I have a former team member who quit and now wants to come back and sing.
Last fall, she left and did it nicely. However, during her time on the team there
were issues with her complaining about song choices(publicly) not singing what I asked
etc. I had too many singers and she wasn't the best. I really don't want her back
and have decided just to tell her that I'm not adding any more vocals and already have enough
folks that come in and sub for me.(my pastors have also told me not to add any vocals)
I'm also concerned if she comes back- a "problem child" that I had to ask to leave will try the same thing-they are good friends.
I'm trying to be as nice as possible. Any ideas?
Do you know if this singer has had any feedback on her behavioural issues? If not, and you give her an excuse for not coming back eg. "my pastor said no more vocals" then the problem remains and can still pop up again in the future. You could tell her about the problems you've noticed by stating factually what you've seen and backing up why it's wrong with bible stuff. Frame it as feedback rather than criticism. She may still take it as criticism, but you've done everything you can to put it in a constructive light and help her grow.
If she learns from you and tries to work on it, you've won your sister. If not, you can always lean on the leaders above you and refer her to them. Ultimately, if you're in a leadership position you're responsible for her pastorally and this may be the first time anyone has been honest with her.
Also, I wouldn't be too obessed with "nice". Let your words be gracious as well as truthful. Sometimes the most loving conversations are the hardest.
All the best
I agree. You can still be graceful but honest. Don't give some lame excuse or beat around the bush, just be honest. It's irritating when Christians take the passive-aggressive approach to dealing with issues. It causes more problems and doesn't solve the original problem. Sit down, get it on the table in an honest, candid and loving way. Conflicts happen. Personality clashes happen. It's ok.Also, I wouldn't be too obessed with "nice". Let your words be gracious as well as truthful. Sometimes the most loving conversations are the hardest.
You can tell her you aren't adding vocals at the time (which is honest). If it comes to it, you can also tell her that if she wants to come back, there are some expectations. You can explain what those are, and do it without accusing or putting her on the defensive. The behavior expected is *this*, the talent level is *this*, the attitude is *this*, etc. You don't have to get into the past, just explain how the future is going to work.
I wouldn't use the "we're not adding any new vocals" reason...because, as soon as you're ready to add more vocals, you'll be facing this same issue. "Nip it in the bud" right now so that the problem is behind you and not simply pushed to the side. If this person is not fit for the band, there IS another ministry in the church she should be doing...to say "no" to her and explain exactly why is the most Godly thing to do, and if her heart is where it needs to be, will certainly be the most beneficial for her and your church.
Well, told her I didn't want to hurt her feelings but I wasn't going to use her. The conversation didn't go much past that. Then today I get a call from a team member asking me to reconsider. I said no. This individual originally applied for the WL job and didn't get it. Same person is also in charge of another ministry. Is again undercutting and trying to go around me. Have reported this to my bosses and told to stick to my decision. Prayers appreciated.
It's too bad they are trying to go over your head, but be glad the bosses are standing by your decision. It's actually revealing her true character when it comes to how she views authority in the church. By showing she doesn't respect your authority as the leader by trying to circumvent it shows how little she would respect your authority if she was on the team. So, as they say, a picture (or in this case a behavior) is worth a thousand words.
You don't have to defend yourself to the team, either. You have reasons, they are between you, her, and church leadership.
It can be frustrationg when people think they are entitled to certain positions. It reminde me of kids who didn't like it when mom says no so they go to dad.
Praying this situation comes to a peaceful resolution
I recently had a very similar situation pop up. The woman in question had stepped down a few months before I arrived at the church back in 2007. By all accounts, she was a holy terror: steamrolling the group, openly arguing with the previous worship director, walking out on rehearsals, etc. However, in the four years since then, she had gone through a litany of personal trials and come out of it with a (perceived) very different attitude towards life. When she timidly approached and asked about the possibility of returning to the team, it was not a quick "one and done" conversation. I brought in two members of the worship team who had served with her before (since I wasn't there), and she spent time answering their questions about her current attitude and state of mind. I met with her 2 or 3 times in a counseling mode.
Finally, when I discerned that she believed she was honestly ready, I had one more very blunt conversation with her. I told her that I was happy to have her on (she has a great voice, so there is that difference), and that the team was behind the decision as well. But I made it very clear that any behavior the likes of which I had heard of from before was going to be met with a zero-tolerance response. One strike and you're out. She has been a model team member since, and I do not believe it is out of fear. She had made the decisions in her life and is truly seeking to serve God through the worship ministries.
All that to say, be direct. I agree with Steffie: if she hasn't been called on it, does she even realize the degree to which she is perceived? It may not be a fun conversation, but if she is unable to take the feedback, then she should not be involved in any ministry, anywhere right now. Good luck, but don't sugar-coat it.
Agreed. That's why I'm sticking with my decision not to have her back.
Haven't heard anything more back from her. My team really gets along
well together. whenever we have guest sitting in with us-they always say
how much fun we have. That's a good thing.
Last week I had some folks filling in and the vocals were great!
Having not sung together before-everyone was listening and blending well.