Hello everyone! I'm a new worship leader. 4 months to be more descriptive.
I'm a new worship leader of a new church (3 years). We just reformatted our worship style.
I don't want to start with negative things but ummm I wanna keep it real (to myself that is). So I hope you don't mind. Here are my current issues:
1. I'm 27 and 50% of the people I work with are older than me. Like 20 to 30 years older. Leadership is not so much of a problem since they are really nice people. But their being nice is exactly what's bothering me. They're nice people and really love to worship but their voice and skills (instruments) are not really up to par with our standards (youth). We all started together and somehow the young people grew and they stopped somewhere along the way.
2. I feel required to give everyone a go. Even though they are not really good. Some can't even hit the right notes. We used to be a choir, a group of 25. Now the stage accommodates a max of 6 people as song leaders. (We have reasons and it has been very effective).
3. Is it ok for gay (gay who expresses their admiration of the same sex and wears clothes that women do with short hair though) to song lead? I haven't raised this issue to our pastor yet.
4. Before I was a worship leader, I was a regular choir member. And so I had friends. And it just so happened that my friends are the strongest singers we have. Now that I am the worship leader, some people (youth) say that I just put my friends on stage and not everyone else. I don't think it's my fault that my friends are the strongest singers we have and everyone else usually goes out of tune.
The problems you encounter are familiar to me. I've been through "reformatting" and it can be painful. A choir is by nature a welcoming, inclusive group,and its size absorbs the people who don't sing in tune.
The worship team is intentionally a limited group, with an emphasis on precision, tone and clarity -- this makes it exclusive (and an invitation to cliquishness). However, that disease is not limited to worship teams: in the U.S., many choirs had "ingrown" to become rather stodgy and resistant to adjusting to the times, ending up paying for it by failing to hold younger members and ultimately disintegrating (to be replaced with the smaller, more accountable worship team).
Vying for attention, jealousy -- those are things that we will always have to tend to as we try to grow in Christ. A leadership position forces the leader to make difficult judgments (and when reformatting is "downsizing", it means saying "no" to lots of people, something I and most leaders are reluctant to do).
Has your pastor had a meeting with all of the musical people and explained what is the purpose of the reformatting, what the goal is, and how this might make the future of your church better? I sense a need for a lot of pastoral covering and a lot of understanding among everyone about this major change in how you "do" worship.
I think it's past time. My suggestion is to come up with a set of "values". Not "rules" or "guidelines". Most people buck rules, and if you as a young and inexperienced leader start talking about rules, you'll probably have a revolt on your hands. By having a set of values, what you're asking people is to buy into the success of the ministry. For example, everyone agrees together "We value maintaining a high quality of music." or "We value being at practice and performances on time."
When people fall short of these values, instead of saying to them "you've broken the rules" you can instead say to them, "you agreed with everyone else that these were values for our team, and you are showing by your actions that you no longer value these things."
And, I'd HIGHLY recommend that you decide on these set of values together as a team. Have a team meeting (with food) and present the idea of values and explain the why. Get everyone's input. Instead of you giving them a set of values and asking them to buy in, you'll be asking them to help put together these set of values, which will create a sense of ownership and a greater sense of accountability.
Nice nice :) thanks so much!
I used the term giudlines because rules is too harsh but I like your thought of Values, very good.
Yup. And I like Nathan's response.
To your point number 2 - you can't always choose the people who volunteer. I have a few that aren't so great in their singing abilities and we mostly just cover them up with the rest of the voices.
Your pastor's second comment is exactly right on. I don't see it as a Spiritual gift issue so much as courtesy. If a person doesn't have the skills, you're doing them a favor by telling them. You may think you're being unkind, but you're actually doing them a favor by preventing them from wasting time on something at which they will not succeed. I would just make darn sure that's the case. I mean even Bob Dylan sounds good to some folks.
By the same token, God has spared me many a confrontation. One of my singers was being a real jerk and I was about to have a talk with him and ask him to step down until he could get the burr out of his waistband. A week before I did that, it came out that he was having an affair with one of the other singers and they were forced to step down from all ministry.