Hello, my name is Kimberly.
The purpose of this discussion is question based. Our small church on a military base has a worship leader who has a very unconventional method of leading worship. She is employed full time, and is married to a chaplain.
There is no structure. One never knows when or if they'll be serving until Thursday or Friday, and rehearsal occurs on Saturday morning. We have people coming in and out all the time so there's no team building or vetting which is so critical in my opinion. Song selection is based upon age and/or personal choice and not the congregation as a whole. Some on the team including the worship leader appear to be self-serving and doing a performance rather than playing for the Lord. In my humble opinion, this is causing a great deal of stress, anxiety and confusion and it clearly does not glorify God.
What power do I have to change this from a negative experience to a positive god-filled experience?
Should I contact the elders of the church to voice my concerns?
I have drafted a letter to the elders and founders of the church (all veterans) and I am seeking clarification before I give it them.
God has blessed me with the ability to play the piano both by ear (beginning at age 5), and occasionally I reading music LOL, I have a two octave singing range. I have been involved in a music ministry either singing, playing the piano/organ or occasionally leading worship for over 40 years.
From 2008-10 I served on the worship team of a small chapel on a military base (the same chapel I am serving in today). After my husband died in 2007, my son moved me and his 12 year old sister to live with him on post as his dependents. Once he transferred to another base I was unable to get on post and therefore unable to serve on the worship team. During this time, I attended two Worship Leader Conferences so I have a pretty good idea, both experience and knowledge, of how worship is to be conducted both biblical and spiritual.
I remarried in 2010, and in 2013 I was involved in a high speed hit and run MVA. Due to the severity of the accident, I suffered debilitating musculoskeletal pain and ongoing health issues and have been unable to serve. Beginning in 2019, after showing significant improvement with the help of my great doctors, God called me once more to serve on the worship team at the same small chapel mentioned above. My God is an awesome God. Only He would know to send me where I'm needed. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit has sent me here for a reason I just don't know what to do at this point. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. God bless our troops and God bless America.
Hello Kimberly and thanks for sharing! I'm sorry for the personal struggles you've had to endure with family and health, but glad to hear that God is bringing you to the other side of them all!
What you have described regarding your worship situation certainly does have some issues. Unfortunately, many churches probably run in similar manners. As a team member, not the leader, you must submit to the leadership that is in place. Can you voice your opinions and concerns? Sure, but in the right way. To start, you should go to the current worship leader and discuss your concerns there. You should NOT start by going around that person and to the church elders. Biblically, you should go to the person directly as the first step. Maybe you've already done this, but I don't know.
Also, when you do this, you should come into that meeting with possible solutions in hand. Do not just complain about current processes and say it doesn't work. Offer possible solutions and your assistance to implement them if needed.
Hopefully you can work together and bring about improvements that help everyone involved. Do a lot of praying, asking God to help you to say things in the right way and asking for His help to direct that conversation towards a productive conclusion. This may or may not be possible, depending on this leader. He/she may be open to input or may not be. In the end, if leadership you are serving under is unable to make any changes and you are unable to fall in line with how things are setup... then you will need to serve elsewhere. Ideally, things will go better than that though.
Thank you Nathan. I greatly appreciate your kind words and input. As I responded to another, my discussion is a summary of what's going on. I've been on the team for five months. In that time, I've been left out of worship on several occasions because the leader wants to give everyone a chance to be on the team. Nearly every song being rehearsed or played is a popular song, which in my opinion, excludes the older congregation (mostly veterans) because there's no mix. How can I learn all the "new songs" without being present at all rehearsals whether I'm playing the piano or singing? Not that it matters, but I'm a mature Christian age 62, and I've been involved in worship for over 40 years. God has gifted me with the ability to play the piano by ear, and sing. There's a learning curve especially if I'm asked to play the piano. The other things you've mentioned I have done and nothing has changed. I left rehearsal yesterday because it's just to stressful and chaotic. I call it unconventional because there is no structure. Planning is done two days before the service. I have resigned myself to the fact that our churches today lean heavy towards secularism which in my opinion, does little to glorifying God.
Thank you so much for being kind in your response. I greatly appreciate your willingness to guide me in a more positive direction. Kind regards and God bless
Hi, I wrote a long reply to this, I don't know if you saw it or not, but in the morning, I decided I should delete it... I'll just say that, if that "my story" part is the letter you've drafted, I don't see what it has to do with the problem you're describing unless you're applying to take over leading the band - to which I'd say, "be careful what you wish for." As a WL myself, I get the impression that you've been out of this band for several years and are now coming back trying to figure out how to tell them they're doing it all wrong. The way they're doing it now is probably a reaction to the situation - high turnover and a congregation that represents a lot of different denominations, where not everyone is going to agree with your definition of "a positive god-filled experience."
Maybe God has called you back to this church to learn some things you didn't learn in those two worship leader conferences...
Charles, although I greatly appreciate your candor, my discussion post is a summary of what's going on. Not that it matters, but I'm a mature Christian, age 62, with over 40 years of worship experience. My intention is not to apply for the worship leader position because it's a volunteer position, my intention is to make sure we glorify God and not ourselves. My personal preference and style of worship greatly differs from the current leader. She does not have any experience musically or working with a worship team. She took the position because there was no one else. She consistently chooses songs that she feels will resonate with the younger soldiers and their families instead of planning a set around the entire congregation. She believes that meeting with the chaplains to discuss planning is "secular". These are just a couple of issues I'm having with her style and presentation.
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss these matters with like-minded individuals like yourself as it gives me perspective and encourages me to look at myself and what my purpose is. Kind regards and God Bless