Hi all,

My praise team is very small but we are a group of dedicated musicians/singers who practice every week on a regular basis (and at home on our own).  I am not the leader.   We have made rules in the past that say "no practice....no play" and made exceptions when the occasional practice is missed.  However, we have a member on the team (who also happens to be related to me) who stops coming to practice for 4 months or so in a row (for various reasons).  She does inform the leader but here's my question:   She then shows for the practice the week of a special event like a coffeehouse, Easter, Christmas or when we play at another church and then is just "made part of the team again".    Then a fews weeks later, she'll drop of for another few months.   The musical result is not very pleasant.  I am not trying to say she shouldn't be allowed to come back to the team.  I welcome her.......I'm just wondering how this should be handled?   Obviously I can't say anything b/c they are family and we all know what that can do... ....and again I'm not the leader so I feel helpless but very frustrated b/c the rest of us are trying to make something pleasant to draw people to worship.   We have to be a team in every sense of the word in order to be effective and this really has a negative impact.  The rest of the team is very dedicated so I question the committment.   Our leader is a great guy who has a heart of gold but is not assertive.   Any ideas?

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Hi Marie,
A few unknowns here...when this person stops coming to practice for 4 months, does she also not sing on Sunday as a result? I would hope so.

What do you mean by the musical results not being pleasant; is this person not gifted musically? Or is it throwing off the set arrangments that the band has worked out in her absence?

Are the reasons for not coming valid, such as illness, heavy work schedule, family issues, etc, or is it just a lack of committment? This might be hard to discern, so go easy on your worship leader. He might not know how to handle it.

The main reason why your worship leader might not have taken any action to date is probably the same reason why you don't say anything either - she is related to you. He might be afraid that if he asks this person to step down (for example) that it could have a ripple effect on others who are related and/or friends. He wouldn't be the first WL who has been burned badly this way.

If this is really a problem for the whole team (and not just something that bugs you personally), then I would suggest a private conversation with your worship leader. Ask him what he thinks of the situation, and then let him know that if he feels he needs to take some action, that it's okay with you, even though you are related. Don't try and force him to act, but just give him the freedom to do what he feels is necessary. He will appreciate that.

A delicate situation to be sure. Hope this helps.
thanks so much for your reply - - - I should have explained the issue with the music is that by the time she comes back it is usually right before (like 2 days before) we need to do coffeehouse or special events that she wishes to be a part of and by that time, 3/4 of the songs we are doing are all new songs that the rest of us have worked through in theory and in dynamics over a period of time. When the rest of us are in sync with the new song and she plays through rests and stops, or hits wrong notes b/c it is her first time through, then I feel the whole song is in need of reworking but we can't b/c it is just days before a special. With regard to does she play during the months she misses: she does not b/c she doesn't come to church during that time either (not illness related or anything like that - - just says she's too busy). I do appreciate your getting back to me and I do see what you are saying - - your advice is very much appreciated!!!
Hi, Marie!

She's clearly messing things up. She shouldn't be allowed to join in. Talk to the worship leader tactfully (sorry, I can't help you there!) but firmly. If she can't cope with the time commitment necessary to serve well she should take a break until she can.

God bless you with wisdom as you speak to the worship leader! :D
"No practice, no play" is a good way to go...if you truly care about the product you are producing, and you believe that Psalm 33:3 is a mandate...you NEED to be firm. What about those members of your team who show up for all the rehearsals and services? Do you reward them by letting anyone play or sing whenever they want? I hope that you don't.

Good luck, Marie! Keep us posted.

Clearly she has commitment issues. And believe me as a worship leader it bugs the heck out of me when there are people like that. you need to confront her privately and ask her the reason. it also looks like she's coming to play just to show off or to be recognised. Again it also looks like she's not really into worship. she needs to check her motives for becoming or being a part of your worship team. i know this sounds hard but worshipping God is a serious business and we can't afford to take it lightly.
At my fellowship we have a rota for people to play and if they do not turn up for practice then they don't play on the Sunday etc.

If she is taking so much time out, I would consider taking her off the rota, people can turn up out of the blue to practice on a Thursday practice with the understanding if they are NOT on the rota they are not playing on the Sunday.

So when we do our rota and we have a person who finds it difficult to attend the "normal" services but wants to attend the "Special" services then if they are not on the rota for that "special" events then they do not play. (I know you said you have a small team, so not sure how you can use this system but it works for us).

I hope this helps in a small way and remember to ask guidance from the Lord and pray through the situation first and talk with your Worship leader asking their opinion on the situation and let them know yours and tell them what ever decision they decided then that is ok with you, if need be get your church elders involved in the situation and let them know what you and the rest of the worship team feel.

Tact is a difficult thing especially when it involves your own family. But if you have rules to go by (ie rotas and practice etc) then surely this person will understand this. God bless you and I hope and pray that you are able to resolve this situation.
Thank you all so very much for taking your time in replying to my post. It has made me feel a lot better about my situation - - I really appreciate your support and your input.
God Bless
The question I have is "have you talked to your worship leader?" Does he have an issue with this too? If so, he must do something about it. I hate to say that because I want to get things done now. And I'm learning to trust in those in authority over me.

And, outside of church, you can just talk to your family member about their committment issues. Just see where they're coming from. You have to touch a person's heart before you ask for a hand.
No practice, no play. It makes good sense. Of course there are the rare emergencies that we should understand/give exceptions. But if this is a constant habit and even if there are genuine valid reasons, maybe taking a short break to resolve/settle certain issue will help both the person and the team. It's definitely challenging with a small team - it may mean your team will then lack a musician/singer but having someone who's not contributing to worship as a whole doesn't help too.

There are many places in the world where congregation are lead by only 1 singer, no musicians. It's ideal to have a full team but not having a full team should not stop people from singing praises to God.


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