughout the whole group—sometimes to an extent that is beyond repair.
"For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind" (James 3:16 NLT)
The Heart of the Leader
So how do we keep our worship ministry from becoming tainted by jealousy? The answer lies in each one of us. We all have to check our hearts—from the leader to the sound person, from the band to the choir. The enemy knows that if he can cause jealousy to rise in just a few individuals, he can eventually render the whole worship ministry useless, which directly affects the ability of the pastor to minister effectively, and can thus alter the whole church's reason for being,
One important key for warding off the enemy's attempts to sow discord in the church is knowing your purpose and the reason you serve—and Who you serve. It has been said that if you do not understand the purpose of something, you will abuse it. If we do not understand the purpose for worship ministry, we will not have the right perspective and can be in danger of abusing the position we are in. Some people may feel that being on the worship team means that your main ministry is to the congregation, leading them into a great time of worship. And while this is good, we miss the main reason for worship ministry. The primary focus of the worship ministry should be to worship Him. Secondly, to prepare the spiritual atmosphere for the Word of God; to make it easy for the pastor or speaker to minister and for God's Word to go out and change the hearts of people.
Worship Is Serving Others
For every position in ministry, there is someone you serve and someone who serves your position or ministry area. The worship team serves the pastor or person delivering the message. Those who directly serve the worship team are the people who operate the soundboard and media production. We serve and are served. This is how the body of Christ works together. This is what Paul was addressing in 1 Corinthians 12.
"If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him" (1 Cor. 12:17-18, MEV).
We each have our own unique place, and we cannot look at another person's role and become jealous of it—we can't abandon our post and try to do what that other person was called to do!
If the worship sounds great, but the pastor is not able to minister effectively, then we all have failed at our task. Keeping this focus in mind is a good way to make sure that jealousy takes a hike when it tries to rear its ugly head.
"Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each esteem the other better than himself. 4 Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3-4).
Cathy Sanders has been involved with music for over 27 years. She is an anointed worship leader and psalmist who regularly leads worship for community and church events. She has produced three albums, and her music was played on the radio for over six years in the Northeast. She is also a prolific writer who has authored/coauthored five books. Cathy carries master's and doctorate degrees in Christian education, graduating with honors. Cathy and her husband, Andy, reside in New York with their two teenage children.
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