!-- Beacon Ads Ad Code -->

Sponsor Ad:

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Advice on letting musicians go

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Advice on letting musicians go

    Hey All, I have two situations and I could use some advice.

    I have one team member who has had a very consistent attitude problem (constant complaining about and criticizing fellow musicians and staff). I have addressed these problems with him on a few occasions, asking him to be more positive, or offer solutions in addition to his criticisms, but have gotten no where. He also habitually disregards the expectations I've laid out for the team (arriving at rehearsals unprepared and/or late, and not coming to church unless he is playing). His attitude has begun to drag down the rest of the team, and Sundays when he is playing are very tense, and no one has a good time.

    I have another team member who is a very friendly guy, and pretty dependable when it comes to arriving on time, responding to planning center requests etc. Unfortunately he has fallen far behind the rest of the team when it comes to musicianship. The Sundays he plays are stressful for me, the rest of the band, and the lead pastor, because none of us can predict what he will do. We have other folks anxious to play that are better musicians and just as dependable. While I like him as a person, the quality of the worship music drops significantly on weeks he plays.

    They have both been told what is expected of them, and my first reaction to both situations is to ask them to step down from the team, a reaction which the senior pastor, and the rest of the staff support. So my questions for you all are:

    1.Is removing them from the team the best solution
    2. If so, what is the best way to go about letting them go? I want to handle there hearts and gently as possible, and maintain a relationship with them both, but still want to be clear and direct with them. How should each situation be handled individually?
    3. What are some alternatives to letting them go that I may not have thought of?

    Thanks for any advice!

    TL;DR I have two team members, one with an attitude problem, and one with a skill issue, how should each individual be handled?

  • #2
    A couple of thoughts.

    The more of this you deal with at the beginning of a relationship, the less you'll have to deal with at the end. When people not only know what the expectations and consequences are, but buy into those expectations and consequences and help hold others on the team accountable to those expectations and consequences, it becomes much easier to allow consequences to take place because they are not meeting those expectations.

    When a teammate fails to live up to the expectations he/she agreed to, they have literally disqualified themselves from the team...you are not "having to let them go", you are simply having to bring to their attention that they have shot themselves in their own foot. You are simply holding the other person to what he/she agreed to in the beginning. This is especially helpful with somebody who has attitude problems.

    Also, whenever I bring a new team member onto the team, we both agree that neither of us will harbor ill feelings in our hearts toward each other or anyone else on the team should the day come when their relationship with the band is ended. This isn't a guarantee, but it's always helpful to use as a reminder should that day ever come.

    NEVER, end somebody's relationship with your team without helping them move onto the next thing. Too many church people exit a ministry team for any number of reasons and never rejoin another team...leaders need to place a priority on helping people find a place to serve the church (as apposed to the priority of finding people to serve on MY team). The most caring thing you can do for anybody who is exiting your team is to help them find another place to serve. This is much easier with somebody who lacks the skill than with somebody who has a bad attitude, but you still need to make the attempt.

    Having said all of that, a person with a bad attitude is a cancer to any group. Who in their right mind would be OK living with cancer when a cure is available? Absolutely, yes, the cancer needs to go. Decisions about people who are not meeting the bar of musicianship are more difficult, and often a little encouragement and extra attention can help realign, but that's something you'll have to figure out. But, if he's causing stress, then he at least needs to step away from Sunday mornings until he's brought back up to par.

    Nate
    Practical Worship

    Please Pray For My Wife

    Comment


    • #3
      I would ask both of them to consider another place of temporary ministry within the community that needs levitical servants. Maybe have the arrogant one play by himself for the children's ministry or support outreaches ; and have the friendly guy play for small groups and/or prayer meetings?

      My guess is that the arrogant one will leave when he isn't in the spotlight, and the other one will find more time to practice in order to handle his new position.

      You can always bring them back when they've matured a bit...




      .
      8-)



      what? me worry?

      Comment


      • #4
        Nate & Yod laid it out pretty well.

        I agree that they did it to themselves. This is the tough part of leading. On one hand, you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but on the other hand, you have a whole team of people negatively affected by the situation that you have to look out for as well.

        I can tell you from experience they may react to it differently. They may either agree and step down, or get cheesed off and leave the church. Either way, you have to be prepared, especially if they leave. Be confident that you made the right decision. You have the support of leadership, you made it in a sound manner, it's not on you if they leave. That's a lack of maturity on their part.

        The one thing I will throw out there is the one with bad attitude needs to address the attitude before he can serve anywhere else. I wouldn't want another ministry team to inherit the attitude. I absolutely agree with Nate that it's bad to leave someone high and dry, but the key issue is dealing with the attitude. It's not fair to the other ministries to get a grouch, and it's not fair to him to have this roadblock to growth that no one is willing to sit down and be frank with him about it.

        The other one, it's more of a skill issue. You could lay it out as 'I appreciate your attitude and willingness to serve, but we need to have a certain level of musicianship on the platform as well. Right now, there are some key areas you need more development in.' Explain what he needs to do, and if possible, suggest resources (teachers, DVDs, mentor/coaching from another team member, etc.) to get him going in the right way. Don't make any guarantees, but leave the door open for him to audition in another 6 mos or year. In the mean time, like Yod says, see if he can plug in a few other areas.

        We had to do that with a guy on our team recently. He wants to play guitar, and we gave him a shot, but he's just not ready. The leader explained it to him, and we've all been supportive of him, giving him pointers, etc. He's starting to pick up some skill, but he's got a long way to go. The main thing is that he's still engaged. He does other ministry as well (most people in our church wear more than one hat), so it's working out well.

        Hope it works out for the best
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

        Comment


        • #5
          just know this.. I'm assuming you're the worship leader.. its NOT your job to take time out of your already busy week to help the poorly skilled guy improve.. I've seen comments in situations like this, where people say things like "maybe you could work with the dependable guy to improve his skill" this is NOT your job.. you aren't a music teacher.. you're a worship leader. people who are on our teams are expected to play with excellence.. sure you can recommend that he take lessons, but its not your job to give him those lessons.

          i would also say its not our responsibility to make sure they end up on a different team.. especially the guy who isn't dependable.. because then it seems like you are just dumping your problem on someone else. Again, you can recommend that they get involved somewhere else, and suggest something, but its not our job to find teams for people.. they need to search their giftings and pray about it, and ask God where he is asking them to serve now.. not just "where do I get dumped now"

          thats just me.. i'm a "don't pull any punches" kind of guy. they found the worship team... they will find another place to serve.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't want to start a debate about what our role as worship leaders should be or hijack this thread, but let me say that if all leaders took the attitude of "that's not my job" our churches would be in a pitiful state. I don't want to call Chris Burke out as a poor leader, and I'm hoping this isn't his attitude across the board, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Chris, please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want you to feel like I'm accusing you of something if I'm misunderstanding you. But, I know that my role as a leader is to help shepherd those I lead, and part of that responsibility is looking out for the church as a whole, not just my ministry/team.

            Please understand that my advice in my previous post was not to hold their hand through the entire process and consider yourself a failure if person A doesn't find another ministry team and person B doesn't improve his skills. People must be held responsible for their own choices (and yes, I agree with the above comments that before person A finds another team, he needs some counseling to correct his attitude). What I am saying is, every member of your church is shaped in a unique was to serve the church, and every leader in your church is responsible, together with each other, to HELP every member of your church find the ministry(s) that best fit his/her shape.

            Too often, ministry becomes a turf war...I recruit for my team, you recruit for your team, and let's stay out of each others way. People who show talent for multiple teams are fought over, people who show no talent are left in the gutter, and people who leave one team fall through the cracks. Too often, a person dropping out or being asked/told to step down from a ministry is one of the first red flags that that person is either leaving the church or losing his/her first love of God...I can't tell you how many times I've seen this happen. Our priority our leaders of people MUST be to help people grow, and not just the people on our team. People absolutely cannot live as God intended them to live unless they are serving the local church, and if I observe a member of my church not serving and do nothing about it, I am nothing more than an enabler of a luke-warm Christian. If that means giving a few private guitar lessons (if I have the time), I'll do it. If that means helping a former teammate find another team, I'll do it.

            Nate
            Practical Worship

            Please Pray For My Wife

            Comment


            • #7
              Chris, I think I understand what you are saying, and there are some valid points

              sure you can recommend that he take lessons, but its not your job to give him those lessons
              I think this is the crux of what we were saying. There is a balance of coaching and guiding people, and making sure they have some 'skin in the game'.

              you aren't a music teacher.. you're a worship leader.
              Each situation is different, but many postings I see for worship leader includes responsibilities for team development and teaching other people.

              I don't know your situation, but most churches are smaller (under the 2-300 people range) and don't have this deep field of talent to pick from. The choice is either be a little flexible and take a C- level person and provide some coaching, or be a one-man band. The latter I have seen tried- it just looks like someone being haughty that no one is 'good enough' to play with them.

              So that is the basis for many of these recommendations, at least from my perspective...
              If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think we differ on what our jobs are.. Because I don't recruit people for worship team.. If someone feels called to worship team, they come to me, and then they audition.. I don't recruit.. Youth ministry volunteers, yes,, kids, yup.. Worship team is different.. It takes a very particular set of skills.. If you don't have those skills, you don't belong on the team.. I'm not going to take time out of my week to team you how to play your guitar. After your audition, I'll certainly tell you where you need to improve, but a worship pastors schedule is a 40-50 hour week already.. If you want to take time away from your family to teach someone how the basics of how to play their instrument, by all means.. Scriptures say we are to play skillfully.. And I don't take that lightly.. If you aren't skillful in playing, I'll tell you you need to improve, then come try again in 6 or 8 months. It's not right for the clear distraction it can and will be (as we see in the original post)

                I see team development as teaching ppl how to work in a team, and how to lead worship/home their biblical knowledge.. Not teaching them how to strum.. Sorry if we differ.. But it's the play skillfully that I lean on.


                Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
                .
                Each situation is different, but many postings I see for worship leader includes responsibilities for team development and teaching other people.

                I don't know your situation, but most churches are smaller (under the 2-300 people range) and don't have this deep field of talent to pick from. The choice is either be a little flexible and take a C- level person and provide some coaching, or be a one-man band. The latter I have seen tried- it just looks like someone being haughty that no one is 'good enough' to play with them.

                .
                I have never been in a church larger than 150.. But I've also always had great musicians to choose from.. I don't know if I just lucked out, or if high standards brought high quality musicians to the church.. I do have high standards, I know that, but it's because I don't want to be a distraction in worship.. And if someone is constantly playing the wrong notes and throwing ppl off, that's going to be a distraction. I don't think it's bad to have high standards.. "Sing to him a new song, play skillfully, and shout for joy".. When I read skillfully, I take that as a quality musician..


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                Last edited by chrisburke; 03-11-2013, 08:31 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Nate for your response. I suppose that none of us are responsible for anything but ourselves, but is that the mind of Christ?

                  If you are a worship leader, then you are also in the office of Pastor, shepherding a team of levites and a flock of worshippers. That means you are responsible for the care and nurture of the entire congregation, like it or not. From the least to the greatest, they all have immense value whether they sing on key or play an instrument well. The ones who wish to serve deserve help, not rejection.

                  God does not judge us for punishment, but for redemption and restoration. We should judge each other with the same concerns.

                  If anyone disagrees with that statement then may I suggest another place of ministry for you also? Someone needs to mow the grass.
                  8-)



                  what? me worry?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    sorry for having a high standard for my team folks.. I realize that thats not the expectation of everyone.. theres nothing you can say thats going to change my mind on this. I do totally believe that we are suppose to care and nurture for our team.. but at what cost? spend 20% of my time teaching a guy how to play guitar, just because he wants to be on the worship team? I don't think so.. pastors go to bible college and learn how to preach and teach.. then along the way they pick other skills up by learning from mentors.. but they took the first steps themselves.. they did a majority of it themselves.. I learned how to play guitar by taking lessons for many years, and by "playing till my fingers bled" and driving my parents crazy with the same songs over and over again.. then once I was ready to play in public I did.. I didn't expect someone to teach me the basics when I got up on stage.. I had the basics down first.. i wasn't bringing people around me down as the original poster explained.. (especially when you have better qualified people anxious to play)... along the way yes, I learned from people.. but during rehearsals I was never asking people to explain the basics of how to play.. thats what you do before you get up on stage.. If someone doesn't have the desire to wait and learn before joining the worship team.. then perhaps they are joining it for the wrong reason..

                    If the scriptures didn't tell us to play skillfully, I would gladly bow out of this, but they do.. and if you can some how explain how "play skillfully" doesn't mean to play "with skill".. well.. sorry.. but you're making stuff up.

                    Skill:
                    noun
                    1.the ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well: Carpentry was one of his many skills.
                    2.competent excellence in performance; expertness; dexterity: The dancers performed with skill.
                    3.a craft, trade, or job requiring manual dexterity or special training in which a person has competence and experience: the skill of cabinetmaking.
                    4.Obsolete . understanding; discernment.
                    5.Obsolete . reason; cause.


                    I'm sorry that we don't all feel the same way on it.. because of that, I believe many churches end up with sub par worship teams.. that are distracting in worship. I don't think it's an issue of small church vs big church. I'm currently in a church with 30 people.. and a worship team that has 3 people (piano, guitar, and singer).. and no.. they aren't the next hillsong.. but they can play anything I throw at them.. because they practice.. they practice on their own time.. and they rehearse once a week. I always tell people when they join the worship team, if you aren't willing to practice for at least 30-45 minutes each day by yourself, to go over the songs we're doing sunday, then don't bother joining the worship team.. because you need to know these songs inside and out, so that you understand them, and so if we decide to go to vs 3 instead of the bridge at "this" part, you can do that no problem..

                    I had a bible college prof who always said to us "if you aim low, you'll hit it every time".. I don't know if that was his or not.. but it was because he wanted us to aim high.. set our standards high, and hit that mark.. because anyone can hit a mark that is as low as the floor..

                    Sorry if I've offended.. wasn't my intent.. just wanted to share my feelings on the topic, because I am tired of the church aiming low

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      While I'm not accused of having high standards very often, I do have some excellent players. They are all pretty humble about being some of the best on the planet.

                      Yet I have no problem playing with someone who isn't at that superstar level, too. Many of the best worship times have happened when it was "kulanu k'echad" (all of us as one). I love it when the musicians are good players IF they know how to listen to others...and I love it when the little kids feel the freedom to worship God and not many of them are on key or have decent meter. Yet it's a beautiful sound to the Father.

                      Forgive me for not giving you the benefit of doubt quicker, and letting my paternal instinct take over, but you did seem to come across as completely uncaring about a member of His Body (my brother) who wants to serve but hasn't reached some arbitrarty standard. There is a right and a wrong way to handle that.
                      8-)



                      what? me worry?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Chris, "sorry for having a high standard for my team folks." comes across as a backhanded slap to the rest of us who, as it appears by your estimation, don't value quality. I could just as easily say to you, "sorry for being so awesome that I can both shepherd people and have a high standard for my team." But, instead, I would say to you, it doesn't have to be an either/or thing...you can have both a shepherd's heart and a phenomenal team. As you said, I'm not going to change your opinion about this. Chris, I always appreciate your perspective on things on this board, but on this issue, I want to encourage you to re-examine what you believe to be true about your position and your responsibilities as a "teaching pastor/worship director". The fact that you think we're asking you to "spend 20% of my time teaching a guy how to play guitar" is evidence that you're not understand what I (and I think what yod and Mike) am talking about here. If you honestly wish to hear more about why the rest of us seem to disagree with you about this, I'd for one love to talk, but again, I don't want to turn this particular thread into a debate.

                        My father tells the story (and I've heard the same from many, many pastors) of his time in seminary when he was taught by his professors never to allow himself to become too close to those in his congregation...to do so would mean certain failure of his duties to teach/preach the Word. Thankfully, before I became too old to relearn that faulty lesson from him, he discovered there is no way to Pastor a church the way God intended without allowing himself to deeply care for those he was shepherding. He has mentioned how much he wish he could bring those old professors of his into our church to show them it is possible for a pastor to fulfill both teaching and shepherding responsibilities in a healthy, growing church. I attended the same school my father attended, and I am thankful to say that those professors are long gone and the newer crop of professors had a deeper understanding of the Biblical responsibilities of pastors and leaders when I sat under their tutelage.

                        I am ever so thankful that Jesus not only taught his disciples (talk about a group of unqualified, sub-par, less than worthy group of men) but invested in their lives on a personal level...the legacy that He left with those 12 men (sans Judas) is the only reason we are able to even talk about church things today. I'm not perfect, but I do want to be more like Jesus in this way.

                        Nate
                        Practical Worship

                        Please Pray For My Wife

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One thing I would like to reiterate is that from what I can tell, no one here is advocating the leader spoon-feed their team. I think we agree about that

                          Chris, I also see your point about a worship leader having a full schedule and where does one draw the line with taking yet more time from family and personal life to try to pull someone along that doesn't appear to be pulling their weight. I think that is a legit concern.

                          I'm seeing the major difference here being the impression of the stance that the worship leader 'can't be bothered' with that stuff because there are more important things to do.

                          There have been other discussions about the role of worship leaders. If a leader doesn't have time to develop and shepherd people, there may be other priority issues that need addressed. Perhaps the role is comprised of stuff that isn't the best fit for a leader
                          If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wade - This sounds like a tough situation but I hope you're encouraged that you're not alone, as proven by the responses here. If you haven't already read "Worship Matters" by Bob Kauflin, you at least need to read chapter 25 titled Skilled and Authentic. He covers a lot of ground on the situation you're presenting here and I think it would be helpful in guiding your decision. In addition, I think some great wisdom has already been shared by others here when they suggest helping these people find other areas in the church to serve. I think we already understand that it's very important when asking a church member to stop serving in one area to encourage and even assist them in transitioning to another area of service. And honestly, they may be a better service to the body to serve in that other area. That may even be the way you can approach it. For example, you may see that your unskilled musician is smart and a good Bible study teacher. You don't want to rob your church of a Sunday school teacher because they want to jam with the band .
                            As for the one with the attitude problem, I think it would be wise to make sure someone, if not yourself, is consistently discipling them (which should be much more than just talking to them about their attitude. Talk to them about what they believe about God and maybe read together with them). And continue to pray for them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ok, so I'll admit that I've been having trouble formulating my thoughts on this whole issue/argument, but I do feel like I have something I want to contribute. My apologies if this comes off as a bit of a ramble...

                              I think there's a difference between shepherding your team and your church as a leader and feeling like you have to teach people how to play their instruments. In many ways, I agree with Chris - I'm a part time leader with a lot of things on my plate, and I really don't think that it falls under my position to teach someone to play who has very little skill or hasn't developed their natural ability yet.. This is not to say that I shouldn't/don't encourage our players to always be improving, and I'll occasionally show them specific ideas & techniques that are relevant to what we're doing. I do think that it takes a certain level of ability to be able to come onto the team in the first place, although in my experience, the vast majority of folks know whether or not they're at that level before they approach me about being a part of our worship ministry. In the cases where somebody isn't up to speed, I think often it shows more of a shepherd's attitude to redirect that person to another ministry where they'd be able to be used more efficiently, or pointing them towards some training (although probably not from me). I've also never given somebody a hard "no" in an audition, although I have encouraged people to keep working at it and get back with me after a period of time. That said, I have taught members of my church in the past, but always at my standard lesson rate. To be fair, I've also never had somebody ask me for lessons without assuming that they would pay me for them.

                              I guess my point is just that I don't think it has to be an all or nothing deal, here.
                              Eric Frisch
                              www.ericfrisch.com

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X