Most of what I’ve learned through the years about leading a worship ministry, I’ve learned by trial and error – my errors, and the trials that followed.
Here are three quick things I eventually learned to never do – with an “always “ for each one. I hope I can save someone a little grief with this post.
- NEVER fuss at your choir or ministry team about who is not there. It seems obvious enough why this is a bad idea. The ones who are there should not have to hear your frustration about the ones that are not there. Instead, ALWAYS express gratitude to those who are faithful with their presence. Do this in front of the group as a whole and to the individuals you encounter.
- NEVER allow the stress of music performance cause you to lose your composure when things don’t seem to be going well. The pressure of performance can sometimes bring out the worst in us, especially if we are perfectionists. I’ve never known a worship leader who said, “I’m so glad I got so mad during the rehearsal. My tempter tantrum really helped the situation.” You should ALWAYS remember you are dealing with volunteers and people who are there to serve. Don’t allow your ego to cause you to lead from any other perspective.
- NEVER take the disposition of people that aren’t friendly with you personally. As performers, we like to receive positive feedback. But, we are leading people who come from a variety of situations and contexts into our rehearsals. Often, the stresses and challenges they are facing go way beyond our understanding. Someone not being friendly or as engaged as they used to be most likely has absolutely nothing to do with us. ALWAYS be patient and understanding with the people you are leading by giving them plenty of grace. Assuming that every nuance of their attitude is all about you only sets you up for hurt feelings and misunderstanding.
Most of our issues can be corrected with this one thought – it’s not about us. Love God, love the people He has called you to serve, and give plenty of grace to everyone with an attitude of service and humility.
And prayer. Add lots of prayer.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.