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Anyone else had this problem?

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  • Anyone else had this problem?

    Hey guys was just thinking after visiting a church this week about worship and worship teams in a church...

    Anyone ever had the misfortune of being turned down from auditioning for the worship team, or even a place on the team?

    I have wondered why worship leaders (some) can be so territorial and fear other people from leading worship, as well as other musicians... there seems to be an issue of what if the congregation prefer this person, or what if they are here 'to take over' ? I have found this to be more the case in churches than with bands in the secular world?

    The Lord equips us with gifts to serve our local churches to the best of our ability to advance the kingdom!

    Would Love other peoples input?



    Twitter @darrellross87 Email: darrellross87@gmail.com

  • #2
    I know this all too well

    i parted ways with a church in the fall of 2012 because of this same matter. I was hired as the worship leader for this church in the spring of 2010. I quickly realized that our lead guitarist was very territorial of his position. He wanted to play ever Sunday no matter what.

    I had a problem with that just for the mere fact that it wasn't "his" position. Needless to say I lost this battle because he was best friends with the pastor and it seemed the pastor trusted more in him than he did Jesus.

    I still keep in touch with some of the people from that church and they have already went through 2 other worship leaders in the last year due to the same problem.

    It's a lot of pride from the musician who doesn't want to leave the light but it ALL flows from the pastors heart. If the pastor is not willing to deal with problems like these nothing will change. Sad but true.



    • #3
      While what worshiprod describes is definitely a problem...I can't tell from your description darrell what your experience was.

      I would point out that some churches have decided to allow only church members to play, or to have people who have attended for a certain amount of time. Or even, in a few cases, they want to see the person serving in some other area before they put them on a platform. Different churches do it different ways.

      That said, one would think, in a healthy church, with godly leadership, there would be openness and desire to involve more people in worship leadership...which, in my experience, is more likely when there are more instruments involved...in the olden days, if you joined at a new church and they already had a song-leader, pianist, & organist; you were pretty much out of luck.


      • #4
        I agree with 12strings- it would help us understand if you could share why you were turned down.

        I've been turned down before, too. It was because I needed to grow my skill a little more in a couple areas. It really was a catalyst for me because it jarred me to raise my own expectations.

        It was the coveted team in town, too. Fast growing church, leader was Mr. Skinny Jeans & Guitar, team was tight.

        Funny thin was, 6 months later I auditioned again, got a spot (playing bass), then saw the huge ego of the leader and turned it down. Long story short, he made all these (incorrect) assumptions about me without ever talking to me, so in the end I said 'thanks but no thanks'.

        Moral of my story, getting turned down isn't always a bad thing. What I thought I wanted, wasn't what I thought it would be.

        I have wondered why worship leaders (some) can be so territorial and fear other people from leading worship, as well as other musicians... there seems to be an issue of what if the congregation prefer this person, or what if they are here 'to take over' ? I have found this to be more the case in churches than with bands in the secular world?
        In all honesty, as I have played in church and outside of church, the church realm can be twice as much drama as any secular band. But, some of it goes with the territory. The church has to be aware that the people they bring on can demonstrate they are there to serve, not to be rock stars. So as part of the 'nature of the beast' is that the leader can come across as guarded or territorial.

        So, to the point of 'taking over', many teams have been through the situation where someone who joined the team didn't want to take direction from the leader, wanted to be the center of attention, and just had the wrong attitude.

        So yes some leaders are not very good leaders and can get overly territorial, but most come by it honest.
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


        • #5
          Sometimes I think it's prudent to be patient and let God take care of the timing in these type of matters. When I came to my current church I can't say I wasn't intrigued about the possibility of playing on the worship team. I had played most of my life in secular bands and I knew I could make a real contribution to the team. But it became apparent to me that at the time there was a lot of "worship team drama" going on in the band, so for the better part of 4 years I avoided any semblance of any desire to play on the team. I've been in secular groups where there's more drama than there is passion for playing the music, and it's not anything I'd want to do again. Plus, I was a fresh, new Christian at the time and I think I needed to mature in my faith and understanding so it really was the appropriate thing to do.

          There came a point in time about 3 years ago where most of the drama-causing agents had moved on and the worship team was struggling, and that's when I was lead to join. After a year or so of being on the team I was asked to lead it based on my knowledge and background in music and things have never been better. We really don't have much conflict at all and most of the time it's easily handled without any drama. Sometime I honestly believe that the drama is the result of people pushing their own personal timetable rather than letting God's timetable prevail. His plans always work out for the best.
          The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE


          • #6
            my experiences

            Hey folks thanks for the input, its not a problem that I have directly been linked with personally... but many of my own band have been in these shoes and many folks from my local church have been here!

            As I have been leading worship now for 10 years (not that long compared to many of you) I have developed a policy that if a musician comes to me and asks to play we will start the 'stalking' process where we will watch how they are with their family, how they worship off stage and their general lifestyle if all is good then heck yeh come aboard!

            Our team firstly are people who live out worship, we are all great friends and we are all fellow musicians... this mix and doing social things together out side of the church has helped.....

            In saying that when I was appointed several years back as a worship leader, one other worship leader stepped down as he did not want to share the responsibility.. and these people are out there I have met them and it is so sad that the church has leaders like this!

            Many of my own band get on so well because we do not play over one and other, and we believe that the more skills musicians can have the better!


            • #7
              The team I am on now is like that- pretty well balanced, great chemistry, minimal drama, and powerful worship.

              One of the most disheartening things about worship ministry in general is that everyone thinks they need to have a say in how it's run, what is played, and who is on it. I can't think of another ministry, outside of maybe the head pastor, that has to deal with such a high level of interference.

              We don't have 'youth group wars' and 'Traditional children's church and Contemporary children's church'. We don't see church leadership tell someone they are 'too old' to manage the Angel Food Ministry anymore because they want to reach a demographic. There's not a probationary period for usher or audition for jail ministry. We really are a unique ministry within the scope of what a church does.

              We also deal with the second most influential and powerful aspect of the service. Outside of the Word of God, the music is a catalyst of spirit, soul and emotions. Spiritually, music is one of the most powerful catalysts of worship. The Bible shares time and again how supernatural victories were won with a large role played by the worship ushering in God's presence and His power to deliver people. Music as worship is powerful enough that God originally gave charge of it to the Levites, just as the ministerial duties were.

              However, it's a double-edged sword. Music appeals not only to the spiritual, but also the soul and emotions- our flesh. This is why it's such a contentious issue in church. Musicians have to be disciplined to be spiritually strong enough to keep the fleshly desires in check. Most of the issues we face as a ministry unit are the result of soulish natures like personal agendas, manipulative control, pride, and ego. Music brings these things out. We as music ministers have to be aware of it and keep ourselves disciplined.

              Some can't discipline, so they overcompensate by egregious requirements and artificial barriers that amount to treating a symptom instead of curing the illness.

              It takes years of growth for many to get to the point of keeping emotional and soulish desires in check.
              If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


              • #8
                While I'm sure its true there are some leaders out there protecting their egos and positions on worship teams, I think it could easily be misconstrued as that at other times. I've had the not-so-fun task of letting people know they're not quite ready to be on the team before and the decision is most often based on skill level. As harsh as it may sound, you're only as strong as your weakest link and having a drummer or piano or guitar player who can't play in time or the play right chords definitely weakens the team. Occasionally we also have people audition who only play a certain style of music that doesn't happen to fit with the style we play at our church. If they can adjust it's not a problem. But sometimes people are too set in their ways. It's hard to hear "no" especially when it comes to being involved in the church. And it's easy to assume to issue is with them (which, of course, sometimes it is) and not us. But I would be slow to assume it's due to the leader's pride and insecurity and begin by taking a hard look at myself and my skill.

                We're also very cautious in letting new people on that haven't been around long. Negative attitudes, division, gossiping, etc. can really kill team momentum even if it's just one person (Galatians 5:9 "A little bit of yeast....") so we want to make sure we know people well first. We've learned it's way easier get people on the team slowly than to let them on quickly only to have to pull them off later due to lack of skill or attitude problems. This has helped us maintain a very emotionally healthy team with little to no drama. It's hard to worship with a team that isn't unified or has relational issues.