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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I would deal with it, but you need to know that your voice does not always need to be at the front. The blend of the vocals is the biggest thing. I would deal with the taking over issue BUT, I would make a place for her. Make her the primary vocalist on a song and you back her up. I think incorperating as many people as you can is always better. Give them a place. Be the leader and share the mic! LOL>>>
Hello everyone,
Yes it has been a ride. Many challenges and a lot of hair pulling (my own)….LOL!
I wanted first to respond to David. Yes I have tried this. We have sang several songs together with her having her solo parts and me backing…truthfully the problem is she goes flat and off key a lot and that just doesn’t work either. I have tried to get her to work with me on lessons and listen to teaching CD’s and she always has an excuse why she can’t be there for those practices or walks away from me when I talk to her about it. When I try to get her to follow me to change pitches she turns away from me and plays with the window blinds or church lights or anything to avoid me. I also have a problem now giving someone a lead position that is rebellious, controlling and will not submit to leadership. The control issue isn’t just with the worship team but the kitchen, fund raisers, how the church should look and so on.

After I spoke to you all several weeks ago I did pray and fast and felt the answer I received was to follow scripture as Nathan had suggested. I went first alone to talk to her, so my next step was to take another mature Christian with me to talk to her. Same thing she got very angry, then she said she couldn’t breathe, practiced a few minutes and walked out. The anger was so intense that our new girl got sick to her stomach. I then knew my next step was for us to meet with our Pastor, but the next day she acted as if nothing ever happened and started doing well for a bit, so I gave her another chance. We had a special music night at our church with several churches coming together for music. We set the mics before worship and I asked them to please leave them set just like we had them…then the same thing, at times I could barely hear myself. We listened to the recording and all you could hear was her voice (loud) and couldn’t even here me ministering to the people because he had my mic so low. It was off key and flat on so many songs and she even said it sounded bad, but it was her voice she was hearing. Her behavior started getting worse again, along with lying and doing sneaky things, like trying to buy equipment behind our backs that we are already buying and some other things as well. At this point you realize that you actually have an enemy in your camp and they must be removed.

As I was praying one night the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me and said she would be leaving eventually. I have always prayed for God to change her heart or move her out, my desire was for her to change. Please don’t get me wrong I have also prayed for Him to show me where I need change and when He shows me I repent and work on my changes as well. I want to be an effective worship leader not a blind one. I have not arrived nor am I even close:))))

I knew I couldn’t let it go on any longer this week and decided to talk to our Pastor again and hit it head on with him and get it over with, so he could tell her to leave the worship team. Then I got a message from her that she is leaving for awhile because her job is requiring her to travel too much and it would be better for them ( her and sound man) to stay there while she is working. She will be leaving Monday. She said she would be gone all of May and after that she would still try to make it back for Sundays but couldn’t make practices. I told her that wouldn’t work because she would need to be here for the week day practice to learn new songs. I believe as the Spirit spoke to me, that she will be gone for good eventually. She was not willing to change so I believe God is closing the door for her at our church.

I have grown and learned so much through this time. God is good!

Now it’s time for me to say goodnight and to go shine my MEGAPHONE for church tomorrow. LOL!
God bless and thanks to you all.
Wow! Personality conflicts are hard....but you prayed and God moved, similar things have happened to me...
Wow Cindy! Thanks so much for sharing. It's so encouraging to hear how God has brought you through this:)
A few times i didn't think i was going to make it because i was flowing in my own strength and not the power of God. He's proved to me over and over that if i just trust the fact that HE knows what HE'S doing...HE will take care of all of my needs. Our worship today was awesome! I feel as though i fell in love with HIM all over again.
HI all, and especially to you Cindy,

I am BRAND NEW at this and after reading your story and all of the replies, I feel as though I am more prepared to deal with STUFF as it comes. Right now we are soooo small that it is only me on stage on Sunday mornings leading the P&W part of the service but I know from having a band in my "younger days" (lol) that personality conflicts can come out and unfortunately in Church too! I guess what I am trying to say is thank you for sharing your problem, and the steps that you went through to get through it! I know that as long as the Lord is involved with all of this (that's why we do what we do!) that He will guide us to do the next "right" thing... Thank you again!!!

PS. Im up for ALL of the knowledge that ya'll can give this girl!
Take care and God Bless!
Dear Cindy,
Oh geez---this topic hits home with me...
Please, please, please, speak the truth in love with this lady! This is the only thing that will help her. If she receives it, fine, if not, fine. If she leaves the team and takes all of her equipment, fine. Worship will still happen..with or without fancy equipment, great singers, etc. because worship is about the motive of the heart, it is all about Jesus, not us.

You are the worship leader, she is not. If you speak the truth in love to her, "your heart will not condemn you and you will be able to stand before the Lord in confidence," knowing that you have been truthful with this believer. 1 John 3:21. You sound like a really good worship leader, what with providing teaching, c.d.'s, etc. That's more than I did...so kudos to you!

Here's my story:
About15 years ago I had a lady like this on my team. I worked with her for about 3 years, and then, because she was always in my space and driving me nuts, we decided that maybe she just needed a chance to be the leader.

So...in order to give her an opportunity to lead worship, we had a schedule set up that she and I would alternate Sundays leading.

Well, guess what, when she lead, fine, I was on the team, I followed. I play keys and sing. However, when it was my turn to lead worship, this lady complained about the song choices, showed up late for rehearsals, butted in about my keyboard skills, the microphone set-up, the harmonies, blah, blah, blah. This lady did not know how to follow.

So then, I told her I thought that maybe on the Sunday that I was leading, that I would have her not be on the worship team, but she would do a special solo song, or songs. [She uses back-tracks and is a WONDERFUL soloist to this day!] I really feel that I was doing everything possible to keep peace on the team and have this lady still be able to minister...

And I told her that on the Sundays that she was leading, that I was happy to play keyboard for her [I was the only musician in the church at the time], and be supportive.

Anyway, as time went on, I came to realize that this lady wasn't really a leader, because she had no followers--[principle here: a true leader has followers...] because she was such a pain! And when she got mad at me because "the pastor and his wife had demoted her" -- she left the church.

Well, everyone in the church was okay with her leaving because they all had also experienced how difficult she could be--but as for myself, I was sad about it for years...I beat myself up for a long time. Hadn't I "done all" and was now standing"????? [Ephesians 6:13]. I checked and re-checked my heart on this...it did not condemn me,[1 John 3:21] I had been truthful with her and tried my hardest with her...

In the end, this experience has helped me over the years be a better leader as far as dealing with team members goes...I am much more courageous as I stand on His Word and do "all that I can...and then stand..."

I will pray for you and this lady you are dealing with....may God give you COURAGE and WISDOM!
Yes, involve the pastor(s), of course. It does sound like she's dealing with Father's heart issues much deeper that what you can "fix" on your own. If she would be willing to speak to the leadership with you, or allow some counseling into her life to deal with these things, that would be fantastic. However, if there is little change after that, why can't you ask her to step down? I see absolutely nothing wrong with that, and that's certainly what I would do should I have someone on my team giving off the same repeated behavior. It's not God's heart to have worship filled with tantrums and control issues, and you and the congregation will continue to be made uncomfortable as long as the tug of war for control continues. Allowing her to carry on so immaturely doesn't do anyone any favors. If she leaves with all her gear, don't worry about it. It's not your deal - it's between her and God. He will provide, and honor pure motives and a pure heart.


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