Comparison, The Thief of Joy
Stop Comparing Yourself In Worship
“I’ll never sound like Hillsong.” I vividly remember my first ever leadership conference in 2013- everyone I looked up to in ministry was there. Influential pastors, churches, and musicians gathered to share their experience. It was a time of refreshment, instruction, being poured into, and of course STELLAR worship from Hillsong. Everyone in the band sounded incredible, was on fire for Jesus, and were playing skillfully with a shout of joy (Psalm 33:3)!
Flash forward to my worship experience the week after- the team was late, tired, and sounded...less than stellar. What started as a weekend of encouragement unfortunately became a game of comparison for weeks after.
Let’s get one thing straight: as worship leaders, we compare ourselves; our teams, our sound, and the way our people respond. This is not hard to see why: everywhere we look and listen, we see amazing teams writing fresh music and the people of God responding passionately. The worship is documented, produced, and shared for the whole world to be inspired. How can we not yearn for that? Worse, how can we not compare ourselves?
But here’s the thing: our measure of success is not about how well we “measure up.”
Sure, it’s good to assess our ministries and see how we can elevate our worship for the good of the church. But comparing ourselves is toxic and never-ending. Here’s why:
You were created by God with a unique identity.
As God’s workmanship, you were created to serve in a way only you can (1 Peter 4:10-11). You have a special voice and vision that God wants to bring to life through YOU! Comparing yourself inhibits this incredible opportunity. Plus, if every church looked and sounded the same, we wouldn’t do justice to the stunning diversity of the church worldwide.
The “highlight reel” is not the real thing.
Ask any worship pastor of a successful ministry, and they’ll tell you their latest album, video, or tour is only a highlight of that ministry. Where there’s people, there’s problems. Every worship team experiences hardship, frustration, and dry seasons. What the world hears at a conference or sees on a screen is just a snapshot.
Comparison kills peace.
Inner peace and outward harmony are dismantled by jealousy and comparison (James 3:16). Plus, they reap a harvest of anxiety and never feel like enough. Celebrate the triumphs of others, but don’t use them as the end-all-be-all of achievement.
God’s opinion of you is the only one that matters.
Whether your team is in a rut, you’re in-between tech people, or you’re just not seeing response like you want, remember:
You are chosen
You are called
You were made
to proclaim Christ in a unique way that only you can (1 Peter 2:9). I’ll never sound quite like Hillsong, and that’s ok- I’ll sound like me, and that’s exactly how God wants me.