Team Devotional: Searching for Significance in Ministry

Here’s a devotional reading you can use with your team. This was written and first appeared as a weekly devotion distributed by

Opening Scripture:

Mark 10:35-39 (NIV)

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Devotional Reading:

Towards the end college, I began to play electric guitar on a worship team at a 6000-member church.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was the “D-list” electric guitarist. I’d get scheduled for the Sundays that didn’t have much going on for the electric guitar. And this was the 90s. So there was A LOT of Sundays like that.

But still, I had a significant position. Once a month or so, I was on a stage in front of 2000 people three times a weekend.

After awhile, being the D-list guitarist wasn’t enough. There was this inner circle in that worship ministry that I strived to be a part of, but never quite got in. I was a small fish in a big pond.

So I found another pond. I began volunteering with the youth ministry and led their youth worship band. The small fish found a “less big” pond.

Eventually I graduated college and wanted more. So I sought employment at that church. After two openings went to other people, I decided it was time to find a different pond – one small enough for me to be a big fish.

You can guess what happened. It wasn’t enough. Over and over I tried to find significance in who I knew and who knew me—my circle of friends, my status as a pastor, my talent as a musician.

Deep inside each of us there’s a core longing for our existence to matter. To go beyond just being noticed to being celebrated. We desire significance. And that longing’s not wrong. It’s just been twisted and misdirected since we left the Garden.

We don’t have to look hard for examples of people seeking significance from lesser things – jobs, education, sports, politics, Hollywood, Nashville, and even in the church. OK, especially the church.

And we, the worship team, can easily get trapped into finding significance from our “ministry.” Our role of leading, playing and singing in front of the congregation can feed that desire to be known and celebrated.

But it’s never enough. We’ll never sing to enough people to fill our desire for significance.

It’s interesting, however, that our Source for significance is actually singing to us. Zephaniah 3:17 says this:

The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

 You are known. God knows you. He celebrates your existence. Not for what you have done, but because He loves you.

The Lord our God, Who is mighty to save, delights in you and delights in me. That’s significance.


  • Why is it so easy to try to find significance in worship ministry?
  • What are some ways you’ve found yourself seeking significance through this ministry?
  • As with any sin, this misplaced search for significance needs to be brought to the light – not for shame, but for freedom and healing. How do we bring this issue into the light within our team?


Father, You are the True Source for our significance. Forgive our attempts to find it outside of You.

Jesus, thank you that your blood paid the price for our sin, including our search for significance apart from You.

Holy Spirit, help us to experience and truly know the significance that can only be found in You.

Jon Nicol