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Working with chip on the shoulder teams

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  • Working with chip on the shoulder teams

    During the last ten years of my worship leading ministry, at more than one church I have run into singers & musicians who clearly have chips on their shoulders.

    As a worship leader, if I correct the team, even gently and with sensitivity, I end up eating crow.
    At first I thought it was me, but having had great experiences with other worship teams at other churches, and getting feedback from other team members that I lead people well, I am convinced without a shadow of a doubt that it is them. For instance, my current church responds very well to my leadership style.

    I have found that some churches coddle such attitudes. Teams with such attitudes, can't improve. They don't have the humility to improve. Humility is having the ability to stare your weaknesses in the eye without flinching. I have found that churches with such teams prefer to simply plow through the music, ignoring the details that separate mediocrity from excellence.

    I am disappointed that some churches would be enablers to what is essentially pride.

    I have been wondering how common this is. Have any of you encountered such attitudes?

  • #2
    I won't pretend to know each individual's situation. But one thing I do know: as a leader, it's up to you to find the leadership style that works best to reach each member of your team. It's not up to them to adapt to your leadership style and preference.

    There no doubt are people that will resist your leadership no matter what, and when we do run into them, it will have to be dealt with in a loving, but strong, manner. But i think we as leaders more often than not cause these issues with people, due to our rigidness in our way of doing things. Why should we expect the people underneath us to adapt and change, but we don't? As leaders, shouldn't it be us that sets the example for them to follow?

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    • #3
      During the last ten years of my worship leading ministry, at more than one church I have run into singers & musicians who clearly have chips on their shoulders.
      We've all been there at some time- either as a leader or a contributor. It's actually quite common. It's one of the most discussed things here.

      Bad attitudes spread like the plague. There are a lot of reasons for bad attitudes, but the punch line is, it's not acceptable to keep having a bad attitude. Everyone has a bad day now and then, but constantly going around with a chip on one's shoulder is a sign of immaturity.

      I've been on a couple teams where it's been grouch-fest...people snap at you, don't take direction, and scowl more than smile. It's not fun and brings everyone else down. The worship was vanilla, we were just singing songs.

      Success in dealing with it as a leader depends on who has your back. In a couple situations I have been in, the offender's uncle was an elder or brother was a deacon so the leader's hands were tied to fix it. They would go and complain to their uncle who would scold the leader for being mean... There was no way the leader could deal with it.

      I am disappointed that some churches would be enablers to what is essentially pride.
      As much as we like to think otherwise, too many churches are more like country clubs- it's about them, not God. Pride and ego, power plays, nepotism, cliques, you name it.

      The punch line is, it's everyone's responsibility to make the team experience a great one. It's a deliberate effort on everyone's part. The leader needs to be firm but flexible, the team needs to get over themselves and show up determined to make it great no matter what's going on, and humbling themselves to keep the eye on the 'prize' of exalting Christ.
      If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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      • #4
        Hey Greg,

        Yep, I've experienced that. Sounds like you're doing the right things. Don't assume that "eating crow" means you're missing something or doing something wrong. One thing I learned from my last music team was that leadership can have very lonely moments. It's not ideal, but if you cop flack for being assertive, loving and no-compromise, then good on you. Flack well earned :-)

        At the same time, I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time and hope that it comes to an end soon. . .

        Steffie.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Steffie View Post
          Hey Greg,

          Yep, I've experienced that. Sounds like you're doing the right things. Don't assume that "eating crow" means you're missing something or doing something wrong. One thing I learned from my last music team was that leadership can have very lonely moments. It's not ideal, but if you cop flack for being assertive, loving and no-compromise, then good on you. Flack well earned :-)


          Steffie.
          Thanks but I'm not having a rough time at my current church. I was talking about some previous churches. In fact because things are well for me now, I'm pretty certain that the past problems I encountered were because of bad teams/churches & not because of me.

          At the same time, I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time and hope that it comes to an end soon. . .

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