Help Request for Dealing with Family on the Worship Team
I am looking for some resources (books, articles, your discernment, etc) on an issue I am having. I lead worship and my wife, daughter (16 yrs old) and son have been added to the team over the years. This is NOT a case of nepotism. My wife and daughter are truly anointed and their talents has been confirmed by all.
Over time, there has been a spirit of discord which has arisen. One recurring case in point is that my daughter will blurt out her displeasure(s) freely and openly at worship practices in front of the whole team. "We don't need to practice this song tonight since we did it last week... I have lots of homework tonight.... are we done yet..." It's my family who exclusively has these "digs". I feel it is the familiarity of our family. In other words, I have told my daughter that she wouldn't treat her high school teachers / coaches in this manner (and she wouldn't as she is a straight A honors student and a star athlete.
I have prayed and attempted to address this issue both passively and more directly BOTH publicly (in front of the team, as well as, in private.
BTW: She loves the Lord, definitely confirms that she wants to be on the team-- and even do more, etc.
I have discussed this with my pastor who has told me that I need to be assertive in this situation(s). I can see his point, yet attempting a mini counseling session in front of the team would be fruitless.
Bottom Line: I am getting in trouble with the pastor, stating I'm getting frustrated / agitated and that it is starting to effect the team. Look, I acknowledge my part in this and seek a God pleasing resolution.
If anyone knows of any books, etc, or anywhere I can gain wisdom in this situation I would greatly appreciate your passing them on to me.
I don't know of any books out there that deal specifically with this issue, but I can toss you a few tidbits from my own experience.
Other team members may be intimidated by your whole family. If they have a criticism of one team member, they might feel like they need to deal with ALL of you, which usually leads to avoiding the confrontation altogether (ie not a healthy way to do things). This is pertinent because if, say, another team member can speak wisdom into your daughter's life regarding her vocal displeasure during practices, they might be afraid to.
Some families operate very well together in environments like this simply by leaving relational elements at the door. The bonus is that the environment is very professional and unless someone on the outside has a keen eye, they'd never know that is was a whole family up there. All they see is people working together to get the job done.
The downside is that your history with your family is primarily relational and not professional. It (rightfully) feels alien to neglect the relationships you have with one another, even if only for an hour or two. It is like going to a new job...there is always a little bit of tension right away because you have little to no working history with your new co-workers. Only in this case, it FEELS like you do when in reality you don't.
My wife came on as a drummer for a few times and did really well, but never felt like it because the environment was so different from the rest of the time we spend together. Especially as the leader, I am asking for some very specific things of her (and using cues mid song, where I don't have time to say please, thank you, etc), sometimes in a language she doesn't get. It can be extremely discouraging if you can't separate the emotions from the job at hand.
I see what your pastor means by being assertive. I don't think he necessarily means that you should have the long discussion during practice, but rather set guidelines prior, and stick to them. For instance, I had to lay down the law with a certain team member about calling whole songs into question (ie whether or not we should do them that week, or at all) during a practice. Not only was it not her call, but our limited practice time was a very poor place to have that discussion. Once it was understood that feedback such as that was welcome, just NOT during practice, it smoothed right out. Practice time is for practice. Period.
If there are songs on a list to practice, you practice them. If it is a "free" song, spice it up. Change the arrangement, or polish it even further. For anyone to say that they can nail it and it won't need work because "it was done last week" is kinda silly, and I think you know that. You'll need to set aside some time and create some kind of ministry manifesto that deals with practice protocols, among other things.
Lastly, a change of voice might do some good. I have a lot of knowledge and know-how when it comes to certain things, but as the worship leader and ministry director, I already do a lot of talking. It is helpful to me to get another person to say what is on my mind, such as the pastor/elder in certain contexts or just a new voice in some training material. This helps your team because they then know that it isn't just you who believes such and such, and it helps you because it lets you know you aren't going nuts.
Does any of that help?
Hitchface gave lots of good advice. I have also dealt with this situation, as 3 of my 4 children have been on a worship team with me at one time or another. How would you deal with this if it wasn't your daughter? You probably wouldn't discuss it during the rehearsal, but talk to her privately about her lack of respect for you as the worship leader (leave being her parent out of it). You do need to be more assertive. If it were me, and this continued to occur even after it's been confronted, I would sit her out for a couple of Sundays. That will likely get her attention and show that you are serious about this! She may be anointed and talented, but her attitude is over-shadowing her gift and will minimize her ability to minister effectively.
Hope this helps.
We have a rule with our choir - no talking when warming up on Sunday morning at the mics. Reason: Keep the rehearsal moving. I established this after our Pastor's wife and teen daughter made comments similar to what you have posted. Their ideas may have validity, but if everyone in our 10-12 person group felt free to do this it would grind things to a screeching halt.
Of course our choir members are free to make suggestions before or after onstage warmup, or during their regular offstage rehearsals...
Last edited by betnich; 08-30-2012 at 12:00 PM.
Thank you ALL for your words of wisdom. Yes, what you have shared is very helpful. Please know that I acknowledge my part in this scenario and am NOT seeking immunity, nor am I looking to put all the blame at others' feet. I thank you for keeping things objective and basing your feedback on your experiences. The ideas of having rules that apply to everyone, before-hand, will hopefully help remedy things. PLEASE keep our ministry in your prayers. I see this as a spiritual warfare... impeding the progress of doing positive things for our King. Blessings.
I'm not really sure i understand what kind of wisdom you're searching for...it's obvious to me from what you've described that your daughter is not qualified to serve under your authority at this time. One of the qualifications for those who wish to serve in our band is that they recognize that I am the leader and respect me as such. I'm not a drill sergeant or dictator in any way, but I do expect maturity from people.
Even if a few months off helps change her perspective and attitude, it will be well worth it. And, I can guarantee everybody else in your band will respect you a great deal more if you deal with this quickly and decisively.
I don't know how old your daughter is, but anytime my kids disrespect me publicly or privately, there are immediate consequences. You should not have to deal with this in front of the rest of the band because she should either not be causing problems or she should not be in the band. Again, I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how this could be a difficult problem to solve...
How blessed are we to have this site!
Ministry definitely shifts the normal relationships we have with our loved ones. There are different challenges. I'm wondering if you're experiencing a conflict of interest here, ie. you're trying to wear 2 different hats with your daughter at the same time. If you struggle to be an effective leader with her on stage, why not palm it off to another mature leader in the church, someone who perhaps could give your daughter unbiased feedback? Or maybe including a mediator-type person during your next conversation with her?
Just my thoughts. . .