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.
OK. That's really an amazing tool.
Thanks for shaing that great tip.
At first, when I read your post and learned there was such a thing as a "Voice Tone Correct" I giggled and scoffed ("now people don't even have to sing in tune!"). But when you added that it has helped you to sing in tune, I remembered that quite a few out-of-tune singers do not hear that they are out of tune, and an outside source can inform them, like a coach. Once a sound tech made a recording of just me at my mic. Oohhh!
In one church there were two or three who conveyed the joy of worship wonderfully, but were really sketchy on pitch. A wise sound person turned their mic's off totally, while others (including capable singers at instruments) carried the musical end of things.
That is totally hilariouus.
With all due respect, I disagree with the idea of pairing those who sing well with those who do not. I believe this will result in a mixture where *everyone* will sound bad. It's kind of like socialism; you mix together those who are talented with those who aren't and everyone ends up getting paid the same. I know that's not a perfect analogy, but if you still don't believe me, here's my prediction of what will happen if Elaine does that:
--> The good singers will quit. (Mark my words.)
Bless you and take care,
Oh no... I hope this does not happen... This is harder than I thought... Hmmm I need to think a lot and pray a whole lot more...
Remember, one day at a time :-) You will recieve His wisdom.
David Loeffler already covered this off - it's not for those who cannot sing, but for those who just need a guiding note to help them come to pitch. But if people cannot serve alongside others of lesser ability then as a church you're better off without them - this is family we're talking about rather than a talent competition or some kind of show.
Wow, sounds like you have been given a lot of responsibility. God must have something wonderful in store for you.
I’ll throw in a few thoughts for your consideration:
1.) The easiest of all your questions is the one on homosexuality. The answer is an absolute: “No possible way.” However, this should *not* be your job to do. This is something like “dirty work”. You should not have to confront this issue. This is an issue which your pastor should confront. If your pastor has a talk with the guy, there is a reasonable chance that he will consider the pastor’s words and maybe get convicted. If you talk to him, there’s a reasonable chance that he’ll think, “Who the …. is she, anyway? Where does she come off telling me I can’t do what God has called me to do?” This is important, Elaine. But this is *not your responsibility* to speak into this. (That’s my take on it.)
2.) Regarding those who can’t sing on-key. This is a very serious problem, and although I understand what folks are saying, “It’s the heart that counts”, I still take issue with them. Consider:
a.) Would you hire an accountant to do your taxes who was known to not be able to do them correctly – even though he was a wonderful Christian?
b.) Would you bring your car to a mechanic who you knew had messed up your friends’ cars – even though he was a wonderful Christian?
c.) Would you go to some school to take a course when you knew that that school was exceptionally weak in the specific area you wanted to pursue – even though it was a wonderful Christian school?
You get the point.
Again, I maintain that your pastor should help you in this. He has to know that this is a difficult and touchy area. He should not expect you to handle this alone, especially given the age differences. He could show up at a practice and explain the *ground rules* to the whole group. “Here’s what we’re gonna do … Over the next few weeks, Elaine is going to meet individually with you to have you sing a song while she plays, so **we** can objectively get a handle on your skill level. We’re also going to *record* each session. And … you can hear back your own recording, OK? Then, I’m going to have Elaine to make an assessment as to who she can use *now* on the platform. We only have room for 6 singers – not for all of you. That’s just the reality. If you don’t get picked in the first draft *that does not mean we can’t offer to have you sing in the future – after you’ve improved some more.”
Seriously, Elaine, ask you pastor something like this: “Please, sir! Help me out!! I need your involvement here; this is so difficult!”
3.) Now, if the pastor doesn’t buy-off on my suggestion above (#2) here’s another alternative approach. This is a version of what I have done:
In my opinion, everyone can “sing” but that doesn’t mean that everyone deserves a microphone to do it. Now, when I say, “sing” almost everyone thinks of the *melody*. That’s all that most people can sing, if that.
However, I’m looking for those who can sing *harmony*. That’s like 1 in every 50 people! OK, then, here’s what you can do (if you agree that you want harmony singers):
Explain to folks that you are looking for harmony, and that those who can sing harmony are likely to be amongst the first-choice on the stage. Then, give them a song which they can all get access to, like a Chris Tomlin song on YouTube. Tell them that you would like each person who is interested in singing to try to come up with a harmony part to sing with Chris Tomlin. Set a date, maybe 3 weeks out (?) and say that you would like to do a quick audition with those who can come up with a harmony line. The people are only going to get an audition if they actually *want* it. This way, if someone can’t come up with a harmony line, they don’t have to audition. So, they need to request an audition. Then you can have them sing and display their ability. You could even have them sing with Chris Tomlin singing by recording – i.e. you don’t have to play yourself, but you can just listen.
What will be the outcome? A bunch of folks *won’t even try*. And those who are really motivated will *practice hard* and *grow way more than they would have otherwise.*
That could be the beginning of a knock-out multi-part harmony group for you. It doesn’t mean that they have to sing harmony on every song. Maybe they could sing harmony on ONE song per week, and melody on the others – until they get better.
Hope those ideas help.
Bless you and take care,
Oh wow :) big help :)
Thanks so much! :) Somehow I feel empowered to confront. I know I need to do this I just don't know how. Now somehow I have an idea. Thanks!
In the nicest possible way David, I hope I never end up in a church where ability and performance are what count. I and so many others I know would have no place to serve God.
Worship is from the heart. Having a super tight harmony group cuts no ice in the Kingdom, though it might look good in the offertry plate for several months. Your post concerns me. A lot. If I read that right, you're suggesting manipulation of the pastor to try to get a desired outcome, through emotional means if necessary. The suggestion of auditions to help some discover they don't really want to sing is fine of itself, but the way you set things out there looks too much like business with a sharp operator driving it forward and not like the kingdom of God.
Forgive me if I've mis-understood you.