Mitch Beauman is Worship and Arts Pastor at Lifepointe Church in Raleigh, NC. Recently Mitch underwent surgery on his throat. If you want to read more about his journey and what he is learning through all of this, he writes here.
I asked Mitch some questions on what this season has taught him as well as his experience as a worship leader.
What happened to your throat and what did they have to do to fix it?
A polyp developed on my right vocal fold, and surgery was required to remove it. They simply cut it from the surface of my vocal cords.
How long is the recovery and what does that look like?
Full recovery appears to be approximately a 3 month process, but it all depends on how quickly I recover and respond to rehab. The first 7-8 days post op required total silence, and I was instructed not to even clear my throat. From there, I’ve slowly built my speaking voice back to normal (still working on it, actually). I’m doing vocal rehab, which helps me with speaking and singing technique. I’m not cleared to sing yet, but it should begin soon!
As a worship leader who is normally leading and singing out front, what has it been like to be more behind the scenes lately?
Honestly, being somewhat of an introvert, it’s been really great to blend in to the background, so to speak. The most difficult part of this has been trying to express myself through music and worship in ways that I’m less gifted. That part has pushed me to the edge and been the source of a great deal of frustration.
What has God been showing you during this season?
I’m a child of God before I’m a musician, singer, or pastor. God has also provided countless opportunities for me to grow as a pastor and leader. I’ve been able to find fulfillment in these areas and have seen God work through me in meaningful ways.
Any particular passages of Scripture or truths you are holding to at this time?
People always come before the platform. No matter how much joy I receive from leading worship from the platform, it must never trump my responsibility to love, lead, and care for people.
Psalm 34:1, “I will extol the Lord at all times.” Even without a voice!
How has this situation tested your faith?
I find it easy to see myself in a stalling pattern in my walk with Christ. At times, I don’t feel as connected with God due to this circumstance. Through this, I’ve had to fight apathy when it comes to truly pursuing God.
What is your favorite thing about leading worship?
Seeing other people abandon their awareness of everyone else in the room and engage with God. There’s no greater sound than that of people singing praises to God!
Some people see worship leaders on stage and may think their job must not be very difficult. They get to do what they enjoy and get to be in front of everyone. What are some of the hard things that most people don’t realize worship leaders have to deal with?
Being in front of people comes with its share of scrutiny, even in the church. As musicians, we’re often wired to want people to approve of us and the music we create. The harsh reality is that this is an impossible endeavor. Despite our best efforts, we can’t make everyone happy. Consistently being excellent can be a challenge as well. The church meets over 50 times a year!
Any other thoughts/things you would like to share?
Of all the things God is teaching me, the greatest lesson is that, even when we have nothing to offer Him, He still desires us. He still loves us, and He still uses us. In spite of losing my voice during this season, God continues to grow my passion to serve Him. As my voice returns, it will do so with an even greater passion to serve God and His people and to leverage my gifts to see people awaken to His love.