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Dealing with an immature Worship Director

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  • Dealing with an immature Worship Director

    Today I found out my worship pastor made a negative comment about my musicianship to the rest of the team during a practice when I wasn't there. It was said as 'in jest' but not really in jest if that makes sense. I don't try to hide my flaws and I do not try to blame others if I do something badly. I'm very disappointed that he didn't consider my dignity and instead decided to make an example of me when I was not there.

    This isn't the first time he has done this to members of our team, it is quite common but I'm not usually on the receiving end. The other two have left the team.

    He deals very badly with correction from anyone. He gets not just defensive but aggressive - immediately. He is also very personable when he's in a good mood, is a visionary, and obviously has a passion for the presence of God. He is definitely the person who is called to be the worship director for our church. I just find myself losing respect for him gradually and I often have trouble with his wife who tries to pretend I don't exist. She quite literally ignores me, even if I am speaking.

    I know that being a worship director is a lot of pressure. I just think that conflict resolution skills and people skills need to be on the top of the list of qualities to be developed or should already have.

    I'm considering simply leaving the team as the other two have done. However, I know that I'm called to that church and I know I'm called to be involved in worship ministry. Maybe God is using this situation to develop both myself and my worship director further.

    At the moment, I'm thinking I'll approach the Worship Director, tell him I heard what he said about me, point out that he's done it before and both those people have left. I want to tell him that if I ever hear him do it to anyone else or to me ever again, that I'll leave the team but I do feel that's a bit too extreme and probably unrealistic for him to 'never do that again' as it's part of his personality. Going to the senior pastor has to be the very last option for me. To be really honest, the senior pastor has a great heart and he really cares, but he's pretty hopeless at assisting to resolve these kinds of problems. The last time I went to him was when I was having trouble with the Worship Director's wife, thus the reason she now ignores me.

    How would you handle this situation? Would you try to change the way you think about it or try to resolve it somehow?

  • #2
    My opinion:

    1) Assuming that the previous people left without having an honest conversation with the director, it appears obvious that your leaving the team without any explanation or notice will probably not result in a change of heart or behavior in the worship pastor.

    2) I believe you have a Scriptural obligation to have a honest, loving conversation with the worship pastor about your problems with his leadership style. Reconciliation is a common thread in the Scripture about dealing with others in the church.

    3) I would "leave the other guys" out of it if it all possible. From how I read scripture, one-on-one is the first (and important first) step.

    4) Laying down implicit or explicit threats (to leave the worship team) is unlikely to help the conversation go well. I would prefer to talk with him honestly about how you feel, and ask "If your authority (pastor?) was making fun of your failings while you were not there, and you heard about it, what would you do?"

    5) If he is hostile, belligerent, and aggressive (trying to use your words), and you believe that he will continue to be abusive to others, then investigating the Scriptures about church discipline and your church's policies towards this type of behavior may have to be used.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by after5cst View Post


      3) I would "leave the other guys" out of it if it all possible. From how I read scripture, one-on-one is the first (and important first) step.
      After5cst nailed it. Matthew 18- Go to him one-one-one and explain his sin. If he does not listen, bring your pastor. I also agree that you should leave the other two out of it. This might not only rehash past issues, but also has the potential for the conversation to go somewhere you don't want it to go.

      Sorry you have to deal with this, friend. I am also a worship leader, and there are SEVERAL areas of growth in this position. I can write down all my flaws- I would be upset if those same flaws that I recognize were being talked about in a different context with other leaders. My God bless your conversation with the Worship Director and may the Holy Spirit bring truth that will ring in his ears.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sometimes it's hard to remember these people are human, too. Everyone is at a different place in their walk.

        From what you say, it appears to be a passive-aggressive stance by the leader.

        But here are some things to remember.

        1) You weren't there. You are relying on what someone else told you. I have gotten burned by that before. I understand your experience is that the's done this kind of thing in the past, but be very careful about making rash decisions and comments based on half the story.

        2)
        I'm very disappointed that he didn't consider my dignity and instead decided to make an example of me when I was not there.
        If he stepped on your ego, how offended are you going to be? One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the any environment is offense, especially the creative arts ministry. Someone steps on our toes and egos, right or wrong, and we grab onto this offended spirit and do/say some stupid things thinking we are justified, only to look back on it later and realize how dumb we acted. Been there, done that. Hurting people hurt people. Acting from a position of hurt and offense WILL cause you to do or say something you will regret. I know from experience- with worship team, with my wife, with my job, and in every case I had egg on my face at the end.

        I say this in all sincerity- resolve the offense in your heart with prayer before you talk to the leader. Come in from a position of forgiveness and grace. At the end of the day, no matter what, each one of us is responsible for our own behavior. We have the choice of our own attitude and how we respond to offense. Maybe the leader did act immaturely- but don't react to it by doing something just as immature.

        I will say one other thing- I GUARANTEE the team is watching to see what you will do. This is a great opportunity to set the example of putting Christ's red letters into action. You can go in there, give him a piece of your mind, lay down an ultimatum and sound like a brat. Or, you could take the offense to God, forgive him for hurting your feelings, and let God give you guidance on the next course of action. He may say to ignore it, He may say to address it in a certain way, but you can have a clear mind.

        Don't let the team draw you into the drama either. Someone will try to persuade you to keep that offense. It will blow their mind if you say "Yeah, I don't like it, but I took it to God and forgave him for it, and now I'm moving on. Its' a done deal and I'm not dwelling there anymore."

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow guys some valuable wisdom here thanks. Reading this through the day after, I'm glad I didn't say anything on the day. Ultimatums and bringing in the offences of others are not good conflict resolution skills! Here I am complaining about poor conflict resolution skills and I'm not displaying great tactics myself.

          Our whole team has been through so much this year. I think my first instincts were very brattish and immature as so gently put by Mike on Bass.

          I do really want to be a help to my Worship Director and to my team, so I'll try to set a good example in this.

          I did bring it up with him very quickly and casually and he apologised, which I appreciated.
          Last edited by Trueheart; 04-07-2015, 08:32 AM.

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          • #6
            The biggest red flag in this situation is really the whole aspect of gossip. We all know how the Bible warns us about such things and yet the Enemy is very adept at engaging us in it. As I view it, it is the cancer that eventually destroys a congregation from the inside out. It is insidious and many times irrepairable.

            More than anything I hope you can encourage the Worship Director to counsel the whole team (including himself) about the dangers of this kind of activity.
            The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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            • #7
              So sorry you are struggling with this.

              I think the approach of talking with your worship leader directly is the best approach. Here are a few suggestions for how to do it.

              1. Do it outside of the realm of rehearsal or worship service. Invite him to lunch or for coffee on a different day. Remember, on rehearsal day and worship day, he has many things on his mind.

              2. Be very careful how you say what's on your heart. Don't assume his motives for doing something, nor his emotions. My wife, who I consider one of the wisest people I've ever known, taught me to do it this way.

              a. State the FACTS without motive or emotion. For example, "Last week, you did THIS."
              b. Tell how that event made you feel. For example, "When you do that, I feel like THIS."
              c. Immediately put the onus on them to respond. "Can you see how I would feel that way?"
              d. Then sit back and listen.

              Obviously, your own situation will require your own set of facts and your own set of feelings. But it really works. More importantly, it lets the person know that you feel they've done something to you, but still honors them as a person.

              If we come in with guns blazing, saying something like, "You don't value me," or "I'm getting the feeling you don't want me in the band," we've immediately put the other person on the defensive. In many cases, we'll probably tick them off. Doing it the way I've described puts it in terms of you. This happened, and this is how I feel about it. The person simply cannot get mad at that. In many cases, I've found that the person didn't even realize what they'd done. And if they did, it gives them the chance to say, "I shouldn't have done that ... I'm sorry." But if you immediately assign motives and simply accuse, they get defensive. Now they have a reason to blame you.

              Forgive me if you already knew all this. I find that most people don't. Conflict is HARD. Handling it with grace can not only diffuse a difficult situation, but it can give you an unexpected ally.

              Praying for you.
              But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
              Romans 5:8

              Comment


              • #8
                I didn't get past the first few sentences of your post because it appears your issue is based on hearsay. Very dangerous of you to make any assumptions based on the information you have. You need to approach your worship director, tell him what you've heard, tell him you assume it is not true but want to make sure. Give him a chance to explain.

                Nate
                Practical Worship

                Please Pray For My Wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Nate! It was my husband who told me what was said. I trust him. He is not one for gossip and usually gives a LOT more grace than I do.

                  Past behaviour is an indicator of future behaviour. I was inclined to believe what was said without witnessing it because of the source of information, but also because it has happened in the past.

                  Also, when I brought it up with the Worship Director, he acknowledged what happened and said it wouldn't re-occur. Which is a great outcome!

                  This particular instance has been dealt with.

                  I like the way you deal with conflict Crossroads, and that is how I have been taught to deal with it as well. I have found that particular model of communication only works if the other person is willing to take responsibility for their actions. For example, in the past when we as a music team have come to this guy with an issue, he will usually hit back with something we have done wrong that may or may not be related and side-step the issue. Not two weeks before my incident with him, our music team had our Senior Pastor involved trying to do a bit of mediation. I'm not sure on the outcomes of those meetings and I just have to trust that our Worship Director is accountable to our Senior Pastor behind the scenes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was intrigued by your original post when you stated, that this person was definitely called to be "the worship director for our church." What do you mean by that? I'm reminded of the David - Saul relationship when I read your post!

                    For me, it was pretty bad that this person made a joke about others he is supposedly leading. A person with a passion for the presence of God should understand the hurt he inflicted with his words, and self control should have stopped him,especially given that your husband was there! Anger and defensiveness are not fruits of the spirit! Depending on how long this person has been a worship leader determines whether or not he is immature or just in the wrong ministry. Talent, good looks, and/or passion were never meant to be the sole reasons a person should be in front leading an important aspect of corporate worship. I'll take a humble marginally talented person who leads by example how God is working in their lives and making them day by day to be more like Jesus than an easily offended talented person who cannot take correction.Some people are simply in the wrong ministry and/or don't have the right character for the position, just as some people are doing the wrong job in life. It seems there is a lot of dysfunction there, and I will pray for your church to have the courage to do whatever it takes to get back to a place that honors God with lives as well as lips, for His glory.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                      I was intrigued by your original post when you stated, that this person was definitely called to be "the worship director for our church." What do you mean by that?
                      Hey Petey! That's a really good question. When I think about what leads me to make that statement, it's all very subjective. Our music team has grown and developed under his leadership. Our music team is bigger (grown from about 7 to 20), we have updated our song selection list, as a church we have increased capacity for the amount of time we spend in worship before people sit down. When I have lead beside him and floundered as to where to go next with the worship, he will step up and take over from me and continue to allow the congregation to be aware of the imminent presence of God. He is not good looking imo, he's not young, he's not an overly brilliant musician though he is a jack-of-all-trades. The main thing going for him is vision and drive. These attributes are both strength and weakness. He is a great guy, very industrious and very switched-on with the things of God. I suppose I don't think there is anyone else in our church more suited to the role and I suspect he will be associate pastor one day very soon.

                      Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                      I'm reminded of the David - Saul relationship when I read your post!
                      What do you mean by that?

                      Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                      It seems there is a lot of dysfunction there, and I will pray for your church to have the courage to do whatever it takes to get back to a place that honors God with lives as well as lips, for His glory.
                      There is a lot of dysfunction in our church in general! lol. We are operating on the grace of God! lol. I've learned to take the good with the bad as much as I can. I do this because I know there are other people who are 'taking the good with the bad' when it comes to my behaviour!

                      But I do thank you very much for your prayers and please continue to pray!

                      I think part of the reason we're going through this is because our Worship Director prayed for 'fire of God.' I told him if he's gonna pray for fire, be prepared to deal with whatever issues come up in the process of purification!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think part of the reason we're going through this is because our Worship Director prayed for 'fire of God.' I told him if he's gonna pray for fire, be prepared to deal with whatever issues come up in the process of purification!
                        That's true Part of the purification process is the fire brings all the impurities to the surface.

                        But that's a good thing. We all go through that process
                        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Trueheart - now I am confused! When you first posted, you called the worship pastor immature and having several character flaws. Your last post seems to be singing his praises (pun intended)! So, to answer your question, your post reminded me of the David Saul relationship because Saul had the position and power, yet felt it necessary to try and eliminate his competition. Not saying you are vying for his job, but why does he feel it necessary to criticize people who aren't there to defend themselves, and especially when your husband was there to hear it. Puts everyone in an awkward position.

                          Also, I'm not impressed with growing a music team, updated music, or increased praise and worship time. God still uses people for his purposes regardless of spiritual maturity, but how much more he can use a person who truly seeks His heart. This person may be a "great guy, very industrious and very switched-on with the things of God," but those aren't things that cannot be replicated by even the most carnal among us!

                          I'm also not sure what you mean when you say the reason you are going through all this is because someone prayed for the fire of God. In your original post, you were going through this because your worship pastor has a habit of calling out the musicianship of his team when they are not around, and was so bad that you had to have a mediator. Maybe enough time has gone by that the hurt and betrayal is minimized, but please don't over spiritualize this. The bible talks a lot about the damage our words can do, and how we need to pursue things that build each other up, not tear them down.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                            Trueheart - now I am confused! When you first posted, you called the worship pastor immature and having several character flaws. Your last post seems to be singing his praises (pun intended)!
                            I was thinking the exact same thing not long after I posted it. I must seem very fickle. The truth is, I feel both things about him. I think he's a good guy, but I disagree with some of the things he does and some of the character traits he displays at times are not what I think are fitting to a leader.

                            Since we began volunteering for the music team, my husband and I have had about four serious discussions about whether we should continue or not. Each of those four times, disagreements with the leadership style has been a contributing factor. We stay because we both know we are called to serve in music and because we believe we're called to be in that church.

                            I try to take the good with the bad, but every now and then I get to a point where I bust. When I began this thread, I was looking for help with what I should do about my Worship Director's character flaws. Because on a personal level and as a music team, we have tried to address it. Sometimes he listens, but these are his words: he feels like he is 'being taken out of context.' Don't ask me how that is possible when you give entire scenarios as examples. He just doesn't have much self-awareness. So I suppose, I had to change my thinking or just get out. I think if I stay, we could both be better off.

                            Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                            So, to answer your question, your post reminded me of the David Saul relationship because Saul had the position and power, yet felt it necessary to try and eliminate his competition. Not saying you are vying for his job, but why does he feel it necessary to criticize people who aren't there to defend themselves, and especially when your husband was there to hear it. Puts everyone in an awkward position.
                            I can only guess at this. In the past when he has criticized other absent people, it has been to highlight the kind of behaviour he finds undesirable. Why he did it to me, I'm not sure. I think he thought I wouldn't mind. It is something we have talked and joked briefly about before. I play acoustic guitar, sing and sometimes worship lead. I learned to play at 15 on my own and have never worked at mastering tempo because it never mattered. I was usually accompanying myself or playing alongside a strong drummer. Since he is now playing drums as we don't have one (our drummer is one of the guys who left), he blames me for making the band go out of time. Essentially, the comment was a rehash of that topic. I think he just had a thought and said it without really considering his words. The comment made was something along the lines of that it was good I wasn't there to mess up the tempo because the song sounds great. This hurt me because he has come to my husband and I in the past to ask us to develop his team musically.


                            Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                            Also, I'm not impressed with growing a music team, updated music, or increased praise and worship time.
                            I mentioned these things because to me they show ability to cast a vision and call people to it, ability to lead in unfamiliar territory, ability to help people become familiar with the presence of God.

                            Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                            God still uses people for his purposes regardless of spiritual maturity, but how much more he can use a person who truly seeks His heart. This person may be a "great guy, very industrious and very switched-on with the things of God," but those aren't things that cannot be replicated by even the most carnal among us!
                            Totally agree with this, but seeking God's heart doesn't automatically make a person fit to be a leader, either. I'm fairly sure the guy is someone who spends time in the presence of God because I can hear it in the way he leads worship.

                            What would you say are indicators that someone is called to be a Worship Director?

                            Originally posted by peteybird View Post
                            I'm also not sure what you mean when you say the reason you are going through all this is because someone prayed for the fire of God.
                            I think this is part of the reason his character flaws are coming to light right now. It's not just this one issue, we also had a team meeting with the senior pastor the week before this happened to discuss problems. He is having to face up to his mistakes lately. As for over-spiritualising, I think I'm giving spiritual meaning to what is happening because I have to believe that it's in God's hands. I really want to believe that God has a plan in this and it will work out for the both of us positively. In the end, I hope that the Worship Director can have a better understanding of how his words and attitudes are affecting people. I'm not sure what I hope for myself. Maybe to be less full of self-importance. Maybe I'll get really good at controlling tempo!
                            Last edited by Trueheart; 04-21-2015, 02:09 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not to oversimplify this, but it sounds like a metronome would resolve some of this. For both the drummer and you. Meter does matter and as an acoustic player you have to seek to improve your meter. At my church, we use a metronome (controlled by the drummer) for every song and it is piped into everyone's in-ear monitor. It has been a huge improvement helping us stay tight. I wish you the best as you continue to work with your team.

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