What are some of the ordinary obstacles you have dealt with in your ministry? How do you overcome the challenges you face as a worship leader, team member, songwriter or artist? When you are distracted or discouraged what has helped you the most? How has discipleship or a mentoring relationship made a difference in your life?
My husband is the worship pastor at our church. We have learned over the years to let some things go. We don't need to fight every battle and try to win. Time usually sheds light on situations. When we work with others and show they are valued that helps tremendously in defusing issues.
When I am distracted or discouraged being a worship pastor's wife, mother, songwriter, singer, I try to remember to run to my Abba Father. When I don't anxiety creeps in and life becomes stressful for me and my family. God knows what's going on. He is in charge of it all. Going to the bible is something that takes away a lot of stress and control which helps me to rest.
These are good questions Sandi. I was a part of a pastors wives group at our old church. We got together monthly to do a study and hang out. We prayed for each other. We had an annual retreat. We made long lasting friendships with one another. The support I felt from that group was so needed. Sometimes it is hard for a PW to find someone to go to and share things that are going on from a PW's perspective. Sometimes it can be very lonely as a pastor's wife.
My parents have mentored me over the years. My father is also a worship pastor, composer, songwriter. So I have gone to him many, many times for advice and guidance. Plus he is the only one in our family who gets me. lol
Those got me thinking. I would love to hear your thoughts on your questions too.
One I'm dealing with now is becoming overburdened. Our prior worship leader was very much in charge and didn't take well to suggestions from team members. When he left and I ended up landing in his vacancy the team was not much of a team any more. I came in with a much more democratic leadership. I tried to be very open to everyones ideas and suggestions. That worked well and the team is doing much better. We are growing in numbers, relationship, and in depth of faith.
Now I'm at the point that a few of the core members are getting much more vocal about their ideas and keep coming up with things that make more work for me, or don't fit with how our Pastor likes to do things and they are starting to get upset. They are always volunteer to help with the extra burden but always seem to be too busy when the time comes.
So, it's a situation I created and I'm working with these few to try to solve the problem. It's just an extra obstacle I'm having to deal with going into all our Holy Week services and planning.
Thanks for sharing what you are going through. I think many worship leaders can relate to feeling overburdened. Building a team takes a lot of work. I'm glad to hear that things are moving in a positive direction - where the team is giving input. While it is important to listen to suggestions, I think you have to stay balanced and keep in step with the pastor's vision. Your communication and relationship with the pastor is vital so that the team understands WHY you are making the decisions you are. Get your pastor's feedback on how things are going. What are you & the team doing well? What can you do to improve? There needs to be a cohesive way to approach problems and challenges. And if you and the pastor disagree on something - ask him if you can TRY something different and see how it goes. (Give a definite time frame) Always be open to evaluating and RE-evaluating the situation. As the saying goes "too many cooks spoil the pot" - so keep it to a minimum in the worship kitchen!! Hope you have a wonderful Easter. Let us know how it went!
Thanks for the advice Sandi. We made it through Holy Week and it was amazing. Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and 3 Sunday morning services. You are right about my communication and relationship with my pastor. We have a great relationship. We communicate almost daily via email, facebook, texting, and phone when needed. We have lunch at least once a week with the rest of our church staff and meet extensively for each sermon series to make sure the sermons and music fit well together and support her vision of what she is trying to accomplish for our church and congregation. I have always been given complete freedom in my planning but have always taken the view that my role is to support and reinforce my pastor's vision and goals, not my own. That's where it's been getting sticky lately.
My team knows I have freedom and a few of them are pushing very strongly for me to exercise that freedom by doing my planning without pastor involvement beyond giving me the sermon topics and scriptures and seeing the songs I picked when she gets the bulletin on Sunday morning. They would like me to introduce new songs they like that have no relevance to the sermon and are too complex vocally to be enjoyable congregational songs. They want to make some of our current fun congregational songs more complex by having team members switch off soloing verses of a song instead of all of us singing, I watch our congregation and when we do this they stop singing and listen to the soloist. Wanting to overlay a bridge vocal over a chorus vocal in the middle of a song, when we do this the congregation gets confused on who to follow and which words to sing and they stop and listen. I've been telling them those are great ideas for specials and offering songs, but we need to have the congregation worship with us, not watch us, we area leading worship not performing it, and we need to continue to submit to our pastor's vision and plan for our congregation, not come up with our own.
I've called a meeting for this Thursday night to go over my goals and vision for our team and how we can best incorporate input into that plan without losing sight of our role in our church. The pressure is coming from a few that have strong choral backgrounds and some of the recent vocal additions to our team give us the ability to do some great music. They are excited about the possibilities and want to jump in with both feet. I just need to channel that so we are adding those fun vocal elements and songs in a constructive way, special music, offering, communion, not becoming self indulgent and losing our connection with our congregation and pastor.
Wow, challenges, obstacles and burdens? That question is one that I've been trying not to focus on lately. I can't answer all of the subquestions in this thread, but I can answer the main one. My greatest challenge right now is multi-folded. I'm an assistant worship leader at my church where I lead once a month. I drum 2 times a month, and lead a community worship night once a month. My full time job is ending in June. I'll be going back to school full time in August to pursue a degree in Worship Arts. I'm married and have 2 children. I don't plan on working much while in school. I don't know where our monthly income will come from, and I don't know how we are going to pay for school. I don't know what life is going to look like after school What I know is that it's all a God thing. I'll go crazy if I try to think about all those details. What I do know is that God is in control, I have faith that He knows what He's doing when I am not sure about what I'm doing. I trust that if I'm following His plan in going to school, that He'll take care of me, my family, and my financial responsibilities.
So my greatest challenge? Not getting overstressed - trusting completely - waiting on Him - moving in the right direction hoping that He'll change my course if it's the wrong direction - letting Him lead....I could keep on going! So if anyone would like to pray for me and my situation, I could sure use it right now!
You have my prayers, Chris. This step of faith that you're taking will reveal God like you've never seen Him before, of that I'm sure. Many years ago my wife and I literally spent our entire savings ($10,000) to go to Africa as short term missionaries for two years. People thought we were nuts, but by the time we returned to North America, God had not only supplied all we'd needed during that time, he'd also restored all that we had spent to go. And that's just one example of God's provision that I've experienced in my life.
If you're serious about following His leading, then you WILL see His guiding hand. God's richest blessings and His greatest peace as you move ahead in His service.
Wow, that is an inspirational story of God's provision! Thanks for being an encouragement in this thread.
By the way, could you put up a post about the things you learned going into another culture? What were the challenges? How did God use your music and your gifts while you were in Africa? I'm sure you have many amazing stories! Thanks!
Right now I am a little "peeved" about the sense of non commitment and inconsistency that plagues our team from the musicians to the singers. We will have a great month and all of a sudden people forgot that it's an every week thing. We have a rotation that is supposed to relieve me as the "lead" worship leader and also give others a chance, We have a rotation for the musicians that there always have to bne modifications to because someone gives us a change in schedule at the last possible minute. The administrative leader has been slow on getting the schedules out as well. We had a good Friday Worship the King concert (videos on my page) and that was great. And now this...Aside from leading worship I have been having some outside singing and engagements and I'd like the chance to rest my voice. We have a diverse crowd as well, so one of the points was to always keep the music as diverse as the crowd we serve. We do that, but that also includes different faces, teams and musicians, ARGH!
Glenda, I just watched the video and like the guy could be heard saying,"my,my, my,". Powerful production and if you had to pull it all together then someone needs to recognize that you could use a break. As "lead" worship leader I think it is time for a meetin'. Get your team(s) together for scheduling the next few months and have your schedule penciled in first. Then bring them on board with how are we going to fill the holes when I can't be here. Give them some ownership in the solution and alot of times they will bend over backwards to do their share. If they can't, replace them. It looks like you have a lot of talent in your church. Get the Pastor on board. You may have to defer some of the diversity until you have the people committed to doing it.