I am a music leader at the church.. And right now I have a question that bothering my mind...
Would you all give me an opinion about when, how, and why we need to postpone a servant of God? (especially in the church band)....
Really need your opinion...
I know that each church have their own rule and regulation. please share your thoughts with me...
Rica, could you clarify...by 'postpone', do you mean 'ask them to step down'? I'm assuming that you're dealing with an issue whereby you might have to ask one of your team members to go off the worship team for a while. Am I right?
For me, almost every situation is different. Generally I would ask someone to go off the team if it was an issue of immorality (they just got their girlfriend pregnant, etc) or if there were real issues with ego, such as they won't listen to the leadership but want to do everything their own way, and in so doing are causing great dissention and confusion on the team.
I believe the worship team needs to be a corporate example of a godly life. You're leading others into God's presence, you're up front and centre before the whole world (not just the church family), and you are charged with the awesome responsibility that comes with presenting spiritual truth in song. The team doesn't have to be perfect, but they do need to be progressing in their spiritual growth.
Thanks for the reply.. it helps a lot.
I agree with your statement that we as a worship team needs to be an example of a godly life.. Yes, because of that I asked this matter..
There's a pro's and contra's in my team actually.. We're so afraid that this decision will cause a huge impact for him. But, regards what might gonna happen.. Most of our team totally agree that we should take this decision.
Have you ever been in this situation Rick?
I had a team years ago where one of my guitar players ended up having an affair with one of the singers. Very ugly and destroyed at least one marriage. Yes, they were immediately off the team and it wasn't a hard thing to do at all. And believe me, they both knew they should no longer be there.
What I find harder is when there are more subtle issues, like a team member who is unhappy and stubbornly but quietly resists everything you try to do as a leader. I ran into that situation once and finally had to have a talk with the person. I told him that he had my permission to leave the team (I had asked him to join a few months earlier). It's a long story, but in the end it worked out very well and we remained friends.
Sometimes we think that taking a course of action will devastate someone, but in reality letting things go on unchecked will wind up being more damaging. Here are some simple guidelines:
- pray about the situation and seek God's peace about what you have to do
- seek the counsel of your pastor to make sure he/she first knows what you're planning, and secondly that they agree with your course of action. You always want the leadership to be behind your decisions, or else they might blame you for the problems that come later.
- be sure that when you talk with the person that they know beyond any doubt that this is a) not what you want to do, but b) it's what has to be done for the sake of God's people and His kingdom, and that c) more than anything you want to see restoration.
- have confidence that God can bring beauty out of ashes.
Remember that it's not about protecting our reputation; it's about honoring God. And God is loving and always ready to forgive when someone repents.
Wow.... thanks for the reply and encouraging story that inspires me..
I really believe that Restoration is the answer of my church right now..
Thanks for sharing Rick... I really appreciate that!
For me it's simple. I believe that my role as a worship minister is to unify the praises of the congregation, and anyone that could mess that up should not be up there with the rest of the team. That includes people deluded into thinking they are drummers (when they are not), musicians who drown out the rest of the band and do not follow the worship leader, and any team members who create dissension.
Because everyone I work with would have heard the 'unify the praises' bit two or three gazillion times from me, if I ever need to do something about any of the above senarios people already expect it and aren't caught offguard. That also makes it easier... :)
Wow, undoubtedly this is one of the most difficult things to do for any leader in either the secular or christian world and I have led succesfully in both for many years. The easy answer is, what is the churches policy and for what reasons under that policy can you sit a person in the pew? Unfortunately, the toughest problems don't fall under a clear cut policy. They are the decisions that you know are right in your spirit but there is no obvious external reason to remove them. I have found that the enemy often tries to infiltrate worship teams with those who are not yet mature in their walk and not yet ready for the weight of the responsibilities of standing on the platform.
Let me just bring up a few situations that I have personally experienced in the 30+ years that I have been involved in the worship ministries:
A professional musician that would destroy an altar call because they played with their own ability and knowledge vice following the leading of the spirit.
A musician with an unteachable spirit, who openly supported decisions but in their playing you could sense a stiff resistance which manifested by a total lack of forward progress in their skill level over a period of time, not to mention that the lead instrument they played was never under the control of the spirit.
A gifted vocalist who comes on a team and almost immediatly shatters the unity that was there which eventually results in a fight on the platform during worship.
A person with an obvious anointing, and obvious calling but who has not submitted themselves to the discipline of the Lord and therefore continually draws attention to themselves, quitely almost without notice.
A pulling in the spirit that you can feel, trying to draw the worship in a different direction and the Lord reveals that the pulling is coming from another leader in the church.
A stiff resistance to the worship which prevents the worship from moving forward. The resistance is centered around a guest speaker (minister).
These are just some of the real difficult cases. That's not to mention cases where an actual wicked spirit is at work in someone who is clearly saved and anointed but has something controlling them. Or cases dealing with witchcraft.
In all cases, the level of anointing on the team and the service is paramount. Don Potter describes worship leading 101 as this, "If what you are doing is increasing the anointing, then keep doing it. If what you are doing is decreasing the anointing, then stop doing it." A team that cannot function in unity cannot offer up a sacrifice that will get the attention of heaven.
Teams go through four phases of development. They are:
Forming - coming together
Storming - friction between personalities, gifts etc
Norming - the "learning to get along" that comes after the storm
Performing - the part where the team functions and performs such that the total output is greater than the sum of the individual parts
Each time a new person comes aboard the phases are repeated. All are normal and can and should result in a team with improved peformance.
When someone must go.....
There are times when you can approach a person in love and gentleness and succeed in getting the person to understand and step down, sometimes they are secretly desiring this and you are actually answering their prayers. There are other times when you can approach a person in love and gentleness, and although they don't agree and may resist, you can ask them to step down and they will. There are other times when you can approach a person in love and gentleness and get your head handed to you. In all cases though the first step is seeking the Lord, fasting and praying for the individual, usually seeking counsel from the senior pastor and then moving forward if God does not remove the person. He does not usually do this as he expects us as leaders to lead and that means moving in the authority we are in including confronting difficult issues. Always have the word of God on your side, attempt to give specific instances, give the person a chance to explain what is going on (because they truely may be unaware of what they are doing) but ultimately stand by your decision.
Remember that someone who is disrupting the unity of the team, or disrupting the anointing or causing a distraction during worship, or is drawing attention to themselves.....is a problem and it must be dealt with. Several gentle couseling sessions can set you up to succeed in postponing a person especially if you have been honest with them and they understand that you have been honest. Ultimately though they must step down and ultimately it is best for both them and the team.
Finally understand that there are some situations where you must have the support and authority of the senior pastor and some cases where the senior pastor must himself step in and make the decisions. These situations are usually the most severe cases with or without clear cut demonic involvement - and yes a christian can be under the influence of demons if there is an open door in their lives. Of course there are cases when evil spirits are involved and these must usually be handled by the senior pastor.
Very detailed and insightful reply. Thanks for sharing!
The less admin-gifted amongst us may be cringing right now at the thought of formulating a worship team policy on this. Daunting, best done with discussion with the pastors and the rest of the church leadership.
Junjie, I agree a policy is difficult to form and a church should use the same policy for members of the worship team as they would with any other position of leadership, in fact I might suggest using one of the more stringent policies, perhaps close to what you would expect of elders, while recognizing that you often have young people on the worship team who are still growing and maturing in the Lord.
I guess my point is this, there seems to be nothing in the church that the enemy hates more than worship. Martin Luther said, "when Satan fell he landed in my choir loft." There seems to be a concerted effort by the enemy to disrupt or at least control it. Over and over again in my years involved in worship I have encountered the stiff resistence of religious spirits operating sometimes in the worship team, other times in other key places in the church. But all have the same goal, to be able to say what will and will not be allowed to happen. This is a dangerous position especially when I believe that God wtih all his heart is trying to get his church back to him and that's largely through the worship which supports, upholds, and in fact can facilitate the preaching of the word. Remember that the father of all who play the instrument was Jubal - a grandson of Cain, not Able. Cain who slew his brother in jealousy. Lucifer desired the praise and was cast out. So with the blood of Cain in our veins and Satan's desire to shift worship away from God and towards him, the battle lines are drawn.
I've seen more battles over the control of worship then any other. I have been blessed with mature teams that operated almost instinctively in unity of purpose and heart. Interestingly enough, many of them would have been rejected from more musically advanced teams. But I have also seen just how quickly the unity can be shattered by the inclusion of one single person. This is why I'm so adamant about this subject.
I hope this helps explain, if I can accross too strongly.
I understand. My personal experience is that many in the worship ministry have to struggle against trying to control the worship.
There is a place for keeping tabs on things, of course. But I personally believe that worship ministry is about controlling as many of the right factors as possible to bring it to the place we lose control - or rather, hand over the control to God. And it is a tough fight to surrender the control to God. So tough, in fact, that many people lose. :)