I am a 50 something Pastor's wife that is struggling with this service dilemma. Our congregation lost a music director a couple of years ago. I knew that if I didn't step up to the plate our adult choir would end. I have strong music abilities, but no vocal training and no music directing training. The first year, I chose mainly repeat music that the choir felt comfortable with and we got through the year with lots of prayer. I just don't feel very comfortable with this role, especially because I have to stand in front of the congregation and direct.
I would like to stop doing this, but once again I know that the adult choir will end. Do I just step away, knowing that they will not have a director? Unless, someone in our congregation is really holding out, we don't have anyone else that could do this. I feel that it is expected of me because I am a Pastor's wife they think I have nothing else better to do. I work full-time! I am struggling with so many feelings but I know I would feel I am letting a group of people down that enjoy giving praise to the Savior in song if I just quit.
If you have any thoughts, I would welcome them. Thank you, Trying to Sing a New Song
"Trying to Sing a New Song, I struggle with telling you what I would do. Your dilemma isn't as simple as writing a list of pros and cons on a sheet of paper and counting which ever one has the most as your answer. This is a dilemma that is very near to your personal motivation and is between you and God. I cannot give you one answer. You could continue serving as church choir director or stop. Both actions could please the Lord.
When asked to serve I like to ask myself these questions before answering: 1. Am I equipped to serve or lead this? 2. Is my motivation to please God, other people, or myself alone? Ephesians 6:7 3. Does this service negatively impact other roles God has already given me? Being mindful to not say "yes" to everything.
Reading through your letter, several things stuck out to me. You saw a need and filled it. You have strong music abilities. Terrific! I'm sure that there are many in church who are grateful for your service. Most church musicians are not professionally trained and neither are the singers. This is something that I enjoy about church choir - anyone can join and sing!
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms... If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
You wrote above that you don't feel comfortable with this role, that you would like to stop directing choir, and that others' expectations of you as a Pastors' wife are creeping in your heart of service. Please check the motivation of your heart in prayer, God's Word, and with other believers that you trust. Do others know you feel this way? People may not know that there is still a need (of replacing the original choir director) unless the space is not filled. If they see you directing they may safely assume that you are happy serving that role.
Ask yourself why you would like to stop directing choir? Is it because of the high demands? Feelings of inadequacy? The expectations that we put on ourselves and others can become a burden. With working full-time and serving in other ways as a Pastor's wife I can see why you feel overwhelmed. If there are too many practices and worship services that the choir sings in, perhaps choir can begin singing only several times (3-4x) a year?
God can call us to serve in areas that we do not feel comfortable in. In these uncomfortable times, He draws us closer to Him and strengthens us. Think of when God called Moses from the burning bush to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. How did Moses respond when he felt inadequate for the large task at hand? (Exodus 4: 10-14) He asked for God to send someone else in his place. Where does our help come from when we feel insecure? pressured? inadequate? Instead of looking out at others or ourselves - I have to remind myself to look UP!
Psalm 121: 1-5, "I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
God did give Moses a helper in his brother Aaron, but it was God who spoke through them despite their weaknesses and for His glory.
If after prayer, time in God's Word, and talking with other believers about your dilemma you still feel that God is closing the door on your time of service as choir director - please be at peace with your decision to stop. There might be someone who God has in mind to fill your place - or not. Either way it is my prayer that you find confidence in God's direction and not what others may poorly judge. If the motivation to continue directing choir comes down to serving out of guilt, to meet other's expectations of you than that could create further resentment between you and the church members. If you stop directing choir you could feel guilty as well. Either way take that guilt to the cross where Jesus overcame it! Give him your worries, doubts and fear. Live in His freedom won for you.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Whether you direct or sing hymns alone - Sing on!
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