This is a great post from our friends over at Worship Workshop!
I’ve lead and served on worship teams with some sketchy people. Not like creepers (OK, there might’ve been a few of those), but people who added a distinct angle of dysfunction to the team.
Now, don’t get me wrong—we all bring dysfunction to a team. And there some teams that have highly dysfunctional behavior happening. That’s it’s own blog post (or really, a coaching session). I want to focus on more typical dysfunctional behavior we find on our teams.
To do that, I’ve identified nine types of “sketchy” worship team behavior and gave them a face. The gender is irrelevant (I just alternated between men and women). Men and women are equal offenders for all of these. And you might even have some team members who are conglomerations of a few of these people.
The big problem is this: the sketchy behavior of the following nine people is tempting to ignore. But the presence of any of these issues will eventually cause more team-eroding dysfunction. So let’s meet these sketchy team members and see if any of them are a part of your ministry.
Q: Have you seen Gwen lately?
A: Not since the last Sunday she was scheduled.
The last thing we want is to create a legalistic, “never miss church” culture. But healthy team members are invested in their local church beyond just their scheduled weekends. They don’t treat their worship team commitment like a gig.
Steve the Squatter
Squatting is a term for occupying a place without paying rent and without permission.
On a worship team, squatting looks like this: a musician or tech—let’s call him “Steve”—has achieved a position in the ministry for which he is no longer (or never was) qualified.
Steve the Squatter probably came onboard when standards were lower.
Since Steve’s abilities don’t match his responsibilities, he’s a liability. Unfortunately, worship team squatters like Steve, just like apartment squatters, can be tough to get rid of.
Steve’s had a position on the team for awhile, and he keeps showing up. Plus, he’s a likable enough guy.
Healthy teams have techs and musicians whose abilities match their responsibilities. If you have a squatter, it’s time for a crucial conversation that leads to either additional training and development, or a new ministry for which the squatter is better suited.
Rachel the Renter
Unlike squatters, “renters” have a right to be on the team—at least skill-wise. Rachel pulls her own weight. For her, the worship team is a transaction. She pays with her talent, time and energy. In exchange for the right notes and good attendance, she has “her” ministry.
And here’s the thing: Rachel is happy using her talents and skills for the Lord. As long as things go her way.
Just like a renter of a house, Rachel the Renter has possession of her position without paying the true cost of ownership. And that creates an ugly thing called entitlement.
What does entitlement look like for Rachel? Well, since this is “her” ministry, she feels entitled:
- To be scheduled as much, if not more, than the others.
- To take the lead on every Meredith Andrews song.
- To pout when someone else gets it.
- To miss rehearsals occasionally because, “hello, I already know the music…”
- To have at least one spot on the special music rotation.
- To voice her opinion on all changes and decisions, and believes her voice carries a lot of weight with the team.
Unfortunately, sometimes it does.
Rachel is a renter. She has possession of her position without the true cost of ownership.
Unlike Rachel, healthy worship team members are stewards. A steward treats her ministry position like it’s her own, but she isn’t possessive of it. She knows she’ll give it back someday and wants to return it better than she found it. (Matthew 25)