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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Dealing with those who LIKE to cause Drama...

    Yes, face-to-face is better, although I am one of those whose interpersonal skills need help. I tend to chicken out via voice/email.

    Am a keyboard player - Recently had a situation on our team, where our leader questioned how I was working with our singers. A few days after I had left a phone message asking for a one-on-one rehearsal with her, he reminded me of her family and other commitments, telling me to let our singers choose their own material (we were going to work on her suggested song, and one other that I had recommended to her) and to let them do solos 'their own way'. All because I wanted to meet with the singer outside of our group rehearsal, to establish things like the structure and key of the song. Am still wondering how he found out about the voicemail I left for the singer.

    When I finally got around to meeting with the singer, I found that active listening helped - I asked her if she was feeling pressured from me or others on our team, and she responded, expressing her support of my rehearsal methods, despite the other person's questioning. Seems our leader called her, and told her that her trouble was "not being able to tell people no".

    Cleared the air, and made me feel much better...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    For those who might want to know how this has turned out, here is an update. I had meetings with all but one person on my team (still trying to corner him) and the "face to face" cleared things up in a hurry. I'm learning that how to deal with people who have "strong" personalities, which has always been an issue for me. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  • funkmaster777
    replied
    Shawn, the problem with electronic communication is your verbal tone, eye contact, and body language (and by extension, the love you intended in the message) are not part of the equation. While I don't have any problem with your email, I'm not personally invested in your worship team, and artists can be very touchy about criticism even when it's not directly related to their art.

    While you're still in the honeymoon phase of your tenure, I'd stick with personal delivery of critical feedback... and encouragement, too. Use electronic communication for delivery of stuff like times, dates, and other matters that are factual, not opinion, and truly apply to all that are receiving the message. Once you have made a few deposits to the relationship "bank," I think you're team will relax a little.

    Best wishes and I pray that this snag will be soon overlooked by you and your team!
    Dave

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Next rehearsal, bring a water canon.... the first person that gets out of line gets it.... just kidding.... hehe.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by chrisburke View Post
    We all have our ways... From the sounds of it.. Based on the email you sent.. Your rehearsals are stressfully frustrating .. Thus having to send that email.. My rehearsals run very smooth, and we do our own take on the songs.. As I said, the videos I send are to best depict how it will sound.. But certainly not bang on. Rehearsing at home gets them familiar with the song.. Which then allows for more improv.. Which we do a lot of.

    Also my bass player had never touched a bass until the day i approached him and asked him to take it up.. He played cello prior to tat.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I appreciate your thoughts. No, the frustration is in people not observing basic rehearsal etiquette, and not respecting one another and their leader. Having said that, this thread is about primarily a communication issue.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    We all have our ways... From the sounds of it.. Based on the email you sent.. Your rehearsals are stressfully frustrating .. Thus having to send that email.. My rehearsals run very smooth, and we do our own take on the songs.. As I said, the videos I send are to best depict how it will sound.. But certainly not bang on. Rehearsing at home gets them familiar with the song.. Which then allows for more improv.. Which we do a lot of.

    Also my bass player had never touched a bass until the day i approached him and asked him to take it up.. He played cello prior to tat.


    An additional thought.. Based on the other thread you have.. Being new in a church and changing things (even when asked to make changes).. Can be really hard. When I started at my current church, I was asked to change things.. And changed things to the way I wanted them.. And got a lot of resistance.. From the congregation.. And the worship team.. I'm guessing your team isn't use to the way you do things.. And it might be worth asking them if that style is working for them.. While in your eyes in may be the best way to do things, if it's not working of the team, maybe ask them how they want to do things.. And gradually change things, instead of just changing it all overnight. I had to bite my tongue and sit with the worship team, see where they were at, and also talk with the congregation to see where they were at. It means change doesn't happen as quickly as we would like, but it is more accepted.. And then over time, it can get to where you want it.

    Churches are fickle.. And they dont like change.. They will accept gradual change.. But if you try and change it all over night.. It wont go over well, with the team, or the congregation.

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

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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!

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  • Trent
    replied
    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.

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  • WorshipVanguard
    replied
    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!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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

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