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Would you be offended by this?

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  • Would you be offended by this?

    Hey Guys,

    I'm about a month and a half into a new position. I sent this email out the day after a rehearsal, and it threw everyone into a tizzy in a BIG way! Was there something wrong with this? Here is the email, verbatim:

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for staying so late last night for rehearsal! You all did great, and I think we can look forward to another great Sunday coming up.
    There are a couple of things that will help us to have more efficient rehearsal time, and help everyone have a better experience over all.

    1. Please do not coach one another on parts. There is nothing more deflating than to have two or three people trying to tell you what to do when you are having trouble with a part. Things can get chaotic fast when there is more than one "director." Also, if you need help with a part, or arrangement etc., please direct those questions to me.

    2. When I'm working through a part with someone, please help by not playing your instrument during
    that time. We'll get through things quicker if we're better able to focus without all the chatter.

    I appreciate your help with this guys. Can't wait to see you all Sunday!!

    Peace and love,

    ~Shahan


  • #2
    Oh my goodness I so understand where you're coming from!! Our team is pretty good with the instrument playing thing, but there's always someone (not the leader) who LOVES to put in their two cents whenever ANY question is asked. So there's two and three people talking at the same time. Drives me crazy.
    I, personally, would NOT be offended about this. Primarily because you didn't single anyone out. And the email was quite respectful and to the point.
    It's a leader's job to see that things run smoothly and time is used effectively. If folks get wound up about this email, there might be other issues to deal with! For me, I'd be appreciative of a strong leader!
    All that hath life and breath, praise ye the Lord!
    In His Name,
    Kim

    http://soundcloud.com/inhisname

    Comment


    • #3
      From my perspective, neither the tone nor the content of the email are offensive in any way. In fact, that kind of rehearsal etiquette seems pretty common sense to me.
      Eric Frisch
      www.ericfrisch.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Good message

        I see nothing wrong with your email other than you sent it. LOL! If the group is used to a lot of talking and noodling and you have not talked about it personally, they may get a bit sideways. You do need feedback, but there has to be an organized way to do this. Getting disciplined behavior in practice is a big step forward in the life of a band. In our band, it seemed like coaching was a pile on thing, and noodling was non-stop. Things didn't get better until one of our band members tried to conduct a practice on his own. Let's just say he did not have much fun. He has been a perfect band mate since. You might try that if progress is not made.

        Blessings and best wishes...
        Dave

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        • #5
          It's all about context. The email alone is neutral. Obviously, something about your context that the rest of us are unaware of has turned this email into something negative. Nothing we can say to you here can bring any light to that...you've got to ask the people who received the email.

          Nate
          Practical Worship

          Please Pray For My Wife

          Comment


          • #6
            It sounds like there might be some cultural issues that might have been missed with you only being a month and a half into the position. Maybe in your last role, the team was ok with emails like this. Perhaps here, they are not.

            The only thing I see with that e-mail, it's something that should have been discussed as a team, not an e-mail. Stuff like this needs to be handled with personal communication, not e-mail. Although the tone of the e-mail appears fairly neutral, "tone of voice" and the like don't come through in an e-mail, and people interpret things differently. More often than not, it will cause more problems than it cures. From a leadership perspective, it's a lot more effective to pull everyone together, where you can have eye contact, answer questions, and reinforce your message. You will earn more respect from the team.

            Here's a great word picture of how communication was was explained to me- you have to communicate in a way where people can receive it- like throwing a ball. Picture a wild baseball pitch or one over someone's head. If the catcher doesn't catch the ball, a play didn't happen and the team looks bad. This is the same thing. If the message wasn't received, communication didn't happen. If you deliver a message like this in person, you can see people's reaction and how they are receiving what you are saying, and make adjustments to your message.

            Putting myself in the recipient's shoes a minute, I would like to tackle the first part of the e-mail about coaching.

            I can see where someone might have an issue with that because the people coaching are just trying to help (usually). We do this to each other in my bands, it's not a big deal. But, some people don't receive that kind of feedback well. It can be overwhelming. However, 'deflating' shouldn't be happening. That might be an ego issue with the person being coached. I've had more than one 'coach' at times, and it's helped me. I've coached people like that and it's helped them. Just like when I played sports- many time the best coaching I got was from teammates. If there is deeper issues going on, that has to be handled by more than an e-mail.

            In this situation, I can see where someone just trying to help would get defensive at an e-mail with that kind of wording.

            Punch line- they are trying to help. If the people being helped are having a problem with it, if the helpers are too helpful, sit down and have some dialogue to work it out.

            The second part- that's an issue with every band I have been in. Again, it's a situation that you can talk to people at practice. Noodling when people are trying to work things out is definitely annoying. But again, it's something to sit down with the offenders and ask them politely, one on one, to refrain from playing while you and another person are working through something.

            So overall, the points are valid, but I do think that e-mail was not the right way to deliver the message.
            Last edited by Mike on Bass; 05-08-2012, 09:52 AM. Reason: double post and other weird stuff...
            If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think it was well put, gracious and to the point. I would say it depends on the philosophy of the church. I've lead worship in churches where the approach is somewhat evangelistic. That is, they don't mind non-Christians on the team. In that case a little more tact and gentleness is required. My preferred approach is discipleship. That is, I like to have mature Christians who have a solid, somewhat proven, relationship with Christ. I view my role as more of a coach/pastor/discipler. If I were to get negative feedback from a letter like that, I might schedule meetings with the individuals to try to smooth over misconceptions and to clarify my position, but I can't imagine a rational/mature Christian having an issue with this letter.

              Of course, I can't know the exact nature of the rehearsal that was referred to. The letter may have pricked some hurt feelings from something that happened there. My assumption is that someone who was hurt might have a little too much pride to be "serving" on the Praise Team. (And now I realize how judgmental my statement is!)

              The line between purging, starting form scratch (even if that means leading by yourself for a time) and patiently enduring while helping the team grow up, is too subjective and situational for me to comment with too much confidence, so I'll say a prayer for you as you decide how to deal with this.

              IN Christ,
              Chris Garrett
              Worship Pastor of First Baptist of Pekin, IL

              Comment


              • #8
                There's nothing wrong with the email. What everyone has said about the receivers of the email is true, you may want to address those issues as a teaching in a team meeting. I talk about that stuff, with the whole team present. That means everyone gets to pose questions and hear my responses to them. There ends up being no stone left unturned and the whole team know what to expect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
                  It's all about context. The email alone is neutral. Obviously, something about your context that the rest of us are unaware of has turned this email into something negative. Nothing we can say to you here can bring any light to that...you've got to ask the people who received the email.

                  Nate
                  Right you are Nate. Some of the feedback I've received is that it seemed as though I was addressing the team as children in the email... that there wasn't anything wrong with the content it was the way I went about it... to "I can say what I want when I want at rehearsal." Kinds of things.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Watch what you say/write, and always have others to bear witness...

                    To me, this political 'miscommunication' stuff is the worst part of dealing with people. Personalities and learning styles often clash, and gives the devil a foothold, in many church groups and worship ministries. Somebody thinks something in an email is directed at them and takes offense.

                    Once I emailed a link to an article about worship leading to our leaders - and I got questioned by the Pastor about it! I didn't mean any disrespect or 'telling them what to do', but it was taken that way and they complained. That taught me to go face-to-face with issues, even though it is far easier to express myself in writing than in person.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
                      It's all about context. The email alone is neutral. Obviously, something about your context that the rest of us are unaware of has turned this email into something negative. Nothing we can say to you here can bring any light to that...you've got to ask the people who received the email.
                      Nate beat me to the punch. He's so right here. Also, keep in mind that others' perception of us drives how they receive our words. If they find us trustworthy, there is more grace in the words we use. Otherwise, it may feel like we have to walk on eggshells because we feel like no matter what we say, it will be received wrong. Nevertheless, continue to love them the best way you know how. Make sure they know how much you love them; everyone needs to feel valued. Thanks for your transparency. Many blessings to you!
                      Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
                      BLOG: http://www.worshipvanguard.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Looks like you have plenty of replies to sort through here...and it does seem that you have some overly sensitive musicians, but my opinion is that emails to your worship team should be used only for communicating dates/times, checking scheduling availability or giving praise to them. I suppose you could send out a prayer request if it is an appropriate one.

                        I'm curious if ALL your team members were offended, or just one or two? If it was really one or two people causing the distraction, then they probably know who they are and they may feel like they were "called out" in front of everyone via the group email. Or, depending on the relationships that already exist between team members, one member could be "taking up another's offense" and as nearly ALWAYS happens in that case, grossly magnifying it.

                        Trust is the basis for instruction/coaching/admonition and trust takes time. Plus, you WILL run into people who are simply too immature to be teachable. "A fool despises instruction..." Prov. something... and unfortunately there are foolish people out there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys for all of your input. I've decided to meet with them all individually, and apologize for doing this over email. I can't apologize for the content, because it's really just basic stuff and common courtesy. I'm also going to stress how important it is to talk directly to me when they have a problem with me, instead of with others (which many of them have done) I'll let you know how it turns out.

                          Peace!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It seems our practices are run differently. For me, because of what I expect of our team.. Rehearsal time is not the place where we come and try to learn a part of a song.. That's what my musicians do on their own time, at home, when they practice. When I create sets in planning center, I attach any sheet music necessary, as well as a YouTube video, or mp3 that most depicts the way we will be doing a song... Then I expect that my team (who are volunteers) will be practicing those songs at home.. When we come together at rehearsal, that is where we put it all together. Rehearsals for us last about 1.5 hours .. 30 mins for devotions, then an hour to rehearse. Its not where we come to say "I can't figure out how to play "this" part.. They do that on their own time.. Mostly because they are all volunteers, and I don't want to waste their time.. Most of my team are already out 3 nights a week with church related things.. So I try to respect that they probably want to be at home. If someone shows up at rehearsal and theyve put time into their personal practice and they still are having trouble, I meet with them personally to work on it.. So as not to sit at rehearsal, working with 1 person, while the rest of the team just sits there... When they sit there board, this is where noodling around happens.. Because they get board!

                            Just a thought.. May not work for your team. It has worked for my team for 7 years, and they are all volunteers except me. It's about setting a standard for your team.. My standard is excellence, as that is what God has called us to.. And I communicate this with my team all the time.. I share with them why I want them to practice on their own time.. And they get it.. They may be "just volunteers" but they are volunteering because they love music (presumably) and more important.. They love worshipping the King.. So, don't be afraid to expect more from them.


                            Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                            Last edited by chrisburke; 05-09-2012, 08:13 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chrisburke View Post
                              It seems our practices are run differently... It's about setting a standard for your team.. My standard is excellence, as that is what God has called us to.. And I communicate this with my team all the time.. I share with them why I want them to practice on their own time.. And they get it.. They may be "just volunteers" but they are volunteering because they love music (presumably) and more important.. They love worshipping the King.. So, don't be afraid to expect more from them.


                              Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                              Yes indeed. I have indeed been sending the mp3s and youtube stuff, but that is just to get an idea. My philosophy in general is different than yours. I've learned over the the years that there are two ways to do songs with a group. You can give each person a cd (or mp3,or whatever), have them all learn parts at home, and then everyone comes together and plays the part they learned at home and it sounds something like music, but usually more like a disjointed mess. Or, you can train your musicians how to come up with an appropriate part for a song based on the arrangement the leader is trying to accomplish. I find the prior way lends to people not having to listen to each other, and not making that transition to playing by oneself to actually having a musical conversation. I studied jazz in college, and the chart was just a starting point. I want my people to be able to respond to each other in ways that saying "here, go learn this part and we'll all come back together to play the parts that we've learned at the same time" just simply can't accomplish. This, to me, is holding my team to a much higher standard than having them locked into a certain part that someone else came up with. Personally, I prefer not sending a cd/mp3 or whatever in advance, but the team I currently have aren't to that point. The bass player has been playing for about 6 months. The drummer played with humans the first time about 2 months ago, having learned on "Rock Band" video game. Funny thing is, this kid actually has a much better meter than many "drummers" I have played with that have many many years of experience.

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