Stepping Aside


Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As worship leaders, there will come a day when we will be asked to move aside. We will have reached an age or a place in life when our “cool factor” will have long worn off, & will be removed from the spotlight. It is inevitable, but is actually a good thing. We should prepare for it, rather than resist. We should ever be working ourselves out of a job, and stepping aside voluntarily. We should be raising up our replacements.

Even Jesus reached a time & place in His ministry when He decided it was best to leave it in the hands of His disciples. In John 14:12, He says “…anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

Close your eyes and think about that person who helped you get to where you are today. What if they had never reached out to you? What if they had never spent the time investing in you? Would you still be where you are today?

Now ask yourself…

  • Who am I pouring into?
  • Am I giving my life to someone else?
  • Am I working myself out of a job?

As worship leaders, our ultimate value to the church is not our good voice or our band leading skills – it is our ability to train and raise up the next generation. It may cost us our lives, our time, and our spotlights, but this is what we are called to do. We are called to make disciples. We are called to replicate ourselves for His glory.

Discipleship is showing people Christ, and inviting them to follow Him with you, through this raising up future leaders who will do the same.

We must replace ourselves so the church can continue after we are gone. When we do this, we plant deep roots for the bride of Christ to grow. This is when we are of real value to Christ’s church. This is when we are no longer worship leaders, but worship pastors. When you are pastoring with a guitar, you get excited to move to the side when someone you have been training steps up. As disciple-makers, we are not threatened when we are a part of training the next wave of creatives.

If we can bring this type value to the church organization, I truly believe we will never need to be asked to move to the side.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
-Matthew 10:39

Will Retheford is a worship pastor at Every Nation Church (New York, NY), a student at 10,000 Father’s Worship School, & is working on his Masters from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He was worked with artists such as Gungor, The Brilliance, and David Leonard from All Sons & Daughters. Will’s latest single with his band Doxa Theo drops this April. To read our review of Will’s last CD take a look HERE.