Ive been at my church for almost 2 months. Im not from here, nor do I have much in common with the people here. It's a little frustrating but nothing we can't work through. This music ministry has been through a lot of worship leaders. so now that Im here they're wondering how long I will last..?
I know leadership is all about relationships and building a sense of trust between leader and team member. My team is reluctant to follow me because they have this mind set that I wont be here long. Ive expressed numerous times that Im in this for the long haul, but they show through actions that they're still unsure.
My main question is this...How do you start out developing relationships that you need to run a successful ministry? I'm great with organization and planning, but with relationships, Im struggling to find a connection between my team, much less the church. Pray for me. God Bless.
Whoa! My first thought is "Why all the changeover?" Are leaders assigned yearly in the denomination? You have been there long enough to get through the Honeymoon stage...are there issues in the church like egos, conflict over worship styles, or a congregation or leaders who want or resist change?
I guess the thing is - does God want you there? Takes prayer...
As for relationships - there's you with the team members, your senior pastor, and the people in the pews.
Fundamentally the only way they're really going to believe that you're there for the long haul is... well... when you're there for the long haul! Keep talking with all the team, maybe sit down with key members and try and get a vision together of 'what do we want the corporate worship of the church to look like in 3 years... 5 years... 10 years...' dream some dreams, get them inspired.
More than likely, you will be with the Lord for the 'Longhaul'. If you or the church is not sure how long you will be there.....just 'do' the work you are there to do. Our Lord 'reaps where He did not sow..
I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
In the same thought...You might sow..for someone else to 'reap' someday. Just do your best job for Him.
I had a friend who was a great gardner. He once told me, if I did not know if I was going to be living in the same place at harvest time....still plant a garden in the spring. 'Someone' will have food from that garden, even if it is not me. And hopefully....someone also plantd a garden wherever I am at harvest time.
Relationships develop over time. Right now the team is probably hurt, frustrated, and discouraged so their guard is up. Trust isn't a gift and is something that has to be earned. I think a healthy ice breaker is invite them to do something outside of the church atmosphere. For example, I was new to my area about a year back. There were also some friends of mine who came into town on their tour so they gave me tickets for the entire worship team to attend, followed by dinner. It allowed the team to get to know me better and vice-versa.
The bottom line is that you've been there for two months. It's going to take a lot more than you just saying you're in it for the long haul. They probably heard that from the past worship leaders. As you prove your commitment and establish new processes (bible studies, praying for your team, etc.) that help build, grow and encourage the team over time, they will begin to trust you. On the pastoral side of your worship leading responsibilities, it will be a good idea to get a background on what's happened with the team in the past and talk to the team on any unresolved issues they may still have.
I'm glad you recognize your struggle with relationships. Knowing that is half the battle. I, too, am great with details, casting vision, working hard, etc, but relationships were (and still are) my weak area. Having said that, I'm a lot better now than I was even 5 years ago.
If it were me, I'd just start relating. That means going for lots of coffee with lots of different people. Don't just limit it to your worship team, include the entire church family. The more people who get to know you and love you as a person, the easier your worship leading "job" will be.
When you do meet with people, listen far more than you talk. And when you do talk, make it questions to get them talking again. Don't spend tons of time expounding your vision (at least not yet). Learn to hear and understand your people, because once you do, you'll be better able to communicate your vision in words and ways they understand.
One thing I've learned is that if you say too much too soon, you'll find out in the end that you said it wrong.
As Matt said, the only way they'll believe you're there for the long haul is when many years have passed you're still there. So do the work of a pastor (i.e. getting to know your flock and learning how to meet their needs) and just know in yourself that you're going to stick it out no matter what. Then do it.
One last biggy. Determine to get to know your pastor well, and seek his or her advice often. Then don't be too proud to follow it. They know their people, and they have valuable insight on how to gain their support.
Learn about the members of your team. Do you have anything in common? Sports? Music? TV Shjows? You know, a pizza and a coke makes an easy ice breaker. Any hobbies that you and members of your worship team share? Ask about it! Start conversations. Tell a funny story from your past. Invite one or several members of the team out to lunch, or have them over for a meal. Rick's advice is usually very good, and it is in this case.
Ask them what their favorite songs are...and play some of them. Get them to care about you, by SHOWING that you care about them.
I will say first off that it's great that I can come on here, expose my problems and weaknesses and get great advice and encouragement from people in the same position I'm in. That's way cool.
I will specifically work on building relationships outside of worship team practices etc. I think being a great leader takes courage. In this case, I'm sure you all have experienced, we have to step out of our comfort zone and get to know people who may be very unlike us. For me it will take courage to call some individuals on my team and take them out for lunch or coffee. And then once I do that it will take a lot for me to do more listening than talking. I think I naturally will want to share my passion and vision. I also have to find opportunities to show them I do care about them. I trust God will creat these opportunities.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Very wise, Josh. Yes, it's hard for us to spend "precious time", time that we seem to have so little of, just talking about non-music issues. But as you've said, you have to be courageous and believe that God will use that time in a good way.
We care deeply about our visions and want to share them with folks, but remember the old saying, "People don't really care about what you know until they know that you really care."
My advice is the following: power flows where focus goes...
As soon as we draw attention to matters like this, we experience a shift in the teams focus. Get them togeher understanding that its all about harmony and working as a team. Focus on what God is working in your spirit. The more we lift the eyes of people to see God the less they will focus on other matters. ITS ALL ABOUT GOD>>>>
I sarted at a church 4 months ago. I've learned to listen to the simple things that God works in my spirit and the outcome is awesome. Remember, the simple things create the biggest potensial to work with....
I would first fast and pray, for wisdom on how to approach this team with your passion for the ministry and for them. This change is not an over night turn around, it's a journey of building trust and a family. Why did you go there? What drew you to this church. Something caught your heart to pursue this church. So God not Only doing a work in You, but also working on some hearts in your team to open there hearts again so God can Move And The Worship can be Awesome. And that The whole Team can Worship in spirit and in truth. Worship was never meant to be easy, it's always a denying of our self and pushing to get into Gods Presence. Fighting Our Flesh and saying No, I will Worship God With My Whole Heart No Matter The circumstances. Just remember You can do all things through Christ who strengthen you.
You Brother In The Lord and Fellow Worship Leader Also.