Why I’m Not Singing At Church This Year

This article is also posted on worshipwriter.com

I wanted to send out a letter to update my church family on what’s been wrong with my voice and why I’ve been on vocal rest for seven months. Throughout last year, I was over-singing and over-training at the same time which came with consequences.

To start off, I’ve been singing every Sunday for the past 10 years. That’s a minimum of 150 songs a year. If counting a mere 3 songs a Sunday, that’s 1,200 songs since Church 212 began! (Oh, and over 400 set-ups plus 400 tear-downs) but I’m not complaining (just recruiting).

With rehearsals every mid-week, Sunday performances, a couple gigs a month, and my own songwriting and vocal training, I was wearing my voice down (some incorrect singing too). I didn’t realize it, but over time I was damaging these little chords.

What happened to my voice is equivalent of going to the gym everyday for months, working out enthusiastically, but not giving the body the proper rest, diet, and recovery it needed. My injury didn’t happen because of one incident. It was gradual.


Suddenly November of 2016 approached and my voice starting hurting. After seeing an Ear Nose And Throat Specialist, I was diagnosed with bruised vocal chords. No big deal. The doctor said take a few days off from using my voice and I should be good.

But it didn’t help.

I took 10 weeks off from singing thinking maybe this would help. But when I tested it one Sunday, it began hurting again. That’s when I sought more professional help in which I found another ENT in LA who sent me to a therapist in Santa Montica who apparently, “knows what she’s talking about.” It took me 3.5 hours to get there and 4.5 to get home. I’ve been there 4 times now and traveling twice a month.

I am hoping by the end of the year I can be leading you in worship again. I have learned one primary reason I’m not recovering is acid reflux that’s burning my vocal chords keeping them from healing timely. I am on a strict diet that should help.

After 7 months of little progress, I decided to get real serious. Today I’m on day 9 of complete vocal rest. I’m not speaking to anyone. At this point I’m taking drastic measures to heal. For the next eight weeks I won’t be serving (on Sundays) as a sabbatical is needed at this time. But I’ll be on the front row!

I am coaching my teams, however, and chatting daily through GroupMe.

Learning to trust.

In the meantime, God is using my setback to launch my team forward. And he’s teaching me many things. I’ll admit I’ve battled spurts of discouragement not using my singing gift. But at the same time enjoyed a sense of thankfulness—I’m getting to practice first hand how serving Christ isn’t about me.

It’s about edifying and equipping the body of Christ (Eph 4:12), and laying down my interests for the interests of others (Phil 2:3). After all, the Bible doesn’t call pastors superstars, it makes them servants (1 Cor 4:1).

Jim Collins spoke once at a pastor’s luncheon,

“Your church can’t be great if it can’t be great without you.”

The same can be said of me and my team. I am proud they are flourishing and growing! This season was necessary not just for my rest but their advancement. God has brought three new worship leaders to the team! Anibal, Daniel (Danny), Becka, and Stephanie are doing a great job!

I’ll be back soon to fit gently into my little nook within the team body. And it will be glorious! My word for this year is trust, and my verse is Ps 37:5:

Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. 

More Songs

Looking down the road I’ve written many songs that I want to share with you. Specifically, songs from the book of Romans—1 song for each of the first 8 chapters. Songs on Grace.

I’ve also written missional songs that I believe will be inspiring and motivational as we move into our new building. Oh yes, we signed a new lease on the best building we’ve seen yet! May God remind us we aren’t an entertainment facility, but an equipping center.

[share-quote author=”Daniel Harrison” via=”danielsworship”]May God remind us we aren’t an entertainment facility, but an equipping center.[/share-quote]

(Download the Church 212° app for an upcoming building update iPhone or android).

I love my church family. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for decades to come. Thanks for your patience with me during this time and for the support among the Body of Christ. Would appreciate a kind share of this post.

Love you all!

Daniel Harrison
Worship Pastor


About The Author

Daniel Harrison

I am the worship pastor of Church 212. I am proud to serve my Father as our senior pastor and the people of our congregation. I believe that a healthy church is a community and a family. I am married to Heather, have a son named Heshmon, and a daughter named Noah. Reach out and say hi!

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