I have a situation where one of my backup singers is always trying to override me as lead.  Her husband runs the sound and turns her mic up (per her gestures and pouting) and mine down so she can be heard above me. Their reasoning for this is because I have a strong voice and they turn her above me to be heard more. I have explained to them that the worship leader should be louder than the rest of the vocals and that he needs to follow my directions and not hers. Her response to our talk was telling me I was being petty about the mics. She has even went as far as stepping into my standing position which placed me behind her, her reasoning for that was she couldn’t see the words where she was. I told her I needed to be in that place because I am the worship leader and she needed to stand beside me. The tension was terrible during the worship service because she was mad, even our pastor felt the tension.  

She has a very strong controlling personality and it is difficult to talk to her without her getting mad or offended.  She thinks she needs to sing every word I sing and when I tell her she is to do only certain parts she gets…yep you got it mad! Then acts like she forgets and sings anyway.  This church is small and has gone through some tough times in the past and we are on our way back up, so we have been limited on talents and gifting. She is 60 years old and was kind of thrown into the team without anyone hearing her sing, because she has a difficult time with  staying on key and  going flat, another good reason for not having a loud mic. She has even taped herself and still thinks she can sing well. The main reason for her joining the team was to play the piano and she hardly does that because she wants to sing and not play. She owns most of the equipment and that gives her more control over things, or so she would like to think.

I have started classes on worship before practice to help us all have a better understanding of true worship and hoping this will help her to understand the importance of unity, fasting, prayer and humility.  I also have required the team to work with vocal teaching CD’s to help improve their voices, it hasn’t helped. I could go on with even more but just wanted to highlight some areas.

I know you are all probably thinking I am the one that needs banged on the head (LOL) for putting up with it like I have. But the truth is I am so concerned about hurting her (thinking about the past church issues) that I have not handled it right. Not that I have always allowed it but I become concerned as to how it will affect the church when I do. I also feel like she may not even know she acts like she does because it has been her personality for so long.

How do I deal with someone like this without asking them to leave the team? Is there hope for us in this situation? It makes me feel like I am the one trying to “control”. I know if something isn’t done it will only affect our worship and everyone on the team.



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Wow, thank you all so much for your great advice. It is very comforting to know I can get advice from seasoned leaders and Christians. I wanted to say first that I do have a great relationship with my pastor. He truly has a heart for God and follows the Word of God. I have spoken to him in the past concerning some of these issues and he is supportive and said if things didn’t get better he would talk to her. He even went to early morning practice to pray with us and express his concern for the tension he felt the Sunday before (her anger at me) although he didn’t tell her he knew what it was about. He did mic and sound check with us and said it sounded great…then they changed it all back to their own settings. I was just really hoping I could work this out without going through him, but have learned a great lesson in all of this and now understand that some people I will not be able to deal with without my pastor’s intervention.
The plan was to have a meeting today before P&W practice but just found out yesterday she is going to be gone for 4 days, but told my pastor 2 days. She is now mad at me because I spoke my frustration about her changing plans from day to day and not being here for practice for an important night we are hosting at our church this Sunday. So we will still have a meeting with her when she comes back. I strongly agree with you all that this has to STOP now or we will never move forward and EVERYONE will suffer. I have already planned what to do if they decide to leave and take the equipment, I realize now we won’t die but we will have a new beginning. I do not like the fact that I can’t speak to someone without them getting mad all the time, and that does need to change or she will have to be removed.
I also like the idea about training someone else for the sound system to work beside the sound man. I have tried in the beginning to involve her more with planning, but that only gave her more desire for control and was telling people what she was going to do with the team and sound system and etc., so I backed off on that. I also like the idea of asking her in front of everyone why she has the need to be heard above everyone and stand in the worship leaders position and etc, this might bring out the truth that her need to be seen and heard is much greater than her desire to be worshipping the Lord and leading others to the throne room.
I will let you all know the outcome in a few weeks. Thank you again and God’s love and blessings to each one of you.
1) Your church ought to purchase its own sound equipment. It sounds as if this is a "strings-attached" type of gift or loan that lends undermining power, and thus far it sounds like they're taking advantage of it. We all take credits and loans and such, but you can see that Satan can use cases where we accept a loan to wedge in and create problems within the church. A sound system is a must-have for a contemporary church.

2) Stress servanthood in your group conversation with them, especially to the sound guy. When involved with the praise team, he does not serve his wife but instead the Lord. If he is unwilling to take direction from the person who has been lifted up as leader (YOU), then you must find another person who has the time and talent to perform this task. The husband is enabling his wife to get under your skin by ignoring your instruction and instead listening to her.

Praying that this couple listens when you and your pastor speak openly with them. I fear that they won't, because they have the "sound system card" to be able to play. That's why I said first off you should consider talking with your pastor about taking that out of the equation, namely the church purchasing a system so that they have no stake in the team besides their desire to serve the Lord.
turn off all the mics, go acoustic
hee hee, nice one, This is a great idea , nice way to take things back to what's important :o)
....but what if she decides to bring along her megaphone? : -
I thought you lasses had one 'built in'.....( ducks to avoid a swift right hook).......
Ooh, I'll get my own back, have no fears : ) : )
you lasses always win in the end ;O)
Daddy's little girls!!!
Cindy, yep : )

Phil, you got it : )

God Bless. Lorraine
Hi, CIndy!

Any updates for us here? :)


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