Elmer Cañas Jr.

worship leader • songwriter • ministry consultant

Has 'WORSHIP' Become a New Idol?

"The very thing that God designed us to do, is the very thing that has distracted us from Him."

Humility and selflessness. These are some of the greatest characteristics of many worship leaders around the world. Yet we've become really good at hiding our true feelings. We feel the need to please everyone around us, and to maintain a smile on our face at all times. When deep inside many of us our longing for relationships, mentoring, and an opportunity to be ourselves. 

You have the most followers on social media then anybody else at your church, but you still feel alone. Popularity from the platform only makes ministry lonelier. You have friends galour, but they truly don't understand the pressure you live under. You have to maintain your composure at home so your spouse doesn't complain about the long hours and countless days you spend away from home. You don't get to visit family but once or twice a year and you expect them to understand because your life has great purpose which doesn't allow you to exist in their life, but for mere moments at a time. 

You want to grow and explore new possibilities with your talents but you're so busy trying to develop the next group of teenagers that are coming through your youth group. You're so busy trying to make everybody else's dreams come true that you've given up on your own. You feel like your pastor has every right not to communicate with you, or even spend time with you because he is extremely busy pastoring other people in the church, so you deal with your private matters on your own. You want to network with others but you fear being caught with the worship leader from the rival church. 

You began ministry with a pure passion for God. To serve God. To serve people. To spread the gospel. Unashamed. Untainted. On fire. And now you're burnt out. Tired. Looking for the next worship leader gig. You've made a career out of your passion. You feel entitled to more because of how much you've given up of yourself. You fight trying to identify who and what you are. Am I a pastor? Director? Minister? What does any of that mean?

We've taken "worship" and identified our lives by how it's being portrayed in today's society. We dress the part. Look the part. We sing songs that we don't even like, just to stay up to date with what everyone else is doing. We've compromised our heart of worship, for worship trends.

It's weird saying that worship is an idol because of what it means. You worship an idol, so to idolize worship is a bit misconstrued. But guess what. In one way or another we've both done it. We've personified worship. Instead of worship being a sacrifice of our way of life unto God, worship has become what we sacrifice ourselves to, in order to maintain status. 

This may not apply to all of us. But please ask God to reveal to you the things that you've given up in vain. Better yet ask your spouse. Ask your friends. Ask your parents. Ask your children. How can I be a better person? A better friend? A better son or daughter? If their honest with you the responses will be simple. Most of them will tell you, time management. Being in the moment. Smile again. Enjoy your job. Crazy right? But those are things we all lose sight of in order to do our "jobs". Sit with your pastor and ask him to pour into you. Make him or her aware of your dreams. Surround yourselves with people that want you to succeed and be ok with it. God created you to be successful. God created you to be passionate. God created you to worship. But to worship Him. Live a life that in ALL aspects brings glory to His name. That doesn't consist of singing songs everywhere you go, but rather of living a humble and selfless life founded on your identity in Christ. 

Forgive my harsh use of words. As I write I'm exposing my own experiences, as well as those shared by others. My intent isn't to condemn but to expose hidden realities. I believe we need to be set free from lies that we've been told and those that we choose to believe on our own. The next generation of leaders depends on us. What legacy are we choosing to leave behind? I hope this stirs something in you. Hopefully something that will be of benefit to you and to those you serve with.

My final thought. Fear cripples our dreams. Fear destroys our hearts. Fear distracts us from our purpose. Fear will make you bow down to idols. Take courage. Stand out. Be you. You'll accomplish a lot more in life and for the kingdom of God if you can practice being yourself. Worship God because He's worthy of it, not because you get paid to.

© 2017 ELMER CAÑAS JR. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.