Stress, then, is not a bad thing, but part and parcel with the creation before and after the fall. Just like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was built to carry a certain amount of traffic each day without cracking or crumbling, we are built to bear a certain amount of weight as we work through life. Yet, many worship leaders are cracking and crumbling, showing signs of excessive wear and tear as they are weighed down with much more than they were designed to handle. Although it may be argued that stress is the natural state of man post-fall, we still need to ask, “What would be considered a state of hyper stress for us as worship leaders?” and “What can we do to stay healthy?”
Perhaps we should take a step back from the burden of the week-to-week duties for a moment to consider the greater design of God in the ordering of his Church. If Jesus is the “head of the church” (Eph 1:22), then we must believe that his “yoke is easy” and his “burden is light” (Mt 11:29), as he has promised. The tip off that we are doing too much in ministry is when life becomes unmanageable and we, or the people closest to us, are suffering. Our task, then, is to yoke up with him, to be more attentive to his direction in the load that we are willing to carry and to be aware of our own needs spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
As post-Eden earth dwellers, we find ourselves engaged in three arenas of battle: physical, emotional, and spiritual. As Christian believers we have learned much of the spiritual arena, yet often neglect the things that keep us strong in the Lord (Eph 6:18) such as prayer, personal worship, Bible study, and fasting. We often default to the pabulum of popular semi-biblical jingles on Christian radio and abdicate our daily fellowship with God for drive time devotionals. An authentic Christ-centered spirituality is much more than knowing all the lyrics to current praise songs. We would do well to re-engage with ancient liturgies, texts, and the classic spiritual disciplines to accompany our bevy of praise tunes.
When it comes to understanding the indissoluble link between our mortal bodies, spirit, and soul, there may be few books that stand up to Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy (HarperCollins, 1998). Our western penchant to compartmentalize ourselves into three separate elements of spirit, soul, and body is antithetical to Scripture, according to Willard, and we are impoverished for this viewpoint. If we are neglecting our bodies through over eating, lack of exercise, or some other thing, we are neglecting the very presence of God (see Paul in 1 Cor 12:27). Many worship leaders are suffering unduly because they are neglecting themselves physically. Why not take a walk today?
Worship Leader Magazine: http://worshipleader.com/staying-healthy-emotionally-and-spiritually/