Lost faith and connection with God, serving in the ministry.
by Jeremy W.
This may sound like an odd scenario, but it's happening. My name is Jeremy and I'm 33 years old. I have a certain set of skills when it comes to musical production and performance that began as a volunteer at my church I am now hired on at. I run sound for the weekend services, as well as play guitar from time to time, fix technical issues, etc. The staff there thought I may be a good investment and offered me the position of Production Director for a new multi-site they are opening.. (Similar to Andy Stanley's setup.)
This job requires an extreme amount of attention to detail. I also work a day job I have had for the last 8 years as a warehouse stock handler. The 2 environments are completely different as you can imagine. I've grown to incredibly dislike my day job. It pays great, but the work is insanely stressful with little reward and a lot of negativity. I do nothing there that I have wanted to do with life, career wise...
So when I was offered the position of P.D. for the church I'm at now, I was thrilled! I thought, "Great! God has blessed me with a job that puts the gifts He's given me to use in a way that honors Him as well! What could be more black & white than that?!" I really thought this was a fantastic opportunity..
Fast-Forward to December last year. My wife and I just welcomed our first child, Owen into the world. My grandfather passed a week later. I contracted Bells Palsy to the left side of my face a month prior that I'm still affected by, though not as bad.. (Not completely shut-down anymore.) Though I'm only part-time at the church as well as working my day job at the warehouse, my boss at Emmanuel, (The church) - is placing more and more responsibility on my shoulders as far as weekend services are concerned. I knew this was part of the job, but it seems like I'm withdrawing from them more and more emotionally as I progress in this endeavor. It's becoming more of another job in that, it applies only what I enjoy to the extent of the people who will work for me. My task is to make sure the service "happens." Every detail, every bolt, every letter, everything.
So, being only part time, I am making mistakes as I go. I'm having a hard time with criticism.. It seems as though my expectations are almost like I should know EVERYTHING the first time I have a crack at it. If I under perform, like any job, it's pointed out. My boss's boss, the weekend services director, doesn't seem to like me too much. He often ignores me when he passes, or presents a fake smile and moves along. There seems to always be something they're "not" telling me or keeping secret, and that's generated a sense of keeping them at arms length. It makes me think I'm just whiney, which isn't great either.
The position has in short, turned into a job that creates a sense of fear that I will screw something up, and be chastised for not being prepared first time out. I've actually been having dreams that the exec pastor fires me for getting upset. (True story. A kid kept punching me in the leg in a dream, and when I raised my voice, I heard behind me: "This isn't working out Jeremy." lol.)
A scenario I can use would be this past Monday for rehearsal. Easter services are gigantic every year as you can imagine, so the stage has about a hundred people on it for choir and full band. We run in-ear monitors for the band members so they can hear what they want to play along with the other members. The guy in charge of dialing their individual mixes in works at a giant mixing console on the side of the stage and talks back and forth to each member until the whole band is happy. Ideally, a whole sound check should be done in 15 minutes with just a band. I'd seen this done a million times, but had never done it myself until Monday. I was pretty confident until I got a little lost in the 300 + knobs trying to do it fast while my boss stood over me telling me, "we need to go faster." with a look of dissapointment on his face while I was doing it.
boss, The weekend services director, was playing the piano. When it came to his turn to be dialed in, my boss just took over the board saying, "we need to get this done sooner." Thus, making me feel like a total failure and looking like an amateur in front of everyone.
Tuesday when I went in, his comment was: "I hope you understand the importance of why I told you to hang out down there by those guys while they do soundcheck." Which, didn't make me feel much better.. in fact, my attitude was pretty negative about it. I responded with, "I've never done it before. You can have me watch someone do it a hundred times but until I do it myself, i'm new at it. I'll get better Mike." (his name.)
It wasn't just a regular service either.. It was like, here's a gun kid, now go be a Navy Seal.
The stress of having a newborn, (I've never done that either.).. - who screams at you and doesn't let you sleep, along with the stress of a warehouse job that requires you to literally almost "run"all day long to hit quota or face the consequences, and the stress of taking over an entire campus as production director when I feel like most of my bosses there don't have a high opinion of me, has made me rather depressed and withdrawn from God. I love things like Film making. I'd always wanted to make a film.. It's what I spend almost all of my free time, (when I have it) - researching and practicing. It's my dream. Any part of that seems to be getting shut down by everything. As a result, I have no passion to pursue my relationship with God, my attitude is negative, and here I am amongst a staff of people who serve God for a living, and resonate the bond and lifestyle with Him all men in those positions have.. I feel like a total fraud, and I feel like they know it.
They aren't bad people, but I feel like I am. I know emotions are unreliable, but this is HEAVY on my heart.. I don't feel like I can talk to them about it for that reason. I don't even want to pick up a Bible anymore. I have every kind of book from Hybels, to Lucado, to Lewis, to you name it. I read, and about 3 paragraphs in, I go A.D.D. and lose focus. Before I know it, I'm about to pass out asleep, or I've just read 3 chapters while thinking about something else.. It's awful. I feel like I'm under attack. I hear this representation of God in my mind saying, "well.. maybe if you had..." or "you should've done this when I told you.." it's hell. I feel like I'm letting every single human being I interact with down. I'd be lying if I said, suicide hasn't crossed my mind. (that's as far as that will go though, so don't be too concerned with that:)
My lack of focus caused me to question whether or not I may "have" a medical condition or something. SO my Dr. prescribed me Adderall. Which as it turns out, is really just a legal Amphetamine... Which led to a secret drug addiction last year. I stopped taking them cold turkey, (which was hell also) - and now I'm just back to a bunch of whiney, un-fullfilling, negativity and sin.
I know Christ' love endures all and is unfailing... - but even knowing this, I feel like an exception. I tell Him all of this, but it's continued... I know the deceiver would love nothing better than to take everything from me, especially a position of influence for the Kingdom.. But this is breaking my heart day in day out. I have no passion for this, or God. No desire to follow or seek. I have no idea what I would even say to these people. I feel like another dissapointment would come as no surprise though.
Thank you for just taking the time to read this, if you got through all of that, lol.. I don't have anybody to talk to, and I'm feeling pretty lost. I really needed to get that out there.
I don't know if I would make it back to this site to check for a response, so I may just leave my email address instead if it wouldn't be too much trouble to attach your response to that? Thank you sir again!