Conducting or playing with an IMPULSE on each beat can be exhausting!
The goal -- whether conducting, playing or singing music -- should always be IMPULSE BY PHRASES. Find the arc in the musical line that defines the dynamic and articulation. It is NOT that hard. We naturally do that when we speak. Why not look ahead in the lyrics or notice the shape of the melody to find where the natural impulses should be? While there are some hymns that do not "paint the words" very well, most do. The marriage of engaging melody and powerful lyrics should be celebrated and sung or played accordingly.
Consider, for example, the woeful plight of the hymn "How Great Thou Art." Sung with IMPULSES ON EACH NOTE (the way I have most often heard congregations murder it) makes the hymn feel like a funeral dirge dragging slower and slower to its final phrase demise. However, if it is sung up tempo with through-phrasing and fluid lyric arcs, this hymn is powerful and wonderful to sing.
"Hope of Israel" can be a joyful hymn to sing, but not when it is marched with IMPULSES ON EACH NOTE. Singing with gusto and trying to accent each beat can be exhausting and feel like slogging through the mud. But, if conducted by phrase, giving dynamic impulses where they belong on just the important words and notes, the singers can have the stamina to march with power all the way to the end!
Conductors -- give the congregation a treat -- don't just conduct by IMPULSES, use impulses to CONDUCT by PHRASES!