Avoiding Comparison as a Worship Leader

As worship leaders it can be easy to look at other churches, worship leaders and worship artists, and compare ourselves to them. It can be a struggle to avoid comparison and not turn worship leading into an idol in our lives. Matt McCoy sat down with worship leader and songwriter Jon Egan to discuss how to avoid comparing ourselves as worship leaders.

1. You are Enough

If you start comparing yourself to others and begin feeling inadequate as a worship leader, it often starts from not feeling like you are enough.

Jon: “There’s something in you that doesn’t feel like you’re enough. Now there’s growth that needs to happen, but let’s talk through that and figure out what in you is causing you to not feel like you’re not enough. God is not calling you to imitate or echo, He’s calling you to originate and be a voice.”

Worship leaders can feel a lot of pressure to write songs that go viral and become an artist and not just a pastor. While those things are not bad, it can be a challenge to go against that or if you don’t succeed at it. But it’s important to remember why we lead worship and what we are doing.

Jon: “The uphill climb for worship leaders is that we have to lovingly disappoint this over-entertained consumer culture. We have to lovingly let them down and say I’m going to give my all up here on this stage and I’m here to lead you, but it’s you [the congregation] that is meant to carry the presence of God just as much as me.”

2. Become a Worship Father / Mother

We aren’t called to look at others and try to imitate what they’re doing as musicians and on the stage. We’re called to pour into others and discipleship.

Jon: “There’s an endless supply of performers, but what we lack is fathers and mothers. When you get worship fathers and mothers that can pour into others, it can undo a lot of idols.”

To avoid feeling comparison or performance becoming an idol, look for warning signs in your team and your own life.

Jon: “Watch out for great performers that don’t pastor, competitive cultures, or a young team that is only interested in the performance. When you notice that someone is in a room of 12 people leading worship like it’s 12,000 that’s awkward and a lack of awareness. If you’re a leader, look for who is coming up under you and who you are pouring into. Who’s coming up alongside of you that you can pass things off to in the future?”

When we aren’t only worried about ourselves and how we look, and start focusing on pouring into others and discipleship, it takes away a lot of the comparison challenges.

Jon: “The great thing about discipleship is that it’s not about you succeeding. It’s about them succeeding. Is it enough for you to watch those you are discipling succeed? The ultimate goal is for you to help others and then you cheering on others. You’re meant to pass on who you are.”

Watch the full interview with Jon Egan below!