Many times as the worship leader, we have to make hard decisions. Maybe you need to have a talk with a musician or a vocalist. Maybe you need to rebuke someone for sour attitudes. Maybe you've encouraged all you could about inconsistency and non-commitment, and now it's time to ask someone to make a decision or... step down. How do you handle the managerial side of the worship leader? The bible instructs us to love, but also "tell the truth" to one another... Let's talk about it here.

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I handle situations like these by being respectful but honest. You can be nice but you don't have to turn a blind eye to the inappropriate behaivor.
hmMMmm. definately depends on the situation. there's never ONE way to deal with anyone about anything. but things that work best are hints, group talks, and section talks. sort of hint a bit. observe if there's changes and the team is taking initiative to change or learn or live or play the best way a leader can / or committed team member should. one on one is always great!!! as long as there's encouragement and advice. wisdom and discipleship.
I once gave someone "permission" to step was a unique situation, but it really worked. They realized that they didn't have to leave, but that I also knew they were finding it difficult to follow my lead. So I had coffee with the person and explained how I understood that as a leader-type person themselves, they liked to do things differently. But it wasn't going to happen here, so they had my permission to step down and there would be no hard feelings.

In the end, he stayed for the summer and stepped down in the fall...and we had a great time while it lasted.

Nicole is right; every situation is different. Go to God first, your pastor second and then the person/team last. Always have backup. (and also be ready to be told that it may be you who needs to just never know)
Some points point I would make, is to make good use of scripture. The bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3v16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" Also make sure it is love "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" And from 1 Timothy 5 "Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."

We can't overlook wrong attitudes or conflict as they harm the body and if left unchecked can cause much bigger problems, but we must come in an attitude of humility, full of grace and looking to encourage and spur each other on in our walk becoming more like Christ.
This might not be the popular point of view, because it is more of a worldly management concept....but a couple of issues that might head off trouble.
1. Are the requirements for being on the team spelled out, does everyone know what is expected of them and the consequences of not doing what is expected? Is there a procedure in place for them to take themselves off the team temporarily? I loved the concept on a diiferent conversation that they had a period of time where it was okay to leave the team - no harm, no foul.
2. Are you consistent with your approach? Do you handle your brother-in-law the same way you do everyone else? Consistency is one of the main ways that people that you lead will respect you for. Everyone is different and thats what makes up diversified teams, you may only have one drummer and many singers, but the same things should apply across the board - not who is on the platform more, but do they come to practice? do they let you know in enough time if they can't make it? Are they following the procedures that you have laid out?
3. Do you have an open door policy? Are you approachable or even reachable? Does everyone have your email addy? Do you respond to them? Communication is so very vital, it makes people feel not only wanted and needed but gives value to them as a team member.

If you don't have your policies in place, maybe it's time for a big team meeting, let them help you establish those policies, give them ownership in not only the requirements but also what happens if they fail to live up to those policies.

Just some early morning thoughts, blessings,
Hopefully, expectations would be communicated ahead of time, so that if conflict ever arose it would be easy to work through them. Nothing muddles a conflict situation like an unclear understanding of what's expected of team members and/or what happens if there is conflict.

Scripture lays out a good framework in which to approach conflict resolution.

Besides that, I would say that you should have standards that apply to all situations and be flexible enough to take each situation as it comes.

One thing I don't do is tolerate whining or immature attitudes. If your "conflict" has roots from some sick desire to make everything about you, then we'll deal with that...while you take a break from the team. Sadly, though when most people have these attitudes they're more willing to throw a fit and then hop to the next church that will coddle them instead of accepting responsibility for their own spiritual growth and maturity. I know, I know that's a generalization, but it's definitely applicable in a lot of situations.

But then, there are those shining moments when you lovingly, firmly, and respectfully confront someone and they GET IT. They see it! They actually WANT to learn and grow and be sharpened. Thank god for those moments!
This is some good stuff here. Weldon and Russ, our team does have guidelines requirements in place. So the system is there.We recently moved here, and I've ony been on staff at this particular ministry just over a year. (about a year and 4 months) I am also the pastor's sister...Ok, ok. I know. But the church has been in existence and doing well for 7 years before I got here, so it's not one of those "all in the family" type things. There are 3 pastors in total, my brother just happens to be one of them. Also when I got here the structure was very loose. The rehearsals had to structure, no one seemed to know how to teach parts, musicians left rehearsal when they were done with "their" songs, or when they got what they needed. So, a year in and almost 75% done with a worship renewal program, we are seeing great changes. But people still dont see the seriousness in it being a team effort. They can still be rather scatter-brained if you will. Tomorrow night is the last night in a 10-week course studying Exploring Worship by Bob Sorge. It has been an awesome 10 weeks. But the end of this class also means, subsequent audition and interviews and maybe even having to tell some people this may not be where they are most gifted. So it's bittersweet. (BTW, we dismantled the existing team, and those who would had to submit to this class before moving forward in any way with the ministry. This includes vocals, dance, sound and media, musicians and sound and media) There's way too much to say here, but I bet this last part will get lots of response... So you can see, conflict may not necessarily mean an individual having a "problem" per se, but could also mean just resolving issues in the team itself, personal and collective alike.
Awesome that you've got people who signed up to go through the class. If I'm not mistaken you're saying that the people on your team agreed to go through the class to be on the team in its current form?

I think that says a lot already!

One thing we've definitely been trying to teach at our place, is that the worship doesn't just happen when we sing or play, but that (for the worship team) it happens when we sing and play TO SERVE our that THEY can express there worship collectively. It's not about the individuals on the team coming to get their own personal worship fix for the week.

You'd be amazed at how many people in "leadership" haven't moved past the..."Well, Sunday mornings are how I worship and you can't tell me how to worship God" phase. Seriously. It's amazing.

But we've got a great group of young adults who are really seeing that worship is 24/7 (we know that, right?) and that when they come on Sundays it's not about THEIR personal worship through's about their serving the congregation through singing which is ultimately a more selfless approach to "sunday worship."

I just said all that to say that when the team begins to operate from a place of serving others and not themselves we'll begin to see a whole new level of commitment. We're just now starting to see that where we are and definitely want to pass it on to new members as they join us.
There are so many aspects to this. One that might help though, is to explorer what team is. In my experience a truly successful team is not necessarily what we would think of straight away. In business a successful team would probably be seen as one that makes decisions and implements them successfully and gets the work done. Results driven. However the kingdom is not results driven, it is relationship driven and we need to make sure that we realise this. In my view and experience a successful team is one where every member of the team is recognised supported and their input sought. Some people give their input very freely and others need to have it drawn out of them. We are a body and all parts need to function for it to be healthy, this is the same as a team. All members need to be able to do their part for it to be successful.

I could go on loads more, but I won't. 2 final words though. When we meet as teams let us come with a heart that wants to hear what the others have to say more than we want to give our input. and secondly, leading isn't about us setting our agenda, but rather introducing people to Jesus agenda and finding the mind of Christ together and following him.
Hmmm. Interesting Topic. I am have a problem with the way the founder/leader of the group that I sing with. He is also a pastor and don't mind calling you out, but if you call him on something that he is out of order on an issue then you are second guessing him or doubting him. How do I correct a leader without over stepping my boundaries?
I'm not exactly sure as yet Christopher. Can you shed a little more light on the situation as well as your relationship to the worship leader/pastor?
Most common answer, you can't. But with the grace of God, it is possible.

I say this because there are few leaders in the grand scheme of things who are humble enough and open enough to accept correction. Usually you need to be someone who is very close to them, someone that has earned the ability to "speak into their lives."

Most leaders assume (often wrongly) that they know more about what they're doing than you do...that's why they're a 'leader', right? But a good leader will always seek out feedback so that they can continue to grow. The question is whether your pastor is one of those people.

To not overstep your boundaries, the first thing to do is not call him out publicly. That is an extreme action that only leads to conflict.

Then check out your own reasons for being in disagreement with him. Is there a real issue that is affecting the ministry, or do you just like to do it different? If it's just you and your own style (and not a team issue) then maybe you need to change (after all, we are to be servants of one another) or even quietly move to a different ministry that suits your giftings. Remember that he is in charge, so that carries some weight in his decision to do things the best way he sees fit.

If you still wish to proceed, you should arrange a time to have coffee with him and get to know him a bit. Ask about his vision for the worship team, how he views the progess the team is making, etc. Hear his heart. Then when the time is right (and you'll need to listen to the Spirit's voice on this), present to him your concerns in the most non-threatening way you can. Be humble and know what you really want to communicate. This is not the time to vent your spleen; it's a time to seek beneficial change for the good of the group and the ministry.

He may listen; he may not. Be prepared to go long term with this, and take any small advancement as encouragement. Some leaders are slow to change, but it doesn' mean they can't. The goal is unity and a effective ministry.

A worship war is only good news for our enemy. May the Lord guide you, brother!

Hope this helps. Rick


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