Confessions of a Former "Worship Leader"


I had been looking for God inside myself, in my feelings, my experiences, my spiritual faithfulness, and works of obedience. I’d come up empty. I had nothing. The game was over. The God I had been seeking was turning out to be an imaginary best friend whom I was outgrowing.

I finally reached the point where I couldn’t fake it anymore. It was tearing me apart to the point that atheism seemed preferable. I felt like such a hypocrite standing before the congregation every Sunday to lead them in the kind of “worship” that felt like leveraging commercial subculture to manufacture experiences that would hopefully be misconstrued as spiritual. I threw in the towel.

Five days after giving my two weeks, I received a phone call from a Lutheran church on the other side of the country. They wound up taking this religious refugee in and teaching me to worship God in a more emotionally and spiritually healthy way. A much older way.

Rather than pushing me deeper into myself to find my connection with God in emotions and subjective experiences, I am being pulled out of myself to behold something that is objective and external: A God who speaks to us in the sure and certain words of the scriptures, and gives us His grace in the visible and tangible sacraments. My navel-gazing narcissism posing as piety is being put to death by the constant reassurance that as surely as I can hear these words of forgiveness and taste this bread and wine, I can know that God loves and accepts me, because of Jesus, no matter how separated from Him I feel.

Read it all at patheos